I should start this off by saying I loved GI Joe as a kid. I watched all the cartoons, my brother and I had all the toys. Make that we have all the toys, they are still in my mom’s basement! When the trailers came out for the movie, I had to say I thought I was gunna be in for one stupid movie. The “accelerator suits” were just stupid and took up the entire trailer basically. Thankfully they have one scene in the movie!
I’m trying to make this review as spoiler-free as possible So if you plan on seeing it, but haven’t, this shouldn’t ruin too much.
After the hype and then the thud that was “Transformers 2″ this summer, I worried “GI Joe” would be another clunker. I didn’t even bother to see “Transformers 2″ actually, I’m waiting for the DVD (to be fair I didn’t see the first in the theaters either, but did like the first movie).
In short, if you were a GI Joe fan as a kid, I think you’ll like the movie. If you go into this movie expecting it to be a masterpiece of cinema and storytelling, well you are going into the wrong movie. Either that, or I think you built the old cartoon up to a masterpiece in your head This is a movie based on a kids cartoon, if you keep that in mind, you’ll probably have fun. If you were not a fan of the old cartoon, well . . . . you’ll probably think it was just a movie where a lot of stuff got blown up!
Some liberties were taken with the story and characters, most notably who was involved with who in terms of love stories. I think this might piss off old-school fans the most. I wasn’t too horrified, except I did not like one of the characters/actors at all, so I found their love story a tad annoying.
The plot itself wasn’t too terrible, but no it’s not award winning either. It’s more however of an introduction to the characters and as the name of the movie indicates, the rise of the COBRA organization. Hence you know they are banking on a sequel. There were a lot of back stories going on, like how Duke knew the Baroness from the past, how Storm Shadow and Snake Eyes became enemies, how Cobra Commander came into being.
Cobra Commander might be the second thing to piss off the fan boys. I know the figure annoyed me, as it looked nothing like the original Cobra Commander. Then again, remember the source material we are dealing with. The original Cobra Commander was a snake-man in a silver mask (sometimes a hood) and has an annoyingly shrill voice. They try and act all “secret like” with who Cobra Commander is throughout the movie, but it’s no secret at all. Anyone interested in this movie at all already knows who is playing the role and which person on screen he is. His look through most of the movie . . . leaves something to be desired. His voice is great though (and no it’s not that horrid shrill voice from the cartoon).
Sienna Miller, who plays Baroness, is probably the highlight of the film. She’s just fun to watch, and she really looks like the Baroness! The only thing she’s missing is darker and more horned-rimmed glasses (but then she might look like Sarah Palin!) and the accent. The accent I can understand them ditching though, it did make her cartoon counterpart seem more like a transvestite than a sexy villainess. Rachel Nichols, the actress who plays Scarlett, I thought was the other highlight of the film. She really looks like a real-life Scarlett.
They guys . . . . ehh . . . . Not to much to write home about. Christopher Eccleston as Destro was fairly good. Storm Shadow and Snake Eyes are the two that the fan boys will drool over for sure. Channing Tatum plays an okay Duke, but I would rather have stared at Brandon Fraser for the majority of the film. He makes a small cameo, I believe he’s supposed to be Flint. I didn’t stay for the credits, as I had to pee like a MoFo. The guy who played Breaker was good, and seeing Adabisee from Oz (or Echo on Lost) as Heavy Duty was . . . interesting.
The one thing that annoyed me to no end was the casting of Marlon Wayans as Ripcord. First of all, Ripcord was a white Irish guy! Second, it’s Marlon Wayans. The man is funny, but funny wasn’t needed in GI Joe to be honest. If they wanted humor, they should have brought in someone to play Shipwreck.
The end sets up a second movie, which I’m sure will be made. This one will probably make enough money to warrant it. Given I liked this one enough, yeah I’d see the second . . . especially if Brandon Fraser is given a bigger role