Monday, November 16, 2009

G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra - DVD Review


Starring Channing Tatum, Marlon Wayans, Sienna Miller, Dennis Quaid, Rachel Nichols, Christopher Eccleston, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Byung-hun Lee, Ray Park, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Arnold Vosloo, Said Taghmaoui and Jonathan Pryce.
Directed by Stephen Sommers.

The 1980's were a great time to be a kid. It was a time when red-white-n-blue patriotism was cool, and when we learned (on everything from G.I. Joe to the A-Team) that you can fire automatic weapons and no one will get killed. To update G.I. Joe for this day and age, guns have to kill people, and having Joe be strictly a US force when we're already in Afghanistan and Iraq might be too much.

The international flavor is here. The Joes are compromised of the best fighters from 23 countries, not just the USA. At the same time, they made Cobra Commander and the Baroness into Americans, and siblings. And the US President is Welsh. And Destro's a Scotsman whose family has been in weapons trading for apparently 400 years. And instead of dating Snake Eyes, Scarlett is single, so Ripcord can flirt with her. And... and...

The movie was about what I would expect from the trailers and from knowing it's directed by the guy who did the Mummy trilogy. There's CGI galore, tons of swooping shots of stuff blowing up, and I had to smile at how G.I. Joe and Cobra both have underwater training facilities that would cost $300 billion each to build if they were real.

I can't say anyone does a good acting job. I don't know what Joseph Gordon-Levitt is doing here, other than he has bills to pay and maybe he owned some of the action figures as a kid. He plays Dr. Cobra, who eventually becomes Cobra Commander. Even Dennis Quaid is flat as General Hawk, leader o' the Joes. We get cameos from Sommers vets Brendan Fraser and Kevin J. O'Connor.

The movie is called the Rise of Cobra for a reason. This whole thing is origin story/set-up, poised for a sequel. Even though this wound up not losing too much money, I doubt that sequel's going to happen.

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