Monday, September 07, 2009

Quick Review of G.I. Joe

Warning: Spoilers
(spoilage factor: about the same as a Cobra soldier from the undersea base bobbing up through a hole in the ice to be polar bear chow)


You can't go in to a movie based on a toy line (okay, a toy line that spawned a comic and a long-running cartoon) with high expectations, so the lack of quality in G.I. Joe wasn't a total surprise or disappointment. That being said, it definitely missed the opportunity to be something better.

The special effects and fight scenes were all top notch. I also have to admit there were a couple of scenes that made me chuckle. I like the backstory that was constructed for McCullen's/Destro's (played by Christopher Eccleston) family, but his transformation at the end to have the liquid metal face was pretty lame. As much as it would have been inanimate, I think it would have been better if he would have donned his ancestor's steel mask. It would have had more meaning than nanobots giving him a T-1000 look.

On the downside, the flick had plot holes big enough to drive an entire armoured column through. One of the worst offences was after the disaster in Paris where the Joes get arrested by French authorities. While Hawk is eventually able to get them released, they're told their forbidden from ever returning to France. Huh? This is supposed to be an international team dispatched by the UN, right? So while I can understand your run-of-the-mill gendarmes and bureaucrats not knowing who these characters are, how is it that high-level French officials are in the dark and have to have their arms twisted to release the Joes? If this is an international force, wouldn't there be a couple of French members? Wouldn't the French government at least be in the loop?

And then there were the Joes themselves. Snake Eyes is white?! Huh? Granted, I only read a couple of issues of the comic back when I was a kid and borrowed them from a friend, so I don't know if the comic had anything to say about his ethnicity, but at least in the cartoon there was never any indication that the Joes' resident ninja was white. He was just a ninja. Most ninjas as Japanese, right? Now sure, you may say that doesn't mean that he can't be white, maybe there are white ninjas. Fine. But if this is supposed to be an international team, why not keep things simple and say he's Japanese like most ninjas probably are? This just felt like the producers were trying to pander to the American audience's dim memories from the 80's of American Ninja, which, for all its attempt to be a serious ninja movie, was equally as lame as another white ninja movie years later: Beverly Hills Ninja.

But the worst offence this movie committed was the absence of Shipwreck Delgado from the G.I. Joe team. Shipwreck was the man! The lack of Shipwreck and his bird was truly unforgiveable.

Save G.I. Joe for a rental night if there's nothing else available at the store.
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