There comes a point in the new A-Team movie when, if you’ve ever played Modern Warfare, you’ll sit back in your chair a little and think “man, I’ve seen this somewhere before”.
[This isn’t a massive spoiler, but if you like your movies 100 per cent fresh, don’t read any further]
It comes at around, oh, 90 minutes into the movie, when the A-Team are in a farmhouse in Germany. The bad guys know they’re there and are trying to kill them. To do this, they send in an AC-130 Hercules.
Now, anyone who’s played Call of Duty 4 will remember the sequence where you’re blowing people to pieces from the sterile surrounds of an AC-130. It’s the highlight of the game.
Well, this happens in the movie. As the Hercules descends towards the farmhouse, it opens up with its cannon, blowing it to pieces. And all the while a bad guy is watching this on a monitor, while inside a car, miles away.
The footage he’s seeing on a monitor is black and white, with a white cursor, just like the real thing (and the Modern Warfare level). As you’re about to write that off as a case of having played too many games and not watched enough news, the farmhouse explodes and the bad guys shouts “WHOAH, IT’S JUST LIKE CALL OF DUTY!”.
What struck me about this line wasn’t just how awkward it felt, but how I’d never heard anything like it. Movies have referenced games before, but usually in terms of characters, or other well-known icons and generalisations. This, though, this is a specific level. The writers figured so many people have played Modern Warfare that they can include a reference about a single, isolated stage in a video game and their audience will know what they mean.
Judging from the chortles, exclamations and stifled laughter all around me in the theatre, it seems they figured correctly.