Posted by: cordy74 | October 28, 2009

GI Joe: My Gorge Is Rising

I have claimed in the past that I have the ability to review a movie before I see more than the trailers. Notice I didn’t say it was an unerring ability. I know that I have been wrong about movies in the past; I just can’t remember when that would have been.

I recently, against my better judgment, watched GI Joe: Rise of Cobra. If you want the short version, here it is: this movie was a seemingly unending suckfest.

I loved reading the GI Joe comic books when I was younger. Without a lot of money to blow on comics I was pretty much forced to concentrate on collecting GI Joe and Silver Surfer. I can honestly say that whatever was left of the 10-year-old boy inside me that did not die from the disappointment of watching “Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer” has officially been killed and left in the nearest convenient ditch after partaking of GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra. Maybe it’s something to do with movies containing “Rise of” in their titles.

Before I go into too much detail (including spoilers…as if I could really spoil this movie any more than it has done so to itself) let me summarize my misgivings.

The story. Not very well written. Not very well thought out. Granted, I’m no screenwriter and maybe it looked good on paper but there was just too much about the story that seemed hokey, contrived and convenient. I’ve seen better writing on episodes of Spongebob Squarepants.

The cast. Very few of the characters in this movie seemed believable to me, mostly due to the actors portraying them. I’m usually a pretty big Dennis Quaid fan but it seemed like he had a very hard time pulling off General Hawk. Most of the time it seemed like he was trying too hard. Christopher Eccleston was not even close to portraying a Destro of which I would have been frightened. Finally, Marlon Wayans has trouble acting like a believable human being much less an elite military man. Stick with “Shorty” from the Scary Movie series, buddy. You’re much better off there.

The characters. Although it has been awhile since I cracked open an issue of GI Joe the characters in the movie seemed like two-dimensional versions of those with whom I grew up. At first glance they looked like what I remembered but there just wasn’t any depth to them. It almost seems as if the minds behind the movie tried to cover too much history in too short a time. What history they did cover felt shallow and rushed.

Now on to the spoilers. In an effort to wrap this whole mess up I’m going to highlight a few of the more annoying bits and pieces I was forced to witness.

The entire movie revolves around Destro’s company creating a nanotechnology weapon that can destroy anything in its wake. The movie begins when these nanobots are encapsulated within three rocket-propelled-grenade warheads which a terrorist organization attempts to steal. Later in the film, once the warheads are stolen, they are taken to a lab to have some lasers shot at them in an attempt to “weaponize” the nanobots. I hate to break it to the writers but the nanobots were “weaponized” when they were encased in RPG warheads. Maybe I’m just nitpicky but I really think they should have used the term “activated” instead. Just makes more sense to me.

While chasing the bad guys through Paris, Duke and Ripcord wear the Delta 6 Accelerator Suits (to which they have just recently been introduced). Throughout the entire chase they keep getting hit by cars, tossing the two soldiers through walls and into other vehicles. After each collision, Duke and Ripcord would bounce back to their feet completely unfazed and continue with the chase. However, once they catch up to the bad guys one of these idiots in the suits spends several crucial seconds avoiding being hit by bullets from an Uzi submachine gun. Listen, if the suits can take a hit from a speeding car, get thrown through a concrete block wall and leave the wearer completely unharmed I’m pretty sure they can take a hit from a couple of bullets.

Also during the Paris chase the bad guys are driving a modified Hummer H1. This thing has apparently been armor-plated and has something akin to a cow catcher attached to the front. As they speed through the streets of Paris the hummer plows through the slower vehicles in its way, tossing them above itself and to the side with no apparent regard to the laws of physics; especially disregarding any law pertaining to momentum. The Hummer doesn’t appear to slow at all during the impacts and may even be accelerating as it is catapulting cars above and behind itself. I can buy action that defies the laws of physics if there is a good enough explanation for it (a la The Matrix…they know they are inside a computer program and can bend the laws of the universe to their will). The only reason for action of this nature was to make the movie more exciting. All it really does is make it look more unreal to me.

Okay, this is starting to run a bit long. Allow me to try to quickly wrap up some more of my gripes.

GI Joe headquarters (also known as The Pit) is located in Egypt? What the hell? GI Joe had always been a primarily American fighting force. Now it’s based halfway around the world?

The undersea, single-man submarine battle is very reminiscent of Star Wars. Especially when the hero’s sub shoots out of a tunnel in the enemy stronghold just as it explodes (much like the Millenium Falcon escaping the second Death Star in Return of the Jedi).

Destro congratulating “The Doctor” on his work by saying “You’ve tossed the kaber clear out of the yard.” We get it. Destro is Scottish. The only way they could possibly have hammered that home any better is to have him parade around the entire movie in a kilt.

Snake Eyes doesn’t speak because he took a vow of silence? This still doesn’t explain his creepy, form-fitting face mask that shows his mouth in oddly perfect detail.

I guess that’s it for now. There is a lot more I could complain about but I really don’t want to devote any more time to this. By all means, go see the movie. I’m pretty sure any other GI Joe fans will be just as disappointed as I was.


  1. Where’s the astronaut farmer review?

    • I may only review movies which evoke a strong reaction one way or the other. Since I did not enjoy The Astronaut Farmer but was not necessarily repulsed by it, it probably will not get a review.

  2. There was a reason why the movie studio didn’t let critics review it. They knew it sucked to.

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