Kat and I went to see the movie The A-Team the other night on opening night. It’s a remake of the TV show of the same name, with a whole new cast playing the main roles (more on that in a bit). As summer movies go, it was heavy on action, thin on plot, and yet stayed plausible and energy-driven the entire time. This is the kind of movie you see with a bucket of popcorn and your brain unplugged, especially if you’re nostalgic for stuff you might remember from the 80s.
Some critics complained about the cast. Liam Neeson stars as Colonel Hannibal Smith. Bradley Cooper plays prettyboy “Face.” District 9 star Sharlto Copley plays “Howlin’ Mad” Murdock, and Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson plays B.A. Baracus (famously played by Mr. T in the 80s version). None of the cast were the most likely people to play the role, and yet, we felt they all performed admirably. Each did a great job of bringing their own personalities into the role, while delivering a tribute to the original cast.
Critics said the movie was implausible. So, blue aliens and people controlling fake remote control blue aliens to talk with those aliens was totally okay? Releasing the Kraken was okay? (Talk about a stinker of a movie remake.) Hollywood isn’t exactly in the “plausible” business, is it?
The movie was fast-paced, full of non-lethal action, smacked full of little “in” jokes about the old show, sprinkled with one-phrasers (not even one-liners), and so full of things you’ve never seen a movie pretend to do, that you’ll definitely talk about that to someone when you leave the theater.
I don’t mean film critics. I mean critics overall. I guess this is because I fall on the creator side of the spectrum. People love to rush in and defend the Devil’s Advocates and explain that good criticisms help bring something of value from people working hard. Bullshit, I say.
Critics have only one task: take apart something created by someone else. They don’t create. They fidget.
The A-Team wasn’t the most impressive piece of storytelling work since Gone With the Wind and Highlander. It’s just a popcorn movie. It’s meant to make us smirk and chuckle and appreciate the silliness of it all.
Don’t the critics know that? I just read Roger Ebert’s criticism (and I admire Ebert more than most critics), and his points all boil down to it not being very realistic. Er um, the point was to be non-realistic. Of course, B.A. couldn’t ride his bike across a bunch of tilted truck containers and land on the bad guy in real life, but as a lifelong Batman fan, heck, that’s commonplace stuff. Anyone can ride a bike across some containers and land on the bad guy. They teach it up front.
Listen to Others Who Like What You Like
All this to say, social media renders critics unnecessary. Why do I need USA Today to tell me what movies to see? My friends tell me. But when I looked around on Twitter, I saw lots of people just quoting the reviews they’d seen.
WE ARE THE REVIEWS!
We don’t have to wait. One of us who might like something can experience it, and then another of us, etc. We can form our own opinions. Do you read restaurant critics or do you read Yelp? Do you wait for “professionals” to tell you what to like, or do you find it yourself, with your network’s help?
Forget critics. Their time is passed, and they’re just sitting around with a big red buzzer on anything that doesn’t feed their addiction to “next best.” They’re entitled to their opinions. You just don’t have to use that opinion as your own any more.
Photo credit cheesy42