Monday, August 24, 2009

GI Joe - The Rise of Cobra

I saw GI Joe last week with Cody but I haven't been able to get up the strength to write about what exactly we saw last Thursday night. It had GI Joe in the title which made me think that it would be a movie about a Real AMERICAN Hero or Heroes. How completely and totally wrong we were. I had no expectations that this would be good. I read a few of the early reviews that claimed the film wasn't great but not as bad as expected. Although if you check Rotten Tomatoes it's at 37%. The chorus sounded the same. "Dumb fun with explosions." "No character development but fun, it felt like I was playing in my backyard." I wanted so much to enjoy it, mostly because of the GI Joe toys I played with in my backyard, and of course the cartoon. I'll sum it up in this way- I knew I was walking into a shit storm seeing this movie. But little did I know that the ruthless terrorist organization determined to rule the world wasn't Cobra. It was Stephen "Van Helsing" Sommers. On behalf of Cody and myself I wanted to thank you, Steve, for officially taking our childhood and flushing it down the toilet.GI Joe begins with Duke (Channing Tatum) and Ripcord (Marlon Wayans) who are tasked with protecting a new deadly weapon. Of course certain criminal elements, the Baroness and her Cobra Goon squad, are interested in the weapon and decide to try to take it by force. Our duo is then saved by a secret International organization called GI Joe (GI Joe is a generic term for US soldier). How could they be an international team and still be called GI Joe I can't understand that logic? It just didn't feel very American. Especially those stupid accelerator suits. Terrible, they looked like Captain Power or something silly like that. So for the rest of the movie the two teams GI Joe and Cobra fight for control of the nano weapons until it ends with a big bang at the underwater Lair. Evil?I wish I could say that was all the damage that they did but--ugh, where to begin. We get an unnecessary back story for Destro (Christopher Eccleston) and his clan McCullen as dirty rotten arms traders. Could be interesting I guess but really it just makes Destro predictable and boring. In the cartoon he's an arms trader but there is something mysterious about him-why does he wear that crazy mask, how did he get so bad ass? Like Wolverine, he becomes a pussy when you know too much. It is unfortunate to have to report this but yes Destro is not scary in the least in this film and that is a crime. Then we get to his partner in crime his lady love the bad ass evil, yet sexy, Baroness. She was very sexy and she seemed to be pretty bad until she wasn't and then there was that American accent. Yes I said it, the Baroness, (Sienna Miller) was an American. You may be saying, it's a movie adaptation, they just took a little detour.
(SPOILER WARNING!!!) How about this one for going off the rails, so it turns out the Baroness isn't bad at all, she's being controlled by nano-whatevers in her brain. And to top it all off she and Duke have something going on. What? But she's supposed to be manically evil and in love with Destro. How can she be with Duke, he's supposed to be with Scarlett? WTF is going on here? To make matters worse Scarlett has a strange love triangle with Snake Eyes and--Ripcord? This was just awful, it made no sense and it certainly didn't add to the story. Not to mention that Marlon Wayons was probably the worst part of this entire movie. After the first five minutes I wanted someone from Cobra to end him. This guy is supposed to be a comedian or something, every joke he put out there, almost every word period was just plain awful--he was so miscast. As were many of the Joes. Personally I thought Channing Tatum was ok, but just not as Duke. Dusty, for all of you Joe fans out there--Channing Tatum could have definitely been Dusty. Other than Mr. Tatum, everyone else was just terrible. Especially, Dennis Quaid as General Hawk. He was the one ray of hope for me in this movie. I thought of anyone he would have made a great Joe. He was cashing a paycheck for sure. He seemed stiff like he was trying to pass a damn stone the whole movie. Cobra Commander (Joseph Gordon Levitt) was a joke. They tried to make him dark and mysterious but he was just as goofy as the cartoon version. His mask was terrible too all they had to do was put him in a simple hood, but no that was too difficult. They made some weird clear mask that just looked like crap. The dialogue was probably some of the worst I've heard in a big Summer movie like this. It makes Transformers II sound like Shakespeare. If I were Stephen Sommers I would start packing my bags, because if you can make a Michael Bay movie look like an Oscar contender then you have some serious problems with your craft.Now there were a few bright spots, they are not always easy to find but they are there. Ray Park's Snake Eyes was fun to watch and I wish that we were able to see more of his kick ass sword fighting skills. Storm Shadow (Byung-hun Lee) also was fun to watch. I will admit that most of the action pieces were enjoyable but I just didn't give a shit about the participants. Even though he was too old I did like what they did with Zartan (Arnold Vosloo) and his Chameleon like abilities. Overall the film was just too stupid to take any real joy from it. The dialogue was the worst--it wasn't just that it was silly it was bad, like Uwe Boll bad. Whoever wrote this thing should take the same bus out as Mr. Sommers. If you feel you must see this giant flaming turd--go with a warning. It is not what you remember from your childhood. If you want to watch GI Joe in all it's American glory with the American Flag flying high go and watch the cartoon GI Joe Movie, trust me it will make you smile.
Grade 1 1/2 Buckets

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