ARROW IN THE HEAD REVIEWS

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GI Joe (2009)
Written by: The Arrow
Director: Stephen Sommers

Starring:
Christopher Eccleston/Destro
Sienna Miller/Baroness
Channing Tatum/Duke
Dennis Quaid/General Hawk
PLOT-CRUNCH
Destro (Christopher Eccleston) is in a “take over the world” kind of mood these days and he and Cobra Commander (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) in training got shit cooking. On its end, top secret military unit GI JOE is ready, willing and able to put its army boots all up in that baddie ass. YO JOE!
THE LOWDOWN

When I'm finished, this world will never forget it. - Destro

When I was a runt kid, running home after school to catch GI JOE and THE TRANSFORMERS on TV was a daily routine. Playing with the toys, reading the comic books and jacking off to the porn mags I had found in an alley were also big parts of my so called young life. So it’s kind of cool that now as an immature adult, my childhood gems are being revisited because Hollywood is out of fresh ideas. Michael Bay did TRANSFORMERS right once and then took a big shite on it with its sequel and GI JOE has gotten mucho love via the outstanding mature cartoon GI JOE RESOLUTE and now GI JOE the live action film. Did the latter live up to my expectations (oh yeah, I walked in there with high hopes meng). It pretty much did!

GI JOE had me grinning the moment its first eye popping and uber badass action scene kicked in. The tone, vibe and M.O. were set and I knew what I was in for: GI JOE the cartoon but as a movie and with a bit more bite to it at that. HEY! ALL GOOD! Although liberties were taken in terms of the characters, their roots and their looks; I felt enough Scarlett in Scarlett, enough Duke in Duke, Destro in Destro etc. to be all GI JOEd up! It also helped that the casting was top notch (can't go wrong with Christopher Eccleston, Arnold Voosloo and Rachel Nichols) and that most of the actors had fun with their roles hence coming through for me (Shit even Marlon Wayan wound up being endearing and non-grating…who knew?). I was enjoying the company I was keeping! With that spat; Sienna Miller as the Baroness was hands down my fav of the lot. She put out a sexy bad-girl and loving it show while retaining a sympathetic aura. Having seen Miss Miller in other films before; I wouldn’t have thought her as an ideal choice to play Baroness, but now – I can’t think of anybody else tackling the part.

Another plus here was the pacing of the whole, which was effortless to say the least. Think a two hour assault on the senses! Wow action scene on top of wow action scenes backed up by zany camera shots and an engaging score. Props to Sommers for the way he executed his physical get-downs. I could actually “see” what was going on here! How refreshing! And talk about nutty action bits man. Some of them challenged Michael Bay in the destruction quota. Case in point: the chase sequence in Paris that combined accelerator suits (cool idea, not sure why everybody got their panties in a bunch over it), a truck with a ram as a front bumper, Snake Eyes hanging from that said truck, Scarlett on a motorcycle and countless cars being chucked around left and right. To say it was a mayhem fetishist’s (like me) wet dream was an understatement. F*CK YEAH! Add to all that loving some cute references to the GI JOE cartoon (knowing is half the battle...lol), all kinds of slick and pimped up deadly vehicles/gadgets, some nifty hand to hand fights courtesy of Snake Eyes (Ray Park) and Storm Shadow (Byung-hun Lee…who is this dude? He owns!), a handful of pretty good ideas (dug the nano stuff) and CGI that worked at least half the time and you get fun times for the whole family.

On the downside; this one won’t win any screenplay awards anytime soon. The plot had the depth of say... a GI JOE cartoon episode (I didn't crave much more than that to be honest) and the narrative's knack of halting the action for character/exposition flashbacks annoyed the shite out of me. Also, it’s a SMALL WORLD indeed in this GI JOE land because so many people had connections to each other, that it became silly. The "thing" with Duke and Baroness would have sufficed. And what was up with the “why” behind Storm Shadow's and Snake Eyes' animosity? Pretty damn weak if ya ask me and my sock puppet. See GI JOE RESOLUTE for a much more ambitious and fleshed out reason behind their mutual hatred of each other.

Moreover; although I dug the origin they gave Cobra Commander and the overall approach to the role - his costumes were weak tit. The token CC hood or glass face helmet better show up in Part 2 or heads are gonna roll! And finally was it me or were Dennis Quaid and Channing Tatum on and off with their performances? Quaid sounded like he didn’t know what film he was in and Tatum made Mark Whalberg look like a “lively” actor. That’s not to say that I didn’t dig both dudes in the film – but something was off with them.

Let’s take an elevator down to the Pit and explore this sucker further. YO JOE!
GORE
The film was much more brutal than I thought it would be. We get some stabbings (some in eye sockets – nice), a blown up head, a decomposing body, a burned up head and more!
T & A
Baroness cleavage and skin tight outfit? Check! Scarlet cleavage and skin tight outfit? Check! Arrow happy? Check! If Part 2 brings Lady J into the mix, consider my childhood fantasy complete!

The ladies Duke and Ripcord dropping their tops and showing off them 6-packs like dime store whores.
BOTTOM LINE
GI JOE THE RISE OF COBRA wound up being an easy, slick looking, quick clipped, mucho entertaining and destruction heavy 2 hour break from reality. Flick hit my spot hardcore while having me flashback to simpler days i.e. my childhood. Yup high IQ wasn't in this one's bag of tricks, some of the acting was weak (shame on ya Quaid) and the CGI went from great to video game overload – but at least unlike TRANSFORMERS 2 this one knew what it was and that it had no plot... and it didn’t pretend to have one. It just aimed to please, machine gunning the goods my way non stop with no apologies - the result was me having a BLAST AND HALF in that theater seat. Bring on GI JOE PART 2 – I’m there with ear necklaces on! YO JOE!
BULL'S EYE
Baroness' "Real American heroes... " lines was sadly not in the film.

Cobra Commander does NOT let out his token "COBRAAAAA!" war cry in the film - but he does in the video game which acts as a sequel to the film.

Channing Tatum didn't want to act in this film at first because he felt it glorified war. Okay...

VISIT THE OFFICIAL GI JOE SITE HERE

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7:38AM on 03/26/2010

Couldn't agree more

The films is by no means a masterpiece. Just brainless entertainment with great action set-pieces, campy and fun feel, full of ideas and some ok jokes. Yeah, you can judge it as trash. But at least it's trash I had a great time with ( unlike with Tranformers : shit sequel).
The films is by no means a masterpiece. Just brainless entertainment with great action set-pieces, campy and fun feel, full of ideas and some ok jokes. Yeah, you can judge it as trash. But at least it's trash I had a great time with ( unlike with Tranformers : shit sequel).
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5:14PM on 11/07/2009
All kinds of fun. Effortlessly paced and fun.
All kinds of fun. Effortlessly paced and fun.
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+0
5:48PM on 10/19/2009

Poor.

I have no problem with popcorn movies which don't require or encourage me to think, but simply aim to entertain. But I need more to entertain me than simply stuff blowing up. I want interesting or likeable characters, played by charismatic actors, driving a well-plotted and reasonably interesting story. GI Joe had a couple of decent actors, and none of the rest.

Inverse snobbery is not a defense; I never asked or expected GI Joe to be Citizen Kane. Well-made unpretentious mainstream
I have no problem with popcorn movies which don't require or encourage me to think, but simply aim to entertain. But I need more to entertain me than simply stuff blowing up. I want interesting or likeable characters, played by charismatic actors, driving a well-plotted and reasonably interesting story. GI Joe had a couple of decent actors, and none of the rest.

Inverse snobbery is not a defense; I never asked or expected GI Joe to be Citizen Kane. Well-made unpretentious mainstream action/adventure blockbusters rule. Bad films do not. This unfortunately is the latter.

Oh, and Channing Tatum's presence in a film automatically makes it at least 50% worse. Maybe he just hasn't found the right role yet... I suspect he hasn't found the right profession.
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8:50PM on 08/31/2009
This was a pure fun popcorn flick with some amazing action scenes but that suffered from a weak script and lackluster acting especially from Channing Tatum. I thought that it had some intriguing backstory to some of the characters and two strong female leads that definitely standed out more than the guys when it came to performances. This was fast paced from the start and it just put a smile on my face and brought the inner child out of me but it was also very cartoonish and silly in alot of
This was a pure fun popcorn flick with some amazing action scenes but that suffered from a weak script and lackluster acting especially from Channing Tatum. I thought that it had some intriguing backstory to some of the characters and two strong female leads that definitely standed out more than the guys when it came to performances. This was fast paced from the start and it just put a smile on my face and brought the inner child out of me but it was also very cartoonish and silly in alot of ways. This is definitely not the best action/adventure of the summer but it's way more entertaining than the recent X-Men Orgins: Wolverine but it's also somewhat of a let down because it shows all of the best parts in the previews, so it left you wanting more. Overall this was a pretty decent start to a potential franchise that might be a whole lot of fun, just leave your brain at the door, sit down and enjoy the ride for what it is. Check it out!
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2:31PM on 08/25/2009

I second gemini0577

Loved the movie too.. and I was also wondering why no "Acting" box. I love how you break down who was on the ball and who sucked.. bring it back please :)
Loved the movie too.. and I was also wondering why no "Acting" box. I love how you break down who was on the ball and who sucked.. bring it back please :)
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9:36PM on 08/21/2009
loved the movie. It was entertaining... and that's all!

on an unrelated side note: why don't you do the "Acting" box where you break down how the acting was anymore. That has always been one of the first things I scan before reading your reviews... :(
loved the movie. It was entertaining... and that's all!

on an unrelated side note: why don't you do the "Acting" box where you break down how the acting was anymore. That has always been one of the first things I scan before reading your reviews... :(
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10:12AM on 08/16/2009
Your a man who just knows. On the same terms here. For the time being I enjoy these kind of flicks. All I want is some attempt to develop these characters, the heroes and villains. Action is too hard to impress these days I and many others, we've seen everything in this world blown the fuck up, buildings, cars, pets, everything that could possibly be destroyed we've already seen it so why would I want JOE? There was an effort to make likable heroes and kick ass talkin, sick villains. Regardless
Your a man who just knows. On the same terms here. For the time being I enjoy these kind of flicks. All I want is some attempt to develop these characters, the heroes and villains. Action is too hard to impress these days I and many others, we've seen everything in this world blown the fuck up, buildings, cars, pets, everything that could possibly be destroyed we've already seen it so why would I want JOE? There was an effort to make likable heroes and kick ass talkin, sick villains. Regardless of their adaptation to the screen I think they nailed it right. A little too much action is about my only real complaint, it's near top notch B level stuff.
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+0
10:17PM on 08/13/2009

Meh

There are Bad Movies that you hate, Bad Movies that are so bad they're good, and then there are Bad Movies that are neither, they're just bland and forgettable, G.I. Joe fits in the last category.
There are Bad Movies that you hate, Bad Movies that are so bad they're good, and then there are Bad Movies that are neither, they're just bland and forgettable, G.I. Joe fits in the last category.
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9:35PM on 08/10/2009

Cool fun !

This review resumes pretty much how I felt about the movie. It's just cool fun and eye candy !
This review resumes pretty much how I felt about the movie. It's just cool fun and eye candy !
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8:27PM on 08/10/2009

Movie was shit.

Total trash.
Total trash.
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6:59PM on 08/10/2009
Great review dude, the film was enjoyable and it shit all over TF2! Nice to see a mostly positive review, good stuff.
Great review dude, the film was enjoyable and it shit all over TF2! Nice to see a mostly positive review, good stuff.
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6:38PM on 08/10/2009

Good review Arrow!

I am sick of all the haters bashing this flick because it is not The Godfather or Citizen Kane. I was a hugh Joe fan as a kid, and this made me feel like a kid again.

Even though I completely disagree with your Transformers 2 review, sure it was dumb, but I still liked it. Only real issue with it was that it was too long.
I am sick of all the haters bashing this flick because it is not The Godfather or Citizen Kane. I was a hugh Joe fan as a kid, and this made me feel like a kid again.

Even though I completely disagree with your Transformers 2 review, sure it was dumb, but I still liked it. Only real issue with it was that it was too long.
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