G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra
Review by Jason Donner
Despite being yet another Stephen Sommers hack job, I find myself a bit bewildered and very much concerned for my mental well-being that I was actually entertained by G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra. This ramshackle haphazard action movie was little more than two handfuls of crap thrown at a wall and, amazingly, what stuck worked for me.
The mere fact that this movie turned out to be something positive for me is like a tornado hitting a junk yard and somehow assembling a vintage 1955 Chevy convertible. It's unbelievable and the odds of it happening are too small to calculate, but there it is sitting there with its engine running - backfiring a bit too, but hey... it still happened!
G.I. Joe is a top-secret international military operation comprised of the best soldiers from around the world but mostly America. Their mission: protect the world from terrorist threats; As the tagline says, when all else fails, they don't.
At least they don't until a new terrorist cell rears its scaly little head and threatens the world with nanotech warheads capable of unleashing a swarm of deadly microscopic thingies that will eat everything in sight.
Yeah, it's pretty silly.
To go into this movie with high expectations is foolishness unmeasured since the launch of Twitter, after all this is a film based on a line of action figures. The movie is barely controlled chaos threatening to self-destruct like a garbage bag stuffed full of soiled kitty litter but the film is also one of those really stretchy garbage bags that manages to contain the bad accents and terrible scripting even though it always seems on the verge of bursting like a bloated dead animal. It's entertaining. Stupid, but entertaining.
I'll say it again, it works. I don't know how and I don't know why, but it works. It shouldn't, but it does. G.I. Joe isn't Shakespeare, but it's also not The Mummy movies or Van Helsing and, for anyone who has sat through those godless monstrosities, you can appreciate the massive step up it is for this kind of material.
The principles, for the most part, appear to be having a good time even though Sienna Miller and Saïd Taghmaoui are just plain terrible. Christopher Eccleston and Joseph Gordon-Levitt revel in their parts and roll in them like dog rolling in poo while Channing Tatum and Marlon Wayans have a lot of fun playing the good guys.
This silly techo-thriller isn't that intelligent or well thought-out, but it earns fun points and after the biblical awfulness of Wolverine and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, it's great to finally have a big dumb load of fun dumped in your lap even if it is about as good for you as a heart attack.
I enjoyed myself sufficiently; Call it the low expectations or what have you, but the enjoyment has been had. No amount of regret or common sense can erase that.