GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra
We all knew GI Joe was going to get a movie the second Transformers made a gajillion dollars at the theaters and suddenly every toy franchise in the universe got a movie deal (coming this summer…Starriors: The Movie!) and GI Joe was the other major 80s toy line Hasbro had. So the question is, would it be as horrible as the Transformers franchise? Surprisingly, GI Joe is not as terrible as Transformers. Or maybe it isn’t that surprising, as it is pretty hard to be as terrible as Transformers. Entire generations have lived and died and not made a movie as horrible as Transformers 2, but that is another review for another time. Now, we dip out pen into the mediocre ink that is GI Joe.
The GI Joe toy line started in 1964 with 12-inch action figures (in fact, the GI Joe line invented the term action figure. I have to pay them $3 every time I use the term “action figure”) and the modern 3 3/4 inch line began in 1982. As that is the line that was around when I was a kid, it is the best line ever and all others pale in comparison. The modern GI Joe line were dubbed “A Real American Hero” and spent their time fighting a terrorist group known as Cobra that wished to conquer the world. As those who watch the cartoon are aware, Cobra would come up with a lunatic plan to take over the world, GI Joe would bumble into the middle of it, Snake Eyes would breakdance, Cobra Commander would have a Trillion dollar secret base shaped like a 6 mile high giant cobra, and Shipwreck would get drunk and puke on Scarlett. Then the plan is foiled and Cobra Commander and crew get away, with no casualties ever. Except a few in the comic book (and some in that multi-part alternate universe cartoon episode that was awesome!)
So now, with the US actually in a controversial war on terror and the international fallout of such war, one wondered what that would do to the GI Joe movie. Because, nowadays, many movies make more money overseas than in the US. And, amazingly enough, movies where the USA runs around and blows up whoever they want willy-nilly doesn’t get a lot over play overseas. Movie studios are soulless corporations that desire only one thing: mad money. Sorry to burst your bubble if you thought movie studios cared about telling good stories, but the recent trend of rebooting everything under the sun should have opened the eyes of the few of you still living in the dark. Thus, GI Joe is now a multi-national secret organization. To prove how multi-national they are, they have two foreign dudes. This generated some controversy among pundits, but pundits are morons, so who cares what they think. The main thing is they changed things a bit from when I was a kid, and thus they raped my childhood with a red hot poker. Sideways.
Actually, I don’t care that much. What I do like the least about this film is it is an origin story. Why do we need an origin? Who cares how GI Joe got started, I want to see them blast up some Vipers! Save the origins for the tie-in comics. I am sick of origins. What’s next, a prequel showing us what Lil’ Duke did in high school and how Cobra Commander had sex with a pie? Because if Eugene Levy is in it, I’ll go see it. No I won’t.
They did two things to try to appeal to an international audience. First, they got the most British-est US president they could find. The last time someone that British was in charge of the USA, we were thirteen colonies shooting from behind fences. Second, GI Joe is now an international team. In fact, G.I.J.O.E. is now an acronym for “Global Integrated Joint Operating Entity.” Someone get the rape whistle!
So do you like nanotechonology? Because this movie will nanotechnology the frak out of you! If you believe this movie, nanotechnology can do anything! Every scene is just “Nanotech, nanotech, nanotech!” and then things blow up. Nanotech is this movie’s magic fairy dust. It explains everything, even what the writers are too dumb to explain properly themselves. Nanotech also explains why I am reviewing this so late, because I was fighting a nanotech virus. I nanostabbed it in its nanosoul, and it nanodied.
We’re going to assume you are familiar with the 1980s cartoon for the purposes of this review, so if you ain’t, jokes are going to fly over your head. So you better be prepared! Because knowing is half the battle…