This movie has a few things going for it. You’ll go into it with zero expectations, and you won’t be let down. It’s better than you think. Also, it knows exactly what kind of movie it is and embraces that. So you’ll have those scenes you’ve seen a million times – a former agent having guns and weaponry in every section of his normal looking, suburban home. You’ll have Ninjas that can knock machine gun bullets away with a sword. And yes, you’ll have lots of things exploding. If I were 13-years-old, this would be the best movie ever.
The film is directed by Jon M. Chu. He did the Step Up films, but his last was a documentary on Justin Beiber a few years ago.
G.I. Joe is based on a cartoon series, which was based on a toy. Yes, Hollywood has officially run out of ideas.
A movie like this means you just check the logic and plausibility at the door. That does make it a lot more enjoyable when you see the cool gadgets they have. Gloves that can melt away chain link fences, fire flies that light up and explode (and remind me of the mechanical spiders from Runaway in the early 80s). And there’s an interesting way to keep prisoners from escaping. It’s just always strange how in these movies we see these ways of keeping prisoners from escaping, and they always do. Before you know it, General Zod is taking over the White House.
The President is played by Jonathan Pryce (Pirates of the Caribbean, Brazil). He had a much more presidential look than Aaron Eckhard in Olympus Has Fallen. He’s also a better actor than Channing Tatum, Dwayne Johnson, and Bruce Willis – all of them members of the G.I. Joe squad (think Navy SEALs).
In movies like this, I always end up sitting there thinking about scenes in other, better films. When the Joe’s walk across the desert after being attacked, I thought about Capricorn One. When Johnson and Tatum are playing video games, and Johnson’s kids run in and jump all over Tatum – that’s Lethal Weapon and a handful of other films.
When the Joe’s realize the President is an imposter, I thought about the Pope in Foul Play, who was killed by his evil twin brother (oh…spoiler alert).
At least there was a Ninja scene going from wires across mountains that was exhilarating.
I never saw the G.I. Joe: Rise of the Cobra, but this takes place right after that. The Cobra Commander is in that “inescapable” prison, and the leader of Pakistan is killed. The President calls on the Joe’s to secure their nuclear warheads, which they do. All of the sudden, they’re are attacked and killed. A few survey, walking across the dessert, in search of…retaliation!
They end up in Detroit, which is Johnson’s old hood. The “President” has an international summit to get nuclear disarmament, and he’s got some harsh ways of getting that. It’s all a big plot so that Cobra can take over the world.
With the action scenes, again…don’t worry about the laws of physics. Just enjoy watching things go boom, and bring out that inner teenager. Otherwise, it’s just another formulaic picture, with a few too many characters and not enough humor.
It gets 2 stars out of 5.