G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra
My Grade: C+
Rated PG-13 for PG-13: strong sequences of action violence and mayhem throughout.
This was a movie I was convinced was going to be terrible. Posts and threads I've started since first seeing the trailers for this movie made it look like absolute shit on the likes of the "Street Fighter" series.
Well, I was wrong.
In the not to distant future there was some guys named Joe, not to different than you and me. They worked for a secret ultra-elite branch of international soldiers. They did a good job cleaning up the world, but their enemies didn't like them so they shot their supporters some deadly missiles that can dissolve entire cities. "I'll force them to play out cheesy action scenes, the most contrived we can put together. They'll be forced to fight us will I smile and grin from my secret underwater base." Now, you must keep in mind that the Joes can't control where their missions begin and end, as there's no apparent rigidity -or acknowledgment- of their existence. So much so that when they save a city they end up arrested and asked never to come back.
General Hawk: Played by Denis "I'm Awesome" Quaid. 'Nuff said.
Duke: Interesting enough character. Generic soldier.
Ripcord: More or less plays "Token" but interesting enough character.
Scarlet: Played by a red-haired Rachel Nichols. "Nuff said.
Snake Eyes: Probably the best character of the "Joes."
The Baroness: Leathery, evil chick.
Cobra Commander: Well pulled off.
Now you might be wondering how the Joes pull off their stunts. Well they have these suits in one scene that turn them into CGI Spider-men who can do whatever they want. But just repeat to yourself that it's just a show and that you just relax. For GI Joe.
(And yes, I did this strained joke from an opening title-card that sends us into the main bulk of the story as being "In the not too distant future...")
The aim of the movie is mostly action and group-dynamics on the levels of the first-two X-men movies and maybe a poor Bondian movie. The plot is thin where they pretty much have to get back a destructive weapon that can devour entire cities that the manufacturer of has stolen back from NATO in order to use it against major cities in order to generate more need for their weapons.
It's convoluted, yes. This movie has plot holes in it you can drive a tank through. Like that the NATO-like alliance so easily accepts and welcomes a weapon that can devour entire cities and can only be presumably stopped with the press of a button. Right. Considering how civilized nations right now feel about using nukes I doubt they accept so warmly a weapon like this. But whatever. It's inspired by a cartoon and action figures.
There's also an action scene earlier in the movie where the Cobra team breaks into the headquarters for the GI Joes built under an Egyptian desert. Instead of this secret compound being lined with some-kind-of near-indestructible metal it's simply lined by rock so the Cobras can just drill right into it. And when they do and start killing guards and firing off weapons no alarms go off and they manage to walk right into the commander's office. This is in a compound presumably staffed by the very best of the world's millitaries.
Thankfully the "Accelerator Suits" that are featured in the trailer only play a role in one action sequence but it still looks dumb, is too much of a gimmick and they (along with the "stunts" they allow our heroes to do) just look silly.
The movie is also intercut with some "flashbacks" between of events that occurred between Duke and The Baroness (apparently they were engaged years ago but failures on Duke's part caused them to drift apart) and some of the best flashbacks are Snake Eyes' and Storm Shadow's who're adoptive rival "brothers."
Duke's and The Baroness' flashbacks are tedious and boring, Snakes' and Storm's are pretty decent.
Overall the movie is decent Summer entertainment, the action scenes are pretty good, though the story is thin and the acting a performances forgettable. There's not much that's stunning about this movie, the CGI/effects look like they were done 10 years ago in a high-school computer-art class, but there's nothing terrible about it either.
It's decent escapist entertainment and it doesn't rape your skull with numbing action for an hour like some other
Summer-action movies did.
I wouldn't rush out to see this, but I probably won't skip it either if you're even a mild fan of GI Joe or this kind of entertainment. Maybe worth a matinee viewing or at least a DVD rental.