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The A-Team….Battlestar Galactica Win or Knight Rider Fail?

cross-posted at

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!


11 Responses to “The A-Team….Battlestar Galactica Win or Knight Rider Fail?”

  1. Jordan S says:

    Oh, I think this movie will be bad.

    Spectacularly bad.

    I'll be there, though.

    Because I want to know if it will simply be horrible or if it attains such sufficient levels of bad that it becomes good.

    This could be Hudson Hawk for 2010. A movie I love that everybody, other than my wife, has said is one of the worst movies ever.

  2. First, your wife is right about Hudson Hawk…that was NOT a good moive. Second, you're right. The A-Team has a decent chance of being absolutely awful, but it's got the van, and the theme music, and there's gonna be a plan!!!!

  3. Jess says:

    Dirk Benedict is The One True Starbuck, but Katee Sackhoff sure gave it a good go. I wish I could erase the show from my mind just so I can watch it all over again…anyway…YAH A-TEAM!

  4. I think it's got potential. Ultimately, it's about the chemistry between the four team members. There were some truly awful, but watchable episodes of the original series. The interaction between the characters made even the bad episodes fun.

    I'm looking forward to this, too.

  5. I think A team will go the same way GI Joe went. Over the top and not true to the story. Rampage Jackson as Mr. T? Fire your casting director. UFC fighter = B movie.

  6. My husband loved the original A-Team and we are totally excited for this movie. I also love both Bradley Cooper and Liam Neeson. I definitely understand a need to update for the purposes of avoiding 80s cheesiness, and I think Mr. T is bitter because he was the only one who ever got shot! Probably going on Saturday, can't wait!

  7. Don't get me wrong, I love Mr. T and his performance as BA, but a great actor he was not. Let's not fool ourselves. The acting shoes that Rampage Jackson has to fill aren't all that big really. Let's give him a fair chance.

  8. Thomas says:

    I think this movie has a real shot. I agree that you have to upate the movie to fit the times. That means being more realistic about things. if they can pull this movie off I think it will be fantastic.

  9. The chemistry is really important. As much as I loved the original, Nerd Lunch has it right, some of the storylines were only watchable because the guys were so good together.

    In every clip I've seen, the actors look and act the parts as they were in the originals. This doesn't require a huge amount of skill, but I do see Dirk Benedict, Mr T, George Peppard and Dwight Schultz coming through loud and clear which makes me happy.

    I agree with Death of Angels on at least one thing, this is going to be over the top like GI Joe. But I liked that to a point in GI Joe and I'm sure I will buy into it in the A-Team, too.

  10. Now that I've seen it, I can say without reservation that I loved this movie! It was very true to the original. The actors had great chemistry, the action was over the top, there were bullets everywhere, but very little blood, and the jokes were still fun with a bit of cheese. If you liked the show, you won't be disappointed by the movie!

  11. Great to hear, Nicole. I'm hoping to see it in the next week or so. I'm glad to see that most people are on the jazz about this movie.

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