I recently watched the new A-Team. There was one strikingly bizarre shot that movie. Something I’ve never seen executed that bluntly.

A-Team Frankfurt


If you aren’t aware of the problem: the movie is supposed to take place in Germany, especially in Frankfurt. This shot is supposed to show an areal shot of the Frankfurt train station. It clearly shows a shot of Cologne instead. How do I know? Because of the ginormous Cologne Cathedral RIGHT NEXT TO IT!

To give you some more context. The Cologne Cathedral is the very symbol that city. It is an official World Heritage Site of the UNECSO. Building high rise buildings in the city is actually forbidden by city authorities in order to retain the Cathedral’s prominent status. The fact that the train station is right next to it is deliberate as well as extremely unique. It’s an overwhelming experience to arrive at Cologne and being greeted by the breathtaking image of the cathedral. The Cologne cathedral is one of the most iconic and best-known architectural monuments in Germany. It’s Cologne’s Eiffel Tower, Space Needle, Emipre State Building, Tower Bridge – you name it.

And this is just the tip of the iceberg. The movie is full of the most horrible blunders and mistakes. This article lists some of them. The buses on the streets are the wrong type and wrong color. The taxis are wrong. The license plates are from a different city. They even got Germany’s emergency number wrong (911 is 110 in Germany. In A-Team it’s 109). Some of the supposedly German policemen are actually speaking Norwegian. One of the main characters is brought to a U.S. Embassy in Frankfurt that simply doesn’t exist.

And those are just factual mistakes. One scene shows an old German geezer dynamite fishing. It’s not factually wrong but it’s unheard of and highly unlikely in Germany. Explosives are extremely controlled here and there are practically no secluded, uncontrolled waters. The only instances where I heard from such practices are U.S. TV Series and Movies.

But you know what? I would accept all of this. It’s a Hollywood movie and clearly they weren’t able to shoot in Frankfurt. At least they made an attempt to make the shots appear somewhat German. But that areal image of Cologne being sold as Frankfurt is where I draw the line. It’s stupid, careless, lazy and simply insulting. The filmmakers should have known that people would be able to instantly identify the iconic Cologne Cathedral on that shot. They clearly had areal footage of Frankfurt. Frankfurt actually has a much larger train station than Cologne. In the end, the movie isn’t significantly improved by that shot so there was no reason to misrepresent Frankfurt to such an extent.

And it’s not like the movie has redeeming qualities either. It’s a very weak attempt at monetizing on an old franchise. The characters have hardly anything in common with the team that made the original so successful. Face was busy showing off his pecs rather than being a smooth-talker, Hannibal wasn’t cocky, Murdock was neither crazy nor funny and BA was simply a pansy. Any attempts to inject some half-assed messages failed horribly. Hannibal talks about “fighting for the right thing” or something along the lines but their mission is to recover stolen stupid plates for printing money? How is that supposed to be something worth fighting for?! I remember the original A-Team was always helping innocent individuals in need. It was shallow but at least emotionally and morally unambiguous.

Here is what sums up how bad that movie was. After seeing Jessica Biel in that movie I found myself looking back more fondly on Stealth. Nuff said.

Krystian Majewski

Krystian Majewski was born in Warsaw and studied design at Köln International School of Design. Before, he was working on a mid-size console project for NEON Studios in Frankfurt. He helped establish a Master course in Game Design and Research at the Cologne Game Lab. Today he teaches Game Design at various institutions and develops independent games.

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The Game Design Scrapbook is a second blog of group of three game designers from Germany. On our first blog, Game Design Reviews we describe some games we played and point out various interesting details. Unfortunately, we found out that we also need some place to collect quick and dirty ideas that pop into our minds. Hence, welcome to Game Design Scrapbook. You will encounter wild, random rantings. Many of then incoherent. Some of them maybe even in German. If you don't like it, you might enjoy Game Design Reviews more.


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