Wednesday, August 12, 2009


Considering how sloppy and all over the place G.I. Joe: Rise of the Cobra (D) is, this review is going to be sloppy and all over the place. There is no point in even "reviewing" this movie. How can you? It is what it is. Everyone involved seemed to have been on the same page, and set out to make one of the cheesiest action movies of all time. Apparently this piece of fecal matter cost $175 million -- Paramount was fucking robbed! This movie looked like it cost about $4.75. One thing's for sure: director Stephen Sommers a'int no Michael Bay, the filmmaker he so desperately wishes he was. G.I. Joe has none of the flair, the panache, the wit, or the downright visual elegance and sophistication of the Transformers movies, the series that G.I. Joe so clearly is trying to emulate. There are three things that I liked about G.I. Joe, and the main one was Sienna Miller. She's super-duper hot. She's either in a black leather dominatrix outfit wielding two guns or she's in tight black mini-skirts with four-inch black high-heels and brandishing two guns. The black hair is hot too. She's shot more than once from a low-angle as she gets out of a car or limo, and her sexy, tan legs light up the screen. Rachel Nichols is also a cutie, a fiery red-head prone to wearing skin-tight outfits and speaking in techno mumble-jumble as she shoots a machine gun. And, the movie at least has its priorities in order: these two hotties get to have a nasty little cat fight. But that's about it. This movie is a fucking travesty. It's not even entertaining on a primal, let-me-see-some-explosions level. The entire production looks like a Playstation 2 video game crossed with some Windows Media screen-saver action. I wasn't expecting something deep with G.I. Joe. Much like the Transformers movies, these types of branded entertainments play off of their nostalgia factor, the special effects "wow" factor, and the "let-me-pretend-I'm-still-a-little-kid" mentality. But one of the main problems with G.I. Joe is that everything looked fake. Really fake. There's maybe one good sequence in the entire movie -- a daylight battle in the streets of Paris. But even that part looked like a cartoon. I'll say this about Sommers -- he's consistent. Consistently shitty. How can he approve this stuff? How can he be happy with the dailies as they are coming in? He can't be. It's impossible that he could be because the movie is a steaming pile of dog doodie. The screenwriters (it hurts to actually call them that) have inserted some of the lamest attempts at back story through a haphazard series of flashbacks that rob the film of any momentum that it was trying to gather. The acting is atrocious, except in a few spots. Miller seems to be having fun, and again, she's hot. But it's Joseph Gordon-Levitt as the mostly-masked Cobra Commander who steals the show from a performance perspective. Going WAY over the top but in the best possible way, Gordon-Levitt at least had the decency to look like he was having a great time, probably having a ball playing the bad guy in a movie based on a line of toys that he played with as a kid. Supposed "male star of tomorrow" Channing Tatum has all of the charisma of a wet blanket. Coming off as mildly mentally retarded, he mumbles his dialogue through a combination of annoying B-boy speak and Wigger attitude that was just all wrong. He's got no spark with Miller in their horrible attempts at romance, one of the film's worst elements. Dennis Quaid is a honeyed ham in this thing -- everyone is really. And maybe that's the point, a point I have missed. Sommers knows exactly what he's doing. G.I. Joe is gleefully, wilfully, blissfully brain-dead. It makes Transformers 2 look like Citizen Kane, and I say that as a massive fan of Transformers 2. Sommers gives real action directors like Bay a bad rap, because when you see something as bland and undistinguished as G.I. Joe, the outright artistry that Bay brings to the table becomes even more evident. As far as special effects extravaganzas goes, Bay should be doing them all. It's a shame that he can't. And even after destroying G.I. Joe in this review, I sort of realize that I am not the target audience for this film. G.I. Joe is a cartoon. Pure and simple. Even more so than the Transformers movies. The Transformers movies have an edge, a sense of menace, a sense of pain. They don't resemble the cartoons from the 80's, and even the designs of the robots have changed (for the better in my book). G.I. Joe is the ULTIMATE movie for eight year olds. Their heads will explode while watching it. There's no blood, no bad words, tons and tons of explosions (albeit fake ones), tons and tons of gun fire, a huge body count (seriously, hundreds of bad guys get wasted), some chaste kissing scenes, and a general sense of A.D.D. inspired mayhem that little boys will just relish. G.I. Joe can best be summed up as the sort of movie that an eight year old might be directing in his head, right now, as I type this, as he's playing with his toys, smashing them together and making crashing and exploding sounds with his mouth. It's derivative of so many other products, with Star Wars and Top Gun coming immediately to mind. Sommers is an ultra-hack at this point. After making a sort-of-fun monster B-movie in Deep Rising and then doing The Mummy (still his best film), he's been in a massive free-fall. The Mummy Returns was garbage, Van Helsing was even worse, and he's now hit his nadir with G.I. Joe. Going into the movie I wasn't expecting much, but I wasn't prepared for how much of an outright shit-fest it would actually be.

1 comment:

Lemmy Caution said...

Just saved me the price of a ticket. Whew!