Review: GI Joe
PLOT: In order to protect a very large population from a deadly weapon that will cause a whole lot of havoc, an elite group of military men and women band together to fight for… well, people not dying. When they recruit two men by the name of Duke and Ripcord, they find that one of these fellows has an intimate knowledge of the hottie/baddie Baroness who is out to procure the parasitic missile thingy. Will the hottie be able to create a nasty situation for millions of people by making doe eye’s at Duke? Or will G.I. Joe save the day from these troublemakers? And will the audience have fun along the way?
I suppose how you feel about G.I. JOE: THE RISE OF COBRA may depend on your own personal memories. Back in the day, did you get your Joes and get into hand to hand combat in a sandlot? Did you have one of them get captured by the evil “Cobra” and have the rest of the team try and rescue them with a ton of sound effects that you personally added? Or, did you take them way beyond the whole “American Hero” title and have them face impossible odds and huge ass explosions by flying in funny suits? If the last one fits you, then you may really appreciate what director Stephen Sommers offers up in what could be the biggest, loudest, dumbest flick this year. But it also happens to be an absolutely action packed bit of crazy fun that’ll be worth at least a bargain matinee.
I’ll be honest, I don’t have the best track record with Mr. Sommers. I have not been a fan of any of the films in THE MUMMY series at all. Although I did have a little enjoyment when Brendan Fraser shows up in G.I. Joe for a cameo. But his films always felt sort of cold and just kind of bland to me, aside from DEEP RISING. But with this new flick based on a toy, his style seemed right at home, but it also has some of the same problems that The Mummy had. Of course I’m talking an overdose of CGI and hammy dialogue and acting. But again, this is based on a toy, if you expect more than that you are going to see the wrong film. The Mummy however, was based on a classic Universal horror monster movie that stands the test of time. So truthfully, I was able to forgive much of what I couldn’t with his earlier work. After all, even the characters names are so over the top that you surely can’t expect deep art with Snake Eyes, Mindbender, Destro or Storm Shadow. With names like that, you should just be able to have one hell of a good time… I did.
The story focuses on two hotshot army guys, Duke (Channing Tatum) and Ripcord (Marlon Wayans). They are hired to protect some really super bad weapon along with a bunch of fodder. Guess what? A group of bad guys led by a smoking hot chick named Anna (Sienna Miller) show up and bring the fireworks. But apparently, these baddies weren’t the only ones watching the shite hit the fan as another group shows up to fight off Anna and her mates. Sound confusing? Nope. Not at all. It is just big, explosive action mixed with a flashback here and there to let you know each characters past. Now this weapon that everybody and their Joe wants is pretty devastating, and sort of creepy, and of course it will be a tough battle for the heroes to fight. The cast is game, although there is not really an actor that stands out here and demands your attention. I personally felt that it could’ve used a little bit of Shia LaBeouf and Megan Fox type of personality to give it a little bit of energy because Tatum and Miller didn’t have it.
In the end, you could pick apart this movie and hack off points for the dialogue and all the implausibility of the story. You could also attack it for being a little too superhero-ish, as I don’t remember my G.I. Joe’s having some of these powers just by putting on a billion dollar suit. But the fact is, this is an entertaining popcorn flick that knows exactly how to shake things up. It’s almost a cross between TOP GUN, STARSHIP TROOPERS and MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE. The action is the star, along with big guns and bigger explosions. This is a no-brainer, if you don’t mind your memories of G.I. Joe pumped up a notch and loaded with goofiness, you’re going to have a great time. And aside from some good performances from Dennis Quaid, Christopher Eccleston and Joseph Gordon-Levitt the cast is workable, nothing great, but they are fine where they are. Hell, I’m guessing once this bad boy comes on DVD, I’ll be having a popcorn night with the family and breaking out the toys. Yep, I said it… G.I. Joe may not be a great movie, but it sure is a hoot and a half, just make sure to find that inner child in you that still likes to play pretend. GO JOE! My rating 7/10 -- JimmyO
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