G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra
"The Real American Heroes" are finally here to combat the evil forces of Cobra....or Mars, as Cobra is initially called before its ascension. Based off the popular Hasbro toyline, comics, and various cartoon series, in which it tells the story the world's greatest underground military force that battles the terrorist group, Cobra, bent on global domination. In the film, it's pretty much an origin story of how Cobra came to be in power while showing Duke (Channing Tatum) and Ripcord (Marlon Wayons) initiation into the G.I. Joe's unit. At the beggining of the movie, Destro/McCullen (Christopher Eccleston) starts off as an arms dealer and CEO, for Mars Weapons Manufacturer, that sells military weapons to allies of the United Nations like North America and Brittain. McCullen plans to unleash a nano weapon capable of mass destruction onto some of the world's greatest cities like Paris and Washington D.C., in order to establish a new world order for his new terrorist group, Cobra. Unaware of his brilliant lead weapon developer's intention; otherwise known as the Doctor/Rex (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) to eventually over take his position. To add to the drama, it would seem that Baroness (Sienna Miller), one of Cobra's top operatives, has a bit of history with Duke that complicates the Joes mission. Then there's the fight many Joe fans have been waiting for between Snakes Eyes (Ray Park) and Storm Shadow (Byung-hun Lee). Sadly, this rivalry does tend to conflict with the main storyline, as it basically has almost nothing to do with the main plot of the film. Not to say the plot is really anything more complex than "try to fetch the briefcase with the goods bit." The special effects are pretty much what you expect them to be, and Marlon Wayons plays the usual comedy relief. I can't say I like the realism of the Joes uniforms for this movie as it seems to be a bit cartoonish at times for my taste. Overall, unless your just looking for a film that offers a lot of action, hot girls, humor, and a simplified plot, then look no further than this movie.
As I stated before, the storyline for the film is pretty cut and dry to say the least. The story follows Duke as he is assigned to deliver a brief case, full of nano missiles, to Washington D.C. Unfortunately, Cobra tries to steal it from him, but the Joes were able to come to his aid in time to stop them. Upon learning of the Joes existence, Duke and Ripcord are initiated into the special unit. As it would seem Baroness has a bit of a long history with Duke along with the good Doctor/Rex, that complicates things for the Joes mission. Since he does have the knowledge about her and like the show says "knowing is half the battle", makes Duke a valuable member of the team. Displaying various flashbacks to explain the extent of Duke's and Baroness' relationship as lovers, and how it eventually fell into them being mortal enemies after the alleged death of her brother. Will keep any fan up to speed as it helps provide a back story for the characters.
Sadly, that's not to say that the story isn't flawed. Although, Snake Eyes will undoubtedly become one of the most recognized characters, from this movie, due to his great choreographed fights with Storm Shadow, their back story does tend to get in the way of the movie's main plot line. Also, using various flashbacks to tell Snake Eyes and Storm Shadows history together as they grow to become intense rivals. As entertaining as their back story was to watch, it just felt like the film kept taking a break from the main plot line of the movie to tell it, instead of helping the main story along.
The fight scenes and the special effects are pretty much what you'd come to expect from any big budget film, so there's not much shock there. I especially liked the under water base and the fight scenes that take place underwater as they're a visual treat for any viewer to see this movie. Very detailed oriented to say the least.
Unfortunately, another thing I found a bit disturbing here is the uniforms of the Joes. Don't get me wrong, I understand that this is based on a cartoon that was created to sell toys. However, when Stan Weston invented the G.I. Joe toyline back in 1963, he did it as a tribute to the soldiers fighting for our country. Therefore, it amazes me how much the toys themselves don the uniforms more closely resembling our own military, than the live action film counter part. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure the military has a lot of top secret weaponry the public is kept in the dark about. However, I doubt seriously we have anything like Exo Suits, and let alone allow soldiers to use them in a high profile city like Paris, France when they're still a lot of civilians within the city itself. But what do I know? After all, as far as I know, I don't know of any military units that would allow someone like Snake Eyes to exist.
Plus, having once served in the Air Force myself, I find it even more harder to believe that someone like Marlon Wayons would even make it in the military. No offense to Marlon, but he doesn't strike me as the type of man that would make it through training, as he seems to be nothing more than a clown. In one scene, when the Joes were chasing after Baroness in their Exo Suits, Marlon Wayons clumsily jumped through a train instead of jumping over it like his colleague, Duke. Ripcord's only excuse was that he didn't read the manual. According to the film's plot line, only the best soldiers in the world get into G.I. Joes unit, which makes me wonder even more how the heck did this moron fit in then if that's honestly the case, since he didn't even bothering reading a stupid manual over equipment he was assigned to use.
Although, I know this film is not based on realism but rather than to sell action figures for hasbro, I guess I shouldn't complain too much. As for for the rest of the cast, I thought most of the actors played their parts rather well. Despite, having to work with a rather cliched ridden script that was somewhat predictable.
Plus, Stephen Sommers does what him and Michael Bay do best, which is basically hide a mediocre to average story behind a lot of action and special effects. Just look at Sommers work in the Mummy series if you need any proof of that.
Indeed, "G.I. Joe" has returned to protect the world from the evil forces of Cobra. Although, the realism of this film does somewhat disturb me and story does tend be a bit predictable and lose focus at times, like when they shift over to Snake Eyes backstory. Overall, it may not be the best movie of the summer, but it'll keep you entertained if your looking for a film that has a easy to follow plot, special effects, humor, hot girls, and explosions, then look no further than this movie.