The A-Team….Battlestar Galactica Win or Knight Rider Fail?
This Friday night I will head to the movies, buy an overpriced popcorn and soda, then sit back and watch The A-Team. I was a huge A-Team fan when I was a kid because The One True Starbuck, Dirk Benedict, played Faceman. Remember that bit in the credits when the Cylon walks by and he does a double-take? Yeah, that still gets me every time. So, of course there was never any question that I would go see the remake. What lots of people are questioning is whether the remake is actually going to be worth the price of admission.
Seeing new actors in old familiar roles can be odd and it may take your brain a few minutes to adjust, but it generally works out in the end. For every person that swears the original actor was the best, there’s one that swears the new actor did a far better job. Changes to iconic items like cars can throw you, too, but who doesn’t think the new Batmobile is cooler than the one driven by Adam West? In the pictures I’ve seen of the new A-Team van, it looks so close to the original that at a glance you might not catch the differences. The important thing is that the key elements of the original are still in the remake. As long as they’re present, we can pretty much adjust to the differences. What does tend to throw off viewers, especially hardcore fans, is when the spirit of the original is completely lost.
You may have heard that Mr. T turned down a cameo in The A-Team movie because he believes that the film strays too far from the original series. I won’t know until Friday if I agree with him, but is it really possible for any remake to have the exact same spirit as the original when so many years have passed? Think about it for a second. What was campy and fun in the 80’s is just going to feel tired and dated today. Time passes. Tastes change. And that is the essential challenge for a remake. No matter much you loved a show or a movie, when enough years pass, a remake needs to make some big changes or it’s just not going to work. And if the changes aren’t done well, the results can be disastrous.
There have been great successes like Battlestar Galactica which some argue is better than the original. Of course, any sane person knows this is impossible because Dirk Benedict is The One True Starbuck and that makes the classic the best. There have been moderate successes like V which may or may not make it through the next full season. And then there have been spectacular failures like Knight Rider. Just typing that one makes my head hurt. I am hopeful that The A-Team movie will lean more toward the Battlestar Galactica end of the remake spectrum. The actors look their parts, the van looks good, and the action sequences look over the top. What more could you want? I love it when a movie comes together!