Well, at least it delivers what it promises.
It wasn't screened in advance for major critics. Not that I can judge the film (which I haven't seen, and may not see at all, period), but I can't say I'm too surprised by the studio's decision there.
That's not a good sign. Once in a while it just means the studio is completely clueless as to what kind of movie they have (Tombstone), but almost always we're talking about Snakes on a Plane, Disaster Movie, Saw XVIII, Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li and BloodRayne. Even a bad review lets people know about the movie.
True. Bad reviews certainly didn't hurt Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
, but that film had the advantage of being a sequel to a movie that was (apparently) enjoyed by a large number of people. G.I. Joe
doesn't have that going for it, and perhaps the studio feels it's not as "critic-proof" as other films might be, hence this decision, which may speak volumes about their faith in the final product. Perhaps they got a little worried after observing the largely negative reactions to the trailers (which, personally, didn't impress me at all).
It should be noted, though, that advance screenings for G.I. Joe
are still occurring -- the press just hasn't been invited to them. It seems the studios are hoping that the word-of-mouth generated by fanboys/amateur critics will be kinder than the reviews from professional critics and help give the film a boost. So far, it seems that approach may actually be working, as a number of the early, online reviews have suggested that the film is not a disaster but rather a fairly solid and fun action flick. I somehow doubt most of the major critics will agree, but I guess we'll find out eventually.
Whatever happens, I'll be very interested to see how this movie fares at the box office.