Sunday, August 16, 2009

Like: GI Joe

GI Joe
is totally ridiculous, weaving together a mix of tales that go from serious war drama and early 1600’s European politics, to a plot line straight out of the villainy of Inspector Gadget. The concepts, CGI, dialog and outfits are so over the top you sometimes feel like your watching a last minute circus. But unlike the disastrous Hasbro offering of the recent Transformers, the cast and crew of GI Joe take their lack of seriousness about the film very seriously, transforming the blockbuster from a waste of time to a delightful summer diversion.

The movie follows war buddies Duke (Channing Tatum) and Ripcord (Marlon Wayans) as they stumble into the corrupt dealings of arms giant MARS industries and the world of the elite special opts group GI Joe. Brought into the thick of the secret military organization due to his incredible intelligence and physical prowess, Duke’s past comes to haunt him in the form of the evil Baroness (Sienna Miller), his one time fiancĂ© and true love. Four years prior, their relationship was seemingly forever sundered when Duke ventured to war in East Africa with the Baroness’ little brother Rex Lewis (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), only to watch him presumably murdered by friendly fire caused by Duke’s own orders. Now horribly disfigured and going by “Cobra Commander” (the chief villain in Joe cannon), Rex has made full use of his potential and developed a variety of nano-particle horrors to torture the Joes and the world, his sister and MARS founder McCullen (Christopher Eccleston) now his minions. Good vs. Evil, lot’s of action, and romance ensues.

This is not a work of art, yet it is saved by self-realization. There is no pandering to the public who all know that this movie is going to be bad. There is no over analysis of the arcs and motivations of the characters. Channing Tatum’s Duke is clearing having childlike revenge fun, while Miller’s sexy Baroness struts in her heels and strange 80’s throwback glasses with gusto. Wayans is strangely more subdued than normal and delivers his lines with just enough feints to make you take him seriously and laugh out loud. The ninja battles between Storm Shadow and rival Snake Eyes are straight out a 70’s kung-fu movie, a fact both actors embrace and play up. Gordon-Levitt’s portrayal of the evil Cobra Commander is clearly the best, the glee in his eyes unmistakable as he wields a variety of needles and delivers lines like “I’ll get you next time Duke,” in a deep, cracking baritone. I’m positive he was laughing the entire time beneath that mask.

The film (if you can call it that) is not meant to be great. Any attempt to “Dark Knight-ize” it would have failed miserably and I'm not sure we need too many more of these 80's toy re-imaginings. But if you take it at it’s B-movie face value and child-like hilarity as the actors do, it’s a fun time, perfect for pizza and beer, or a five year old rediscovering the toys that defined an entire generation of his forefathers.

4 out of 5 (that's on a summer/B-movie scale)
Read more from M @ Bubbly.

1 comment:

  1. Hi,
    Fine to be honest. The new GI Joe movie has mad the character Snake Eyes as hero in most kids eyes. Kids want his toys so they can role play his cool ninja moves. There are a wide assortment of different Snake Eyes Toys and accessories so parents have several options but kids will love them all.



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