The A-Team: Explosive Expanded Edition

To paraphrase Mr T, I pity the fool who does get a kick out of this fun action flick!

The A-Team is an extremely silly film – an over-the-top cavalcade of ludicrous action, broad humour and macho attitude that rarely ever stops for breath. But, what else were you really expecting from a movie remake of this particular ‘80s TV franchise?

Unlike most of the other action blockbusters doing the rounds in the past few years, it’s clear that everybody involved in this film simply set out to make a fun film. And, for the most part, they’ve succeeded. The cast (Liam Neeson, Bradley Cooper, Rampage Jackson and Sharlto Copley) are clearly having a blast playing toy soldiers on the big screen, while director Joe Carnahan throws together some of the maddest action scenes you’ll ever see. If there’s a problem, it’s the sense that it’s a little too knowing at times, and at around two hours, it really does start to wear out its welcome before the end credits roll.

Picture: The A-Team explodes onto Blu-ray with the kind of Full HD imagery we’ve come to expect from modern action blockbusters. Framed at the original 2.40:1 and encoded in AVC, the disc delivers an impressively cinematic image that serves up robust colours, invitingly deep blacks, excellent textures and superb grain structure. The downside to this is that the image clarity does serve to highlight some of the dodgier CG effects. But when the upside is being able to pick out every shard of glass exploding out of the windows as B.A. abseils down a building while being shot at, who am I to complain?
Picture rating: 4/5

Audio: Big, brash and loud seems to have been the plan for The A-Team’s DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix. While dialogue is cleanly rendered and Alan Silvestri’s score is handled with ease, this soundtrack is at its best when handling the on-screen action. From Chapter 3’s helicopter shootout with bullets sprayed all around the soundfield, through Chapter 11’s ‘flying’ tank, to the explosive finale in Chapter 18, which has cargo containers crashing to earth all around you, The A-Team’s soundtrack might not be much for subtlety, but it’s got things sewn up when it comes to high-impact surround effects.
Audio rating: 4/5

Extras: Taking a cue from Warner Bros.’s well-received Maximum Movie Mode, Fox’s The A-Team hits Blu-ray with a rather nifty bonus called The Devil’s in the Details: Inside the Action with Joe Carnahan. Available on the theatrical cut, the film plays out with a commentary by the director, occasionally leaving the film running in a smaller window as he appears on screen discussing a specific scene and showcasing storyboards and animatics in other windows. A slightly less impressive part of the feature are the permanent on-screen graphics providing tech specs for weapons and a countdown of the various plans in the film.

On top of this the disc also features the 15min longer Extended Cut of the film, six deleted scenes, a gag reel, a 29min Making of…, five short cast featurettes, a visual effects comparison, the trailer, BD-Live connectivity and a bonus DVD and Digital Copy of the film.
Extras rating: 3/5

We say: The kind of dumb but fun action film that Blu-ray was made for.

20th Century Fox, All-region BD/R2 DVD, £25 approx, On sale now