Tuesday, July 19, 2011

G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra


   Many, many people have bashed this movie like no other, putting it down for everything from lack of direction to being downright childish, however, I have a different take on it. Everything about this movie, the simply adequate acting, the dialog (which ranges from simply passable to downright awful), the special effects, the setting, the story... all of it; It made me want to go out and buy G.I.Joe toys.  The movie even reminded me of actually playing with toys, using your imagination to blow up the Eiffel tower and epic car chases with hot wheels and action figures, and the bad guys always had rockets, misses, spaceships and secret bases.

   The movie is by no means 'good'. It takes the book of "Movie Cliche's" and then shoehorns in all the worst ones. The forced romantic triangle, the "surprise" twist ending and many more.  But it does all this without any creativity. No B-movie flair, no big budget flair, just... dull obligatory scenes that seem to plod on and on and on. The movie also lacks physical depth and presence in a way that makes even Michael Bay's Transformers look like real world Oscar winning material. Anyone over 12 will have a hard time swallowing most of the gunk here.  However, I do have a soft spot for this movie. It reminds me of simpler times.

I don't remember ever focusing on coming up with coherent plots, and good dialog when I used to play with my toys. It was always just shooting, kissing, driving, crashing and everything in sight would explode.  Good times right?  As an actual movie, its frequently dumb, sometimes spectacularly retarded, and offers little more than subjective nostalgia and cool special effects, but AS a nostalgia trip with cool special effects, it works wonderfully in a campy/corny kind of way. The design and look of this movie is pretty cool, the 'Joes are like awesome shiny action figures loaded with extra guns, gadgets, and little blinking lights. Again, I really wanna go out and buy some of these dudes.

   Snake Eyes (seen above) is pretty awesome here as well, as enigmatic and deadly as ever he steals the show on more than one occasion, his sword fights and super-stunts are impressive and sheer awesome eye-candy. Just like the rest of the movie: awesome eye-candy.  The movie makes a few good decisions, it doesn't bog everything down too much trying to be all intellectual with long talky scenes, (mainly cause the few short ones they have feel painfully long anyway) its pretty obvious that it wouldn't be smart to do that in a movie like this.  The second good decision is the non-stop action. Say what you will about the ludicrous plot, the butt-ton of errors, the wooden acting or the horrendous dialog... the action scenes, which comprise 89% of the movie, are indeed really freaking cool.

     Ray guns, hover crafts, stuff blowing up, buildings falling down, underwater action scenes, maniacal bad guys, "accelerator suits", secret lairs and stuff, man...  they took this stuff straight from my childhood backyard. And trust me, my childhood backyard was a fun place to be.  So in short, 'Rise of Cobra' is a missed opportunity. They could've had a decent blockbuster on their hands.
Instead we have what feels like 'Power Rangers' fueled by a gargantuan budget. Does that make the acting any less bad, or the plot make any more sense? No. But the special effects and the action scenes sure are slick, polished, fast, and adequately exciting. So its your call.  I still happen to get nostalgic over Power Rangers. How 'bout you?

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