Movie Kumite: The A-Team vs. The Equalizer
Ladies and gentleman, welcome to another edition of Movie Kumite! This cinematic slugfest will pit two movies that derived from action TV shows of the 1980’s against one another.
In one corner it is The A-Team in the other corner it is The Equalizer! Are you ready for this boob tube inspired battle?
When you are casting a movie based on a popular television shows there are two ways you can go. 1) You try to cast people as close to the originals as possible or 2) You go in a completely different direction. The A-Team went with option 1 and The Equalizer went with option 2. I would say the powers that be made the right choice for their respective films.
Denzel Washington was excellent in the role of Robert McCall. Nobody was going to mistake him for Edward Woodward, but Denzel brought the best qualities of Woodward’s Equalizer and added a level of physicality and intensity to the role. Casting Washington was a smart move, the man is an accomplished actor and had proven himself in the action arena before, including the great Man on Fire.
But as impressive as Washington was in The Equalizer, when you look at what The A-Team was able to accomplish it is absolutely astounding. They had 4 main heroes to cast for and they hit it out of the park with every decision. Liam Neeson, the elder statesman of the group was perfect as “the man with the plan” Hannibal Smith, Bradley Cooper was born to play Face, Sharlto Copley was spot on as the off his rocker Murdock and when people think of tough guys in today’s day and age, MMA fighters have to be at the top of the list, so who better to be B.A. Baracus than Quinton “Rampage” Jackson!?
The A-Team had a plan and that plan came together!
THE A-TEAM – 1 THE EQUALIZER – 0
If I had one complaint about The Equalizer it was with its main villain, Teddy (Martin Csokas). Maybe it was his attempt at a Russian accent or his dumb tattoos or some intangible I just can’t put into words, but I did not make the necessary emotional investment I should have with the Teddy character.
On the flip side, The A-Team once again over achieved, with two villains that oozed arrogance, Lynch (Patrick Wilson) and Pike (Brian Bloom). When I saw Bloom’s name come up on the opening credits I didn’t have high hopes. Up to that point I really only remembered him from those Bandit TV movies (based off the classic Smokey and The Bandit movies that starred Burt Reynolds) from the mid-90’s and those weren’t exactly setting the world on fire. But Bloom’s performance was a pleasant surprise and I have to wonder if the fact that he was one of the credited writers helped boost his on-screen work.
THE A-TEAM – 2 THE EQUALIZER – 0
GOING THE DISTANCE
In order for a movie to be successful, there are a lot of things that need to come together. Unfortunately for The A-Team they were seemingly set up to fail by their studio. On one hand, the studio had faith in the film to make it one of its big summer blockbusters, but one has to wonder if the elongated shelf time and several false starts the project had caused the executives to not really think through on the release date aspect. I contend that the box office results would have been much more positive if the film came out a few weeks earlier or even later in the summer.
Perhaps learning from The A-Team’s mistake, The Equalizer was given a less competitive, late September release. The summer blockbuster season had ended, but movie goers weren’t in hiding just yet. And that put The Equalizer above the $100,000,000 mark and almost immediately green lit the sequel, which is currently set for a 2017 release.
Meanwhile any chance of a sequel for The A-Team was killed in the summer of 2010.
THE A-TEAM – 2 THE EQUALIZER – 1
WOMEN OF ACTION
Make no mistake about it, we love the women of action here at Bulletproof Action. Both of our movies feature some prominent female characters. The Equalizer has a donut loving Teri (Chloë Grace Moretz) who really is the catalyst for Robert McCall coming out of “retirement” and becoming the trained killing machine he once was for the government. Teri is a great damsel in distress.
But The A-Team has a great tough chick in the form of Charissa Sosa (Jessica Biel). Even though she is hunting down The A-Team. Col. Decker style, you can’t help but love her character… or at least love watching her.
Call me crazy, but I’ll take a tough chick over a damsel any day.
THE A-TEAM – 3 THE EQUALIZER – 1
Never wanting these competitions to be based solely on my opinions, I always like to consult two of the most reputable movie based web sites on the Internet and get their take on the movies.
The Equalizer has a rating of 7.2 on IMDb, while The A-Team comes in with a rating of 6.8.
The Equalizer also edged out The A-Team over on Rotten Tomatoes with a 77% approval rating compared to 66% for The A-Team.
And the critics have equalized things for The Equalizer!
THE A-TEAM – 3 THE EQUALIZER – 3
The shows these movies are based on featured some of my favorite TV theme songs of all-time. I was so glad when The A-Team movie incorporated the classic TV theme into their score.
But in an example of The Equalizer dropping the ball, there is no sign or sample of the original Equalizer theme to be found anywhere. I am talking about a theme composed by Stewart Copeland from the extremely successful rock group, The Police! Now maybe it was a rights issue or maybe Copeland didn’t want his song used and it was not the producers fault, but having that song in some way, shape or form would have been the icing on the cake… kind of like at the end of the film when McCall is answering a modern day online ad, a nod to the TV show’s ad in the newspaper classifieds.
So the power of music pushes The A-Team to victory!
FINAL SCORE: THE A-TEAM – 4 THE EQUALIZER – 3