Colonel John "Hannibal" Smith is the leader of The A-Team. In the film, Hannibal is often angry and intense. Unlike the original Hannibal, in the film, he only uses a disguise once. However, just like Hannibal in the show, he still smokes cigars to celebrate a plan working. Hannibal is a good leader who tries to take full responsibility for their alleged crime during the Court-Martial and breaks them out of prison even though the other A-Team members refuse it so they can clear their names. Like B. A., Face, and Murdock, he has an Army Ranger tattoo on his right arm. He is portrayed by actor Liam Neeson.
A German movie poster reminiscent of a dossier/personnel file was released with the following bio:
Colonel John "Hannibal" Smith is the respected leader of the A-Team. No matter if there is a problem that needs to be solved, whether a member of the A-Team needs to be rescued, or whether an injustice has to be straightened out - Hannibal has the right plan. He can rely entirely on his men and their skills. He can trust that they do what he says - and if one of the group goofs up, he is quickly whistled back by Hannibal.
Hannibal has already crossed the 50th and won the call as one of the best officers of the U.S. Army over the years by taking dangerous missions in Iraq. Among other things, he captured a scientist who worked on deadly bio-weapons for Saddam Hussein.
One of his skills is the ability to adapt to any situation. He speaks several languages fluently and is able to free himself from dangers by using what is available to him. This can be a simple needle with which he opens handcuffs, but also something as complicated as a huge tank, which he attached to a parachute.
His methods are sometimes unorthodox, but he always gets the job done. And usually he pulls a cigar out of his pocket to celebrate the success.
Before Joining the A-Team
On January 30, 1991, a man named Dave is showing the press a video of "the luckiest man in Iraq". He tells his audience to watch the crosshairs and his rearview mirror.
The day before, Hannibal and Cynthia Venessen are seen and he tells her that in order for a plan to work, you need to have faith in that plan.
On January 27, 1991, Hannibal was disguised as General Mujabar Al-Habib of the Republican Guard. He says he has orders from Baghdad to take Doctor Janko Skarfasis to the safety of a bunker. He tells Dr. Skarfasis that Saddam wants him at his side in Baghdad. Hannibal gets caught and thought that it was his Farsi that gave him away, but a Major recognized that his boots are American boots for Iraqi troops bought from Russia. Hannibal decides to take Dr. Skarfasis to the USS Stennis instead. A man named Brody gets wounded and Hannibal tells one of his fellow soldiers to put him on the chopper.
Hannibal and Dr. Skarfasis are in a parking ramp and see Iraqi soldiers forcing a woman into the trunk of a car. Hannibal takes out the soldiers and the woman reveals that she is Cynthia Vanessen, a BBC reporter. She reveals that Dr. Skarfasis is Saddam Hussein's bio weapons expert who was "working on a toxin that makes Sarin seem like lemonade." She was investigating it for the BEEB. They get out of the sedan and switch to a military truck. Dr. Skarfasis reveals that he is a Serbian national.
Cynthia uses a radio to contact the USS Stennis in the Persian gulf. They are being pursued by the entire Iraqi Army. Hannibal has an air strike launched on the Jahra Bridge to stop the Iraqi troops from pursuing them. Cynthia wants to write about it, but Hannibal tells her that it's classified. Upon being rescued, Hannibal says, "I love it when a plan comes together."
The Mexico Incident
Somewhere in Mexico, Hannibal is being held captive by General Javier Tuco's men. One of them attempts to shoot Hannibal in the head with Hannibal's gun. It doesn't work as Hannibal's gun is missing the firing pin. The men leave, but attempt to have dogs attack Hannibal. Hannibal uses the firing pin to unlock his handcuffs, and then puts it back in his gun. Hannibal handcuffs the dogs together and smokes one of his cigars in celebration of his success.
Later on, Hannibal sees B. A.'s van driving down the road and car jacks him. Once he gets into the van, he notices B. A.'s Army Ranger tattoo and Hannibal shows B. A. his in return. Hannibal and B. A. recite the rules of the Army Rangers: "[Hannibal]: Never shall I fail my comrades. Gallantly will I show the world that I'm a specially selected soldier. [B. A.]: Energetically will I meet the enemies of my country. I shall defeat them on the field of battle for I am better trained. [Hannibal]: And I will fight with all my mind." B. A. agrees to help Hannibal rescue another Army Ranger, Face. They rescue Face and B. A. officially becomes a member of the A-Team.
Hannibal, B. A., and Face go to the Hospital San Vincente de Paulo, a U.S. Army Hospital in Sonora, Mexico, where they meet Murdock. Once Hannibal finds out that Murdock is a Ranger, he recruits him as a member of the A-Team, even though B. A. and Face are reluctant. The A-Team manages to lure General Javier Tuco into U. S. Airspace, where he is shot down for trespassing.
Iraq/Baghdad Incident and Court-Martial
"8 years and 80 successful missions later", the A-Team members are at a military base in Iraq, run by Hannibal's long time friend, General Russell "Russ" Morrison, about a week after troops are withdrawn from Baghdad. There, Hannibal meets with Lynch, who works for the C. I. A. and his real identity is not yet known. He gives Hannibal an assignment to help prevent a billion dollars from being stolen. He wants Hannibal and the A-Team to recover U. S. Treasury plates that can be used to counterfeit money so that they aren't smuggled out of Baghdad.
Hannibal meets with General Morrison and asks for permission to take part in the mission. At first, Morrison is highly against the idea because they were ordered to stay out of Baghdad. Morrison says "Good hunting, my friend" and gives Hannibal permission to take part in the mission. After leaving Morrison's tent, Hannibal and B. A. run into Brock Pike, one of the leaders of Black Forest, who teases B. A. and calls him "Barely Able".
Hannibal plans the mission to retrieve the plates and has the other A-Team members help him gather supplies. Hannibal takes some supplies from Black Forest. During the mission, Hannibal ziplines to the semi container containing the plates and helps take out enemies along the way. He helps attach the container to Murdock's helicopter and they fly to the base, successfully retrieving the plates. At the base, General Morrison dies in an explosion and Pike escapes with the plates. Hannibal attended Morrison's funeral at Arlington.
Due to General Morrison's death and all evidence being destroyed of them working under orders, Hannibal and the other A-Team members are Court-Martialed. Hannibal asks why Black Forest was not tried and it was because they are not part of the military. Hannibal plans to clear their names and find Pike and the plates, no matter what. During the trial, Hannibal attempts to take full responsibility, but Face accepts that it was also his responsibility, as well as B. A. and Murdock. They refuse to be tried separately. The A-Team is found guilty and sent to different prisons for up to 10 years, stripped of their ranks, and dishonorably discharged.
Escape from Prison
Six months later, at the Army Confinement Facility in Fort Carson, Colorado, Hannibal meets with Lynch. Hannibal tells Lynch that he knows where Pike is. Lynch shows Hannibal a photo taken a month ago of Pike with "the Arab" in Frankfurt, Germany. Hannibal asks Lynch to clear their names, give them full reinstatement, and clean their records. Hannibal tells Lynch to order a Cuban cigar infused with 5cc's of Tetrodoxin, the near-death drug. Hannibal uses it and the crematorium attendant, Gilbert, puts him in the crematorium oven (on the tag on Hannibal's foot, it says that his physician is Dr. Schultz, a reference to Dwight Schultz, who played the original Murdock). Hannibal wakes up and escapes through a hatch in the crematorium oven. Gilbert faints when he sees Hannibal.
Hannibal breaks Face out of a Federal Prison Camp in Pensacola, Florida when Face is tanning. He asks Face to help him get the A-Team back together.
In Lake Tahoe, California, Hannibal drives up next to a Ft. Sauber prison bus in a pickup truck with the license plate reading "EMRGNCY XITNOW". Hannibal attaches a grappling hook to the Emergency door and B. A. gets on it and escapes.
Hannibal sends Murdock, who is at the Army Psychiatric Hospital in Manheim, Germany, a box of 3-D glasses under the name "Annabelle Smith". They show a film titled The Greater Escape and B. A., Hannibal, and Face burst through the wall in an armored truck to rescue Murdock. The A-Team members steal an Army plane with a tank on it. Just before the plane is shot down, they make it into the tank with parachutes attached to it. They land in Lake Wolgastsee, where a German couple is fishing.
Retrieving the Stolen Plates
Hannibal plans how they are going to get the plates. He has Face tee up Sosa, both in order to save her from Lynch, but also to buy them some time.
At the Konigsbank Tower in Frankfurt, Germany, B. A. and Hannibal disguise as window cleaners. Hannibal accidentally drops the case, but B. A. manages to retrieve it. B. A. refuses to shoot Pike and Hannibal hits him with a car. The police then apprehend Pike.
Clearing Their Names
The A-Team members are in a cabin with "the Arab" held captive. Hannibal knows who stole the plates. Hannibal unmasks "the Arab" and reveals that it is General Morrison, who had faked his own death. Morrison was working to with Pike to double-cross Lynch like he did the A-Team. Hannibal asks Lynch if he knew Morrison was "the Arab". He also asks for amnesty for the team. Lynch says he needs 5 minutes. Hannibal tells Morrison to tell the authorities that they are innocent. Face asks Hannibal if he could ever betray the A-Team like Morrison did and he says "No. Not in a million years.... I'd rather face a firing squad than betray you boys. Don't let this tear us apart. Not now. Not when we need each other like no other time before."
Lynch launches an air strike on the cabin, killing Morrison. The A-Team members survive and escape. They escape on a boat and tell DCIS Agent Lieutenant Charissa Sosa that Morrison is still alive so that Lynch will believe it. This causes Lynch to have a fit, as he is wired into Sosa's phone line. Hannibal also tells Sosa that they have the plates. Hannibal requests a re-trial.
They take a plane and land on a ship. B. A. and Hannibal have a discussion about Gandhi and what is right for him. Face plans their next mission instead of Hannibal.
The A-Team gets ready to prove their innocence at the port of Los Angeles. Sosa decides to change the deal. Hannibal refuses to turn himself in. "Morrison" (which is actually Murdock hidden under a bulletproof helmet) is hidden in a shipping container. It is mixed with 2 other shipping containers that are the same color and Face uses a crane to mix them up to confuse Lynch. Lynch hears his name being called out and Hannibal fights him. Lynch shoots "Morrison" and holds one of the plates in his hand before shooting Hannibal. A crane is used to lift the shipping container, revealing Lynch.
The following morning, even though the A-Team members are found innocent, they get arrested for breaking out of prison. Sosa's boss, Director McCready, tells her that they will be delivered to the U.S. Marshals in Long Beach. Sosa apologizes to Face and kisses him, smuggling a key into his mouth. In the armored prison truck, Face reveals the key in his mouth and quotes Hannibal's catch phrase, "I love it when a plan comes together." The A-Team members manage to escape.
Hannibal: Give me a minute, I'm good. Give me an hour, I'm great. Give me six months, I'm unbeatable. (The A-Team (2010 film))
- The A-Team German movie poster. (See gallery above.) Translated into English via Google Translate.
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- The A-Team (Film). 11 June 2010. 20th Century Fox. Motion Picture.