Socialist Worker

The A-Team - CIA in dock, even when a plan doesn’t come together

by Matthew Cookson
Issue No. 2213

It’s the turn of everyone’s favourite former US soldiers to get a makeover.

In the 1980s, lovable rogues Hannibal, Face, BA and Murdock were Vietnam veterans “on the run for a crime they didn’t commit”. They were supposedly available for hire by the weak and the oppressed.

This time round, the A-Team are Iraq war veterans – a special force used to get the US Army’s “difficult” jobs done.

When their final mission in Baghdad goes drastically wrong and their commanding officer is killed, they are all sent down for ten years.

They then break out to track down the men who framed them.

The 1980s TV series depiction of four hard done by former soldiers carrying out good deeds was part of the rehabilitation of the Vietnam War in US popular culture.

This film attempts to do the same with Iraq.

None of the death and destruction the US has rained upon the people gets a look in. And, as they prepare for withdrawal, Hannibal says his farewells to grateful, laughing Iraqi soldiers.

Nevertheless, The A-Team does suggest that there is something deeply wrong with the system.

The CIA is presented as something of a rogue state.

The A-Team is a surprisingly decent action movie, with a totally nonsensical plot.

The constant use of heavy weapons leads to few deaths, though many more die in the course of two hours than did in the whole five seasons of the TV show.

Directed by Joe Carnahan
In cinemas now

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Article information

Tue 3 Aug 2010, 18:18 BST
Issue No. 2213
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