All right, all right I can admit when I’m wrong. When the G.I Joe live action movie was announced I was excited, but then the trailer came out and it looked like a total disaster. It came up in every conversation I had with my legion of nerds (I’m trying out new things to call my cabal of friends) and we all laughed and cringed at how bad the movie looked. There was talk of seeing it just to see the car crash that we all knew was coming, I even read the awful comic book adaptation…even though I admit I skimmed through it because the story was pretty brutal. So when I settled down to watch the movie I was excited to see how bad the movie was, but surprise at the end of the movie I didn’t hate it or think it was the worst thing ever created.
I will also gladly admit that as a kid and today I LOVE action movies. As a kid I also loved G.I Joe, even more than Ninja Turtles and Transformers for a time(never Ghostbusters, I wasn’t crazy). I spent most of my time as a kid playing with my G.I Joe toys and imagining my own “epic” movies and that’s kinda what I got from the movie. Now while I say that, the movie isn’t the G.I Joe movie I dreamed of all those years ago. I got that movie in the animated one, that movie is one of the biggest influences in the way I judge and enjoy action movies.
G.I. Joe:Rise of Cobra is effectively a live action play session that I used to have as a kid, complete with amateurish story structure/dialogue/creativity. This movie’s not made for adults, simple and plain. The movie doesn’t have or play by it’s own rules. There’s a certain rule with movies or just any work of fiction, to get a good story you have to play by the rules of the world your story is in. In the movie Duke and Ripcord use battle suits, which help them run after and keep up with a hummer. That being said the movie proceeds to invalidate the need for the suits, when Snake Eyes catches the hummer…on foot. Later still Storm Shadow out runs Ripcord on foot, after being inside a car that for some reason Duke shot a rocket at and it only blew up the back of the car not igniting the gas tank that is in the half of the car that blows up. The movie constantly breaks and invalidates rules they set up through character dialogue and actions.
I also couldn’t get who’s point of view the movie was trying to show because at first I thought it was just a Duke centric movie because they shove in a old relationship with the Baroness that is pretty weak but adds more to the dynamic than just Cobra bad, Joe good. Then all of a sudden we switch, for a few seconds to a Snake eyes centric movie with more flashbacks. The other characters get kinda short changed in that we learn about them in dialogue, no flashbacks…thank god. Even there we only get to learn the bare minimum about Scarlett and Ripcord, not enough to really warrant the time they’re given. At least they get time, because the other joes, all two of them get nothing at all. For a movie about G.I. Joe it was basically about Duke and Snake Eyes who just happen to know people in Cobra.
I’m not even going to get into the awful design and execution of Cobra Commander, he used to be one of my favorite villains but they made him Dr. Mindbender for most of the movie and then gave him a mask that looked like the fake heart from CRANK 2: HIGH VOLTAGE. Zartan was also pretty crappy in every scene. I know it sounds like I hated it, but I had fun. It’s dumb, loud and the CG looks awful but the movies still better than Van Helsing and a few other action movies I’ve seen this year so far. Sometimes I need a break from heavy dramas and need some really, really dumb escapist action.