I know, I know, we’re all tapping our feet impatiently and waiting for the summer movie season so we can go see Iron Man 2 and Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World.

But there’s a whole MONTH until the summer movie season starts (getting a thorough jump on the season itself – because TONY STARK DOES NOT LOLLYGAG!). So…what’s to be done?

Well, I suppose we can watch in awe as the A-Team as a concept eats its own tail.

Presenting: The Losers vs. The A-Team.

Which…boy, you can’t plan titles like that.

The Losers (as described on Wikipedia):
“Originally a Special Forces team seconded to the CIA. In the 90s, the Losers were betrayed by their handler, Max, and left for dead following the conclusion of their operation. Eager for revenge and the opportunity to remove their names from a secret CIA death list, the Losers regroup and conduct covert operations against the CIA and its interests.”

The A-Team (as described in its helpful opening credits sequence):
“In 1972 a crack commando unit was sent to prison by a military court for a crime they didn’t commit. These men promptly escaped from a maximum security stockade to the Los Angeles underground. Today, still wanted by the government, they survive as soldiers of fortune.”

When The Losers comic book property came out, it left a bad taste in my mouth – not only because it was kind of hackneyed writing with weak character work, but because it clearly read as a failed movie pitch that got hurriedly turned into a comic series by Andy Diggle.

In fact, I specifically recall reading the first Losers paperback in the tub (I was working at Home Depot at the time – my legs were aching!), and thinking, “This is just a fucking A-Team movie treatment with some minor cosmetic changes.”

(Full nerd-alert disclosure: I do not like Andy Diggle’s writing. Not only did he somehow make Adam Strange boring, but when given Hellblazer, the only thing he could think to do with John Constantine was to blame 20 years of character development on an evil magical therapist so he could be rebooted to be more in line with Alan Moore’s original rendition – complete with Armani suits and gloves. Dick.)

Anyway, as a comic I paid 15 bucks for, I felt a little bit gypped. But watching the movie trailer, you can’t deny – this is a pretty much an ideal premise for a mildly entertaining action flick. And rejiggering the A-Team to be an original concept means you can ditch the signifiers like the van and Mr. T’s mohawk, and the “I love it when a plan comes together” catchphrases, and hopefully tell a story that’s worth an hour and a half of an audience’s attention.

And not only is it a solid-enough plot for an action flick, but you’ve also got a reliable-yet-cost-effective cast (Idris Elba from “The Wire,” Jeffrey Dean Morgan from Watchmen,  soon-to-be-Captain America Chris Evans, and providing the much-needed sexy ass shots, Star Trek’s Zoe Saldana) who are all usually fun to watch.

My reaction to the trailer was thus: “Huh. That’s actually the A-Team movie I always kinda wanted to see.”

And then, a month later, the A-Team trailer popped up.

And I felt like when I was a kid and the Filmation Ghostbusters, and the Real Ghostbusters cartoons were on at the same time: baffled, but also kind of jazzed.

Granted, the A-Team trailer plays like crap. There’s too much preening (and Liam Neeson looks slightly ridiculous with George Peppard hair), too many “Remember this? From the show? Where they had this?” moments and cutesy musical cues. And Bradley Cooper needs to put them abs away before he hurts somebody. But on the other side: THERE IS A TANK FALLING OUT OF THE SKY WHILE BRADLEY COOPER FIRES OUT OF IT.

That is hard to argue against.

So here’s what I’m gonna do. When The Losers comes out on April 23, I will go see it. And if I am disappointed, I’ll go see The A-Team on June 11. And if they both suck, then we should just burn Hollywood to the ground, because if  they can’t make a decent action movie out of “burned special forces team goes rogue and seeks revenge while doing awesome things in the meantime” – twice! – then I don’t know what they’re spending all those millions of dollars on.

(Or, we can wait until Warren Ellis’s ‘black-ops retirees are targeted and go out for revenge’ story, “Red,” gets its movie release – and to quote the man himself, “If you don’t want to see a movie that has Helen Mirren with a sniper rifle, I’m not sure I want to know you.”)

Who’s with me?!

  1. SB7 says:

    I’m with you. Now we need two other guys and a rockin’ van. Bonus points if one of those guys has a mohawk.

  2. Tad says:

    I have been waiting yeras for just such a reason to grow back my mohawk. I’m in!

  3. Jeff Holland says:

    I am going to channel my four-year-old self and yell, “I GET TO BE FACE!”

  4. braak says:

    I am buying a van right now.

  5. braak says:

    Oh, also this one.

    Man, it is angry mercenary action season, huh?

  6. braak says:

    Also, pursuant to my problem with tiny kung-fu women, Zoe Saldana is super skinny. It’s hard to look at her trying to kick Jeffrey Dean Morgan without wondering if she’d break her leg on his face.

  7. Jeff Holland says:

    Yeah, but pretty much anyone would break their leg on Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s face. That is a tough face.

    That face has been doing push-ups.

  8. Carl says:

    Sign me up for A-Team. And you listen, A-Team, listen good. Don’t you do it, don’t you even THINK about sucking.

  9. V.I.P. Referee says:

    1. Needs more metal. The “T” aesthetic answers to no era.

    2. Bradley Cooper is another talent that grows on you. I’d like to see how he does in this.

    3. Tad, you had a mohawk? How very rad.

  10. Dmart says:

    What kind of horrible person doesn’t want to see Helen Mirren with a sniper rifle?

  11. […] I’ve missed? NO, I haven’t forgotten about The A-Team. And I know I said I’d check out The A-Team and The Losers and compare them (and I figure that Stallone+everybody movie would round it all out), but unless you’re giving me […]

  12. […] movie – I don’t know if the filmmakers were aware that an A-Team movie was in the offing (and my assertion that the comic began life as a rejected, re-written A-Team treatment is just a guess), but in this movie, Hannibal’s full-proof plans have a history of being shot to […]

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