Thursday, February 18, 2010

What You Should Have Seen #5

I’ll always have a place in my heart for G.I. Joe. It was a big part of my childhood, and it was my favorite toy.

A handful of years ago, Cartoon Network started rerunning the cartoon. I realized it was best left in my childhood. Some things just don’t hold up as an adult.

I’ve been putting off watching this movie for a number of reasons. First, the previews looked horrible. I realize that this group is supposed to be a covert military force, but where are the costumes we grew up with? And other than Kurt Russel, there wasn’t one name in the cast list that gave me any hope for the acting. Second, not one review had anything good to say about it. That wouldn’t necessarily mean I wouldn’t like it. Hell, I loved Hudson Hawk, and I think I was the only one who did, but that had charm. Third, it looked like it was trying too hard to be a “real” movie rather than just having fun with a movie based on toys. Transformers did a better job of that.

So, 15 minutes in and I’m not getting a good feeling from my first impression. The girls are hot, so that’s good, but the acting, or should I say overacting, is just laughable. And there are so many special effects that it takes away from any bit of story that may find its way into the movie.

It’s a bit laughable that the movie tried so hard to maintain its legitimacy that it took out most of the original costumes from the cartoon/figures/comic books. I say most because they kept the black leather for the Baroness, and Snake Eyes is covered in black from head to toe. But they gave him a functioning mouth. Why? He doesn’t talk? That’s about as pointless as putting nipples on a Bat-suit. Storm Shadow is still in his trademarked white, but he’s not just sticking to the ninja pajamas he’s so comfortable in.

Okay, who have we seen:

1. Duke
2. Hawk
3. Rip-Cord (Mr. Ecko!!)
4. Baroness
5. Destro
6. Snake-Eyes
7. Storm Shadow
8. Scarlett (extremely hot)
9. Sgt. Stone (possible a Sgt. Slaughter replacement? And Brendon Fraser? Really?)
10. Heavy Duty
11. Zartan
12. Breaker

Not a bad showing, but some extra Joe cameos in the Pit would have been nice.

Other problems I had:
• I don’t care who you are, you don’t take down Snake-Eyes in hand-to-hand…not even Duke.
• I don’t like the enhancement suits. Joes don’t need suits to enhance their abilities. Duke and Rip-Cord didn’t even accomplish anything by chasing the Baroness and Storm Shadow in those suits. Well, except destroying a bunch of cars along a Parisian street.
• I wonder if a better movie could have been made if this were just a bare-bones war/anti-terrorist movie. Spend less on special effects and more on decent actors and script writers.
• Is Joseph Gordon Levitt’s character Dr. Mindbender or Cobra Commander? He goes by the doctor and created the nanobots, but I thought I read that he was Cobra Commander, someone we’ve yet to see an hour and 20 minutes into the movie. Oh, nevermind. Dr. Mindbender is someone else. So I guess he is Cobra Commander and is taking credit for Mindbender’s work. That actually sounds like the Cobra Commander we all know and love.
• The Cobra technicians/cannon fodder look like Star Trek rejects.
• Some relationships just aren’t meant to be messed with. Scarlett/Snake-Eyes and Baroness/Destro are two of those.
• Baroness doesn’t have a decent bone in her body. She should not be a sympathetic character just ‘cause she’s kind of hot.

It is refreshing that people actually die in this movie. In the cartoon, you had blue and red lasers flying all over the screen with nary a wound to be inflicted. Not very good marksmen for team comprised of the best of the best of the best.

I thought it was kind of humorous at the end when Storm Shadow combined the hilts of his two swords to fight Snake-Eyes. Ray Park, who played Snake-Eyes, also played Darth Maul in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, who used a double-sided lightsaber to fight the Jedi.

The makers certainly prepared for a sequel, I just don’t know if the movie was profitable enough to warrant it. The movie certainly wasn’t GOOD enough to warrant it, but really, when is that ever really a concern.

If you’re looking for a movie to enjoy or just to waste some time with, find something else. This isn’t even worth wasting your time on. Seriously, find something else.

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