Dateline: Summer 1983…
An 11 year old boy sits in his room writing feverishly, his mind is racing and he is pouring his heart and soul into the pencil and paper on his floor. Ideas and designs fill his imagination and fill the paper. He runs downstairs puts the papers into an envelope and mails the letter off to HASBRO and waits. A few short weeks later he gets a very nice rejection letter from HASBRO and a word of advice, you should get a patent on your ideas before you send them out, but we appreciate you taking the time to write to us.
Dateline: 1984 Storm Shadow emerges as the newest Cobra agent.
The boy clings to his rejection letter, looking through his drawings and ideas and cursing himself for not getting a patent on his idea for his ninja warrior.
That boy was me, and before you get into a fluster I’m not accusing HASBRO of anything, my story is probably like a lot of little boys stories in the year 1984. G.I. Joe, Transformers, He-Man and M.A.S.K. consumed my free time and my life. Well we’ve had two miserable Transformer movies, a Dolph Lungren led He-Man travesty and I think I’m like one of 14 people who actually remembers M.A.S.K. so the only thing left of my youth to destroy was G.I. Joe which brings me to my viewing yesterday.
Ladies and Gentleman I present to you G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra.
I’m sure I’m probably going to be all alone in my praise of this movie. I’m all alone in my praise of a lot of bad movies, but this movie is one of the those movies that I’ve been waiting to see for most of my life. Since I used to play with the G.I. Joe toys as a child. So let’s see what do you need to know about the movie. Not a whole lot. It’s a movie about a global agency that defeats terrorists groups around the world, that no one knows about and no government actually recognizes. You’ve been down this road before right? Right. What you get next is 2 hours of non-stop action, puny one-liners and a child’s vision of toys come to life. I’m not gonna sugar coat this folks, this film isn’t for critics, it isn’t for the people that want a nice clean story, it isn’t for people who want to think about the characters after the run time ends. No folks, this movie is one giant toy commercial.
A lot of things really worked in this, first Stephen Sommers did a good job with the back stories on most of the characters. Storm Shadow and Snake Eyes were done correctly. Scarlett was done right (the only thing they screwed up here was the chemistry between Duke and Scarlett and that may have been from my own made up G.I. Joe universe and not the comics or the cartoon). Duke and Ripcord’s backgrounds were a little screwed up and The Baroness had to have had the most screwed up back story. I could forgive the back stories on Destro and Cobra Commander cause honestly they were never really fleshed out before. You know what I thought was cool too? They worked in the leader of the Dread-naughts which was a piece of the G.I. Joe puzzle that comes in a lot later in the toys and cartoon. I wanted to see more of Zartan but heck just a glimpse of him was enough. Really folks this was just one giant battle with hi-tech weapons from beginning to end. They tried their best at character development and getting you to care for the Joe’s apart from the fact that they are just the good guys doing their job.
I thought most of the effects worked, although I’m still having troubles with the explosions under the water but that means I would have trouble with like 98% of movies that happen underneath the oceans surface, disbelief suspended. I’m sure the DVD will come out with a director’s cut. Reason being? This movie is ultra violent. I mean tons and tons of violence. More than one person looses their head in this, and I mean literally. I’m sure the unrated director’s cut will put all the gore that’s been excised from this cut to make it PG-13. Believe me when I tell you that if you’re thinking about taking a smaller child to this, I’d think twice about it. 13 is probably my cap on this one for the youngins. Honestly there was a ton of violence, a ton of it.
So you’re probably asking yourself about now is the fan boy ever gonna shut his trap and talk about what didn’t work? Well yeah I guess I better huh? So what didn’t work? First off not all of the CGI looked great, there were a couple of shots that didn’t impress me and looked a little too computer graphicy. But I can forgive those few. The dialog was at times something not to be proud of. But what do you expect, this isn’t Citizen Kane here folks, there is no Rosebud hiding around the corner. I’m not a huge fan of the Duke character in this. I thought Channing Tatum is a bit too young to play a seasoned war hero like Duke is suppose to be. I also didn’t enjoy how they changed up the relationship with the Baroness and Duke. I thought they were reaching for things there. I did like how they built up Cobra Commander (honestly I waited the whole movie to figure it out and when I finally did it paid off well). There were also a couple of moments of groan worthy-ness when they tried to insert an old saying from the cartoon. Heavy Duty’s “Yo Joe” springs to mind.
So as a whole, I really really enjoyed G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra and I hope it makes enough money to warrant a sequel. I want to see more Joe vs. Cobra action. I want to see more of Cobra Commander and I want to see Snake Eyes in action some more. So bravo Stephen Sommers, you did me proud this time around, you did me proud.
4 out of 5 Stars (I’m sure I’m the only one too)
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This post was written by Gabe Wilkinson on August 10, 2009