Every now and then, you just need a good man movie. Guns, explosions, high-speed chases, no plot other than “what’s gonna blow up next?” and hey, if you can top it off with some D-BOX Motion support, that’s just gravy. That’s where my mind was last week, and The A-Team came a-calling. And as luck would have it, The A-Team came soaked in the sausage-y goodness that is D-BOX.
The A-Team was pretty much panned upon its theatrical release, and rightfully so. The original A-Team was part of my Saturday afternoon childhood, right there alongside Battlestar Galactica and Buck Rogers. This newest iteration is a far, far cry from the classic series starring Mr. T, but what this prequel to the TV show lacks in personality it more than makes up for with things that go boom. And every single one of those booms has a nice Motion Code to go along with it.
Regardless of the scene at hand, the D-BOX motion track is bumping, jarring, rat-a-tat-tatting and doing everything else it should be doing with this bullet-riddled, chase-filled, TNT-blasting film. Gunshots bring about lower-back thumps from the D-BOX chair, while car chases elicit the pivoting and yawing motion I’ve come to expect from high-speed pursuits. But the most memorable D-BOX moments in The A-Team come from the film’s two most outlandish scenes, and it’s safe to say you’ll never see or feel a movie quite like this again.
Both scenes involve airborne craft, the first being a helicopter and the second being a tank. Yes, a tank. At 30,000 feet. With a fully functional turret. And falling straight down into an Austrian lake. Told you they were outlandish scenes.
But first, the helicopter. When The A-Team is first being assembled, the guys need a pilot to make a grand escape, and the only one available is Howlin’ Mad Murdock. Well, Murdock happens to be institutionalized in an asylum at the time, so you can imagine his state of mind — and thus the wild ride on which he takes his team — after he’s handed the yoke to a helicopter. Full of dips, stall-inducing climbs and at least one inversion, the scene does things you’ve not seen from a helicopter this side of Air Wolf, and every single unexpected motion is translated perfectly via the D-BOX track. Short of being air sick or losing your stomach, it really feels as if you’re there alongside Face and B.A., and it’s one of the movie’s craziest Motion Coded scenes.
The craziest scene, though, is the aforementioned tank-in-the-air sequence about two-thirds of the way through the film. I’ve never witnessed a scene quite like this one, and suffice it to say I never expected to feel something quite this surreal either. As the tank falls from the back of a C-130, the D-BOX chair tilts gently as if it’s spiraling downward at terminal velocity. When military drones start firing upon the tank, the impact of gunfire and air-to-air missiles puts you right into the action. Those impacts are even more distinct, however, when Face beings blasting shells from the turret in order to “steer” it through the air so it will land safely in the depths of an idyllic mountain lake. Remember that whole thing about the lack of a plot? This pretty much explains why I made that comment. But, in the spirit of needing a good brain-off man movie, this scene and its wacky but spot-on D-BOX support explain why I got exactly what I needed from The A-Team.
When Fox first sent along The A-Team on Blu-ray, I put it aside knowing that someday I’d want — nay, need — to watch it. That time came, and it came in a way that only the mix of action and D-BOX could satisfy. The A-Team has both, and boy did it scratch that itch. Is it a cinematic masterpiece whose D-BOX support elevated it to must-own status? Hardly. But if you ever need a good old-fashioned blow-em-up flick with great Motion, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire The A-Team.
D-BOX Score: 8.8
Click the following link to buy The A-Team on Blu-ray from Amazon.