G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra Reviews
Then whilst living in the US of A at a tender age of around 8 years old, I came across the G.I.Joe cartoon, I was hooked. Now I will admit up front I don't really recall any of the stories behind the franchise/characters, I only liked it for the cool action, cool vehicles and of course cool looking characters (bit like 'M.A.S.K.'). I might also add I believe this was the first and possibly only cartoon that dealt with terrorists? the good guys actually battling a force that isn't shy about letting themselves be known as terrorists, don't think that would happen anytime nowadays.
On to the film...hmmm tricky, very tricky. I was highly dubious when this was announced, even more so when it came out, the levels of CGI in this film was mind blowing. The story basically sets up a few characters on both the good side and bad and takes us through how 'Cobra Commander' comes to power. Sommers decided to only use a handful of the massive roster of characters which was probably a good choice but one wonders if a few more could have been stuck in there, the ones with cool outfits perhaps.
I liked how they kinda went about this as a prequel of sorts, setting up how the bad guys come to be, it also sets up the obvious sequel and seeing the main bad guys in full swing. The story was handled quite well I thought, like I say I don't really know the backgrounds to these people but after some research and watching the film it all fit together well, some changes aside *ahem*.
I liked how the main two villains ('Commander' and 'Destro') have their stories told and we see how they become their more famous personas. I liked the small flashbacks that gave us clues about various other characters and their backgrounds, and in all fairness I thought the characters looked pretty neat too. Sure they all looked like rehashed characters from other sci-fi/action films, nothing really original, but they looked solid, believable and realistic, not campy as was feared.
The problems arise with the acting for one thing, its awful!. Didn't exactly expect it to be stunning but these guys really do move and sound like plastic figures. The worst easily being Tatum followed easily by Marlon Wayans who I don't even think you can call an actor. What was worse was the fact certain actors seemed to take it seriously, Eccleston, Quaid and Pryce I'm looking at you, at the same time Levitt was doing a brilliantly campy 'Batman' villain, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (jesus!) simply can't act end of and the same can be said for Miller.
I don't understand Hollywood sometimes, they wanna make an adaptation like this, clearly they wanna make it semi serious to appeal to the wider audience and to jump on the 'Bond'/Marvel/'Mission: Impossible' type bandwagon which was in full swing. But then they go and cast people who can't act and who star in regular garbage, why on earth would you cast Wayans in this? right there you have a huge negative already, do you want an action flick or some dumb childish pratfall gag reel?.
We then come to the hideous CGI issue. This film reminded me of the 'Star Wars' prequels with their massive CGI elements and multiple finales, I think this film really tries for that similar final bang towards the end. To a degree they do achieve that, I can't deny the scope of the film is impressive with tonnes going on, plenty of visual imagination and action, all manner of crafts, subs, weapons, aircraft etc...all over the show. The problem is its so damn hectic its hard to make out what's going on, it really is a complete rip off from 'Star Wars' in how the films acts are staged and of course the CGI is bad, real bad, the cartoon looked better lol!. You can see its a Sommers film because 'The Mummy' films had dreadful CGI too.
Unsurprisingly the film is a very loud, fake looking, badly acted, explosion filled wet dream for Toys R Us. But you gotta look at this collectively, yes its complete trash of the highest order and yes Hollywood should know better. But on the other hand I'm sure the targeted audience will love it and wanna buy the toys, job done. Its a shame Hollywood never seems to learn and keeps producing such nonsense when they could make something half decent, especially with such rich material as this. But again at the end of the day we all know what to expect these days, we all know PG-13 is the favoured way to go and if you're honest the film does deliver what it promises for who its intended, you can't really deny that.
So yeah the film is rubbish and the prime example of modern day CGI filled crapola made purely for merchandise n money. I did enjoy some of it like I said, the plot wasn't half bad amazingly, the characters did look like their toon/comic counterparts I think (in some cases), shame about 'Cobra Commanders' crappy looking mask at the end. Miller was hot in her tight outfits whilst 'Snake Eyes' and 'Storm Shadow' were easily the best looking, most exciting and intriguing characters (bit like 'Scorpion' and 'Sub-Zero').
Offering plenty of bang for your buck no doubt and a fun brainless night in perhaps, I suppose it does what it sets out to do, just poorly. The sequence where 'Duke' and 'Ripcord' are suited up in those special astronaut type outfits and tearing through Paris to get to the Eiffel Tower, probably one of the worst effects/action sequences I've seen in a long long time. Truly ridiculous, bogged down with utterly lame visual comedy/gags courtesy of Wayans and it all looks nasty.
Character flaws, Snake Eyes, in the movie it says that Snake Eyes was mute because of a vow of silence when really he was in a helicopter accident and had his face scarred and was left mostly mute. Also he should have blonde hair but instead he has brown (kid version) Scarlett, should have a relationship with Snake Eyes but instead goes for Ripcord? Bloody hell...
Baroness, Is controlled by Cobra? And her brother is Rex which should really be named Eugene. Had a relationship with Duke in the past which should have never happened. She should be with Destro.
Storm Shadow, in the movie he kills his master which should not happen, he was only blamed for it (watch part two). He and Snake Eyes should be like best friends but Storm Shadow hunts for his uncles killer after he is blamed and later gets brainwashed by Cobra.
Zartan, can only change his appearance through nanomachines instead of illusions and holograms.
Cobra Commander, you see his face.....YOU SEE HIS FACE! And he is Baroness's brother Rex? Really... come on....
Accelerator suits are garbage. The Joe's are supposed to be the best of the best military personnel. They never wore performance enhancing suits.
I know they wanted to modernize this series and make it all action packed but these character flaws should not be this bad. It would not be hard at all to make the characters how they should be.
If you took all the scenes with Snake Eyes and left the rest out it would be 10 times better than seeing the whole thing.
I didn't mind the sci-fi elements of the plot...too much, but it did make things a bit too over the top and kinda silly at times. I was able to handle the homogenizing of their uniforms though, a la X-Men, because it might have seemed silly to those who didn't grow up with the franchise originally had the traditional outfits been used. By giving everyone generic outfits though, it also took away some of the uniqueness and distinction of the Joes as an organization.
The film's casting was passable, but the performances are pretty weak and unremarkable for the msot part. Some of the effects were okay, and the Paris sequence was cool, but Sommers isn't really all that great at coming up with a strong story and characters to match the action, which, while okay, wasn't really mindblowing either.
All in all, it kept me from being bored, but it didn't keep me from wishing I was watching something better. C- (and that's being nice).
I mean there was no real plot! Not at all! Just flashy (yet still incoherent) special effects, a script so weak a ten year old could have done it, and feeble, unbelievable characters. There was no complexity at all, not even a hint of it. The worst part is, the movie grossed over 150 mil. in the U.S. in alone so you can expect a sequel.
In the end, G.I. Joe feels like it's trying--incredibly hard-- to be all things to all people. Yet so it fails to be anything to anyone.
"What does it accelerate?"
To spite being greatly under-used here, both Joseph Gordon Levitt and Christopher Eccleston were the high points of this film.
And I have to say that after hearing and reading all the buzz on "rising star" Channing Tatum over the past couple of years, I was blown away by how bad an actor he is. A friend said "But he is so cute and he has a nice body", to which my response was: "Then they have miss marketed him...I think perhaps he would do better in the porn industry!"
Luckily we caught this on cable, so no money or valuable Netflix queue space was wasted.