Thursday, August 13, 2009

Review: G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra

I liked it! It was exactly what I expected it to be: a fun and entertaining action-adventure-y popcorn flick. I'm not getting all the negativity. It's a movie based on a toy. It's G.I. Joe. It's not trying to be The Godfather. Or The Shawshank Redemption. Or even The Dark Knight.

Plot: "From the Egyptian desert to deep below the polar ice caps, the elite G.I. Joe team uses the latest in next-generation spy and military equipment to fight the corrupt arms dealer Destro and the growing threat of the mysterious Cobra organization to prevent them from plunging the world into chaos."

G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra is directed by Stephen Sommers, the man behind the very entertaining Deep Rising and The Mummy. Both are flicks I could watch over and over and still be entertained. I don't think I will be able to say the same about Joe, but I can tell you I enjoyed it a hell lot more than Sommers's previous two films: The Mummy Returns and Van Helsing.

I really enjoyed the cast and I say that while I don't even like certain castmembers very much.

I squeed like a fangirl whenever Christopher Eccleston appeared onscreen. Then again, I always squee like a fangirl whenever Eccles is onscreen. I've loved that man since I saw him in Shallow Grave over a decade ago. For some reason, the whole idea that Eccles is in a move called G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra amuses me.

Not a fan of Sienna Miller, but I loved her as The Baroness. She was my favorite character! I want her glasses! And seriously, if I was the kind of person that celebrated and dressed up for Halloween, I would go as The Baroness this year.

Scarlett was okay. Rachel Nichols didn't have much to work with. That motorcycle scene was there to look cool, but was pretty pointless as it only led to her needing to by saved Ripcord. At some point Scarlett was crying that she lost a fight (with the Baroness) and that was the first time she ever lost, while at the beginning of the movie, the only reason she doesn't die when she's on the ground reaching for the gun when the baddy steps on it is because someone saves her! Girl is part of the Joe team and still needs a man to save her. Didn't like that.

Nichols has nice chemistry with Marlon Wayans though. Wayans is a good actor with the right material (watch Requiem for a Dream). I would've liked to see him less joke-y here, but obviously, he's just following the script and does well doing it.

Channing Tatum has this quality that makes me want to root for him, so instant win here as we're supposed to root for Duke. Ray Park was amazing as Snake Eyes. The man had mad skills. Same goes for Byung-hun Lee as Storm Shadow.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt amused me. Looked like he was having fun with his role. As for the rest of the cast.. Arnold Vosloo didn't have much to do. Shame. Dennis Quaid didn't have much to do either. Losties Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje and Saïd Taghmaoui did fine, but Ceaser had much more to work with than Mr. Eko. Ceaser was funny!

I must've been the only person who squeed when Kevin J. O'Connor appeared onscreen. I was waiting for his cameo! Loved him in Sommers's earlier work. Great to see Brendan Fraser stop by too.

As for the movie itself, well it all went by real fast. Like blink and you miss something fast. I appreciated the occasional flashback that slowed things down a bit. I also appreciated scenes where Joseph Gordon-Levitt looked like Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

They could've taken the first scene out. I thought I was watching The Man in the Iron Mask or something, not G.I. Joe. Plus, Eccles kinda repeats the same info later on. At one point during the movie, while watching all the explosions, I was worried I missed Michael Bay's producing credit. I guess a little less action and a little more story would've been better. And the the CGI was weak at times.

Overall, I really enjoyed the movie. The cast was fun and Stephen Sommers did his best. It's not like he wrote the screenplay. People should give him a break. Lower your expectations and just enjoy the ride. A 3,5/5.

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