By Chauncey Telese
Like most other kids, whenever I’d play with action figures I’d create the most random, nonsensical battles and make all of the sound effects (you did too admit it). I had a lust for plastic-on-plastic violence and I didn’t care about anything coherent. In fact, the only thing that mattered was that before my attention turned elsewhere, evil had to be vanquished.
That is basically how “GI Joe: The Rise Of Cobra” looks on screen.
There are special effects galore and a lot of action, bad dialogue, and a severe lack of a strong story. But who are we kidding, you didn’t care about that when you were a kid playing with your GI Joe and chances are you won’t care now. If anything, this movie teaches us is that sometimes in life, even if you are the most mature responsible adult, you can still go back to being that same kid who compiled every action figure and whatever toys you could, just to have fun for a few hours.
Unlike “Transformers 2,” this movie was not written on a bar napkin only to lose all of the coherent parts when someone put a wet glass on it. “GI JOE” does throw a lot of information at you and a lot of it occurs during the action scenes so it still won’t make sense.
The movie starts out with soldiers Duke (Channing Tatum “Fighting”, “Step Up”, and Ripcord (Marlon Wayans “Scary Movie 1 & 2,” “Don’t Be A Menace”) who are trying to stop a pre-cobra (it is a Cobra origin story you know), from blowing up their base. Chaos ensues and they are both saved by Snake Eyes (Ray Park “X-MEN” “Star Wars Episode I”), and Scarlett (Rachel Nichols “Alias”) then taken to The Pit, an underground training facility comprised of the best soldiers in the world. The Pit is run by General Hawk (Dennis Quaid). He informs them that their organization is called GI JOE and their objective is to stop global enemies from wreaking havoc. Hawk has Ripcord and Duke go through an awesome training course then fills them in about an organization (later to be named Cobra), which has warheads that could destroy every major city in the world). That’s your story, and now that you know that, just sit back, watch stuff blow up and watch people beat the crap out of each other (cue the Tim Taylor grunts).
This movie was so fun, really it is, I felt like a kid again. While I was not a GI JOE freak when I was little, I still played with my toys and if I had CGI capability it would’ve looked like this film. This is what summer is all about, this season is entirely predicated on movies in which the Eiffel Tower disintegrates and where bad guys have an underwater base, and laws of physics are blatantly ignored. Though this only works when the movie knows its ridiculous and GI JOE does… it really does. Enjoy the two hours of nostalgia (at least my generation’s nostalgia) and GO JOE!
If you do not want to see stuff blow up (or if the wife or girlfriend won’t let you) there are a plethora of options this weekend. Meryl Streep and Amy Adams star in “Julie and Julia”, for you horror fans Steve Zahn stars in “A Perfect Getaway” and though I didn’t get to actually review it last week (an ear infection can really suck let me tell you), please go see “Funny People”. I implore you, it will wind up in my top three no matter what comes out. Adam Sandler is an absolute revelation (you read right) in this film and proves he can actually act.
Thanks for reading and be sure to check out my recent review of this summer’s ultimate can’t miss movie, “District 9.”