Ten years ago, a crack commando unit was sent to prison by a military court for a crime they didn't commit. These men promptly escaped from a maximum security stockade to the Los Angeles underground (some people call it Hollywood). Today, still wanted by the government, they survive as soldiers of fortune. If you have a problem ' or you're a filmmaker and need some mercenary insight ' maybe you can hire â?¦ the A-Team.
At least that's what we hear Blood Diamond director Edward Zwick (Glory, The Last Samurai) did while researching the movie's protagonist, Danny Archer, a white mercenary in Zimbabwe played by boy-faced Leonardo DiCaprio. Archer must help a Mende fisherman named Solomon Vandy (Djimon Hounsou) find his family and an impossibly large pink diamond in the midst of Sierra Leone's civil war. Rumor has it Zwick went to Tom Berenger first, but he'd just taken a job as a substitute at an inner-city school and so the A-Team became the professional advisers (uncredited, of course) on Blood Diamond. How do they feel about the result of their guidance? Col. Hannibal Smith, Face, B.A., and 'Howling Madâ?� Murdock recently got together after a screening on the Warner Bros. lot to discuss how effective DiCaprio ultimately was.
WAITRESS: Sir, there's no smoking in here.
WAITRESS: No smoking.
HANNIBAL: But it's a cigar.
WAITRESS: It doesn't matter.
FACE: Oh, put the stogie out, Colonel.
MURDOCK: So what are we supposed to talk about?
B.A.: This movie! Blood Diamond!
HANNIBAL: Really? I kinda liked it. At least the story. By that, I mean the scenery. Africa is really a beautiful country. A lot of people in trouble there. Maybe the A-Team should take its act on the road for a little overseas special.
MURDOCK: Like that Facts of Life special where they go to Australia?
B.A.: Oh no! Absolutely not! B.A. don't fly!
MURDOCK: Why does everything you say include an exclamation mark?
B.A.: B.A. Baracus don't fly!
MURDOCK: Seriously, it's like he has a volume-control problem. It's not like I'm just noticing it, either. You guys get it too, right?
FACE: But how would we get the van to Africa? We need the van.
HANNIBAL: Good point, Face. Let's forget Africa. What about this kid, this Leo DiCaprio. Isn't he that girly-boy from the boat movie?
HANNIBAL: Yeah, that one. What do you think of him in this movie? Did he take everything we taught him and put it onscreen?
B.A.: Leo sucks!
MURDOCK: 'Leo sucks!â?� Dammit, B.A., drink some milk already. You're a one-note joke. And this Leo, he's the least convincing soldier of fortune I've ever met.
FACE: Yeah, well, I'm not sure I agree with you.
MURDOCK: Think about it.
FACE: I am thinking about it.
MURDOCK: No, really think about it.
FACE: I never thought about it that way. You're right. Well, maybe we can blame that on Ed Zwick. Maybe he's just a violent guy by nature. But I thought we tried to make him understand that real mercenaries, like us, we're not very violent by nature. And we don't really kill.
MURDOCK: Exactly. We use our brains to outwit and win '
HANNIBAL: And sometimes our fists.
MURDOCK: And sometimes our fists, but our arsenal is sort of like set dressing. It's just there to look good. Who needs to use a gun when you can build a tank out of a tractor, a plow blade and a rain poncho? That's why we still invite Richard Dean Anderson to our house parties.
FACE: Because he thinks like us.
MURDOCK: Because he thinks like us.
B.A.: Leo sucks!
HANNIBAL: I agree with Murdock, which is never a good way to start a conversation. This mercenary, this Danny Archer, he kills way too many people. Where's the mercenary code? And his enemy, they're worse than the Viet Cong. The Viet Cong never hacked up their own people. Who wants to watch something so gruesome?
FACE: Americans, I guess. But hey, he did pull a pretty nifty little scam to steal supplies from his former colonel and that was pretty cool. I taught him that trick.
MURDOCK: When you think about it, the fisherman, that Solomon Vandy character, was kind of me then. And Leo was you.
FACE: But not as pretty.
HANNIBAL: I don't know. Leo's got an awful pretty mug.
FACE: Prettier than me, Colonel?
HANNIBAL: Prettier than all of us combined.
B.A.: Leo sucks!
MURDOCK: Christ, someone get B.A. some milk! Dammit, now I'm using exclamation marks too!
B.A.: Leo sucks!
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