Wednesday, August 12, 2009

"G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra" - spoiler movie review

When we had been in theatres watching a bunch of other movies, they showed the trailer for "G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra". I was surprised that Dennis Quaid was playing the leader, but I guess ever since "Vantage Point" and "The Express", he's been playing tough-guy roles, unlike earlier in his career. The effects looked cool, and things blew up, so I was interested in seeing it.

"G.I. Joe" is the latest in a line of movies based on toys, and there have also been a lot of movies based on comic books, so it was quite interesting that this movie was actually more cartoony than any of the movies based on actual comics. The characters were pretty one-dimensional, and the dialogue was pretty basic. There wasn't too much to the story - bad things happen, elite covert squad comes in to fix stuff, but there's always a twist. New hot-shot guys want to join the squad, and one of them has the key to discovering the bad guys - hot chick who's on the side of the bad guys is actually his ex-girlfriend, who used to be sweet (and blonde), but she's now gone over to the dark side, literally, as she's now a brunette. But in the end, even her brainwashing can't completely control her and she has to save the man she really loves.

And then of course there's the other twist that the mad scientist bad guy is actually said ex-girlfriend's brother that dude thought he had let die in war. Because, you know, it's fair to make your boyfriend promise that he'll bring your brother back alive from a WAR. Yeah, and he was a jerkwad for not having the balls to face her when he thought he had let her brother get blowed up.

But then, after it's revealed that said not-dead brother is really the bad guy (I only realized that a couple of seconds before it was revealed on-screen), there was ZERO followup with bad-girl-turned-back-to-good sister finding out that her beloved brother was actually alive and had been responsible for the controlling chip in her head. Oh, yeah, that's not important.

The on-going blood feud between the two "brothers" was kind of interesting, moreso because the bad brother was in white while the good brother was in black. The end was kind of anti-climactic for me though - you pretty much knew that eventually, there would be the showdown, and good dude would win out.

I joked with the husband that "Rise of Cobra" should actually be the name of the *second* film in the series since that's usually when the bad guys make their stand (e.g., "The Empire Strikes Back", "Revenge of the Fallen"), but he pointed out that the bad guys hadn't even been born as a group yet, and that's what was happening in this film.

And ok, fine, the bad guys are called Cobra, I guess, but I seriously did not expect to SEE AN ACTUAL SNAKE in the movie. No, I didn't watch most of that entire section, but yes, I did figure out that he stuck his arm in and got bitten. Ewwww.

One of the things I really didn't like about the movie was the CGI. Yes, the CGI was *really* obvious to me, and I thought, "Hmmm, this isn't good enough to be ILM. They must have hired Digital Domain." Sure enough, credits roll, and the major effects house is Digital Domain. So, I guess I recognize them now for the work I hate. And yes, I've hated their work since "Titanic".

Hasbro seems to be trying to set themselves up as the toy company equivalent to Marvel Comics, but they're going to have to try harder. The first "Transformers" movie was spectacular, and even though I didn't care that much for the second film, it's still a better franchise than this one has started out to be. I'd have to be convinced to give a second movie a try.

Dennis Quaid was ok, but he didn't really have all that much to do.

Channing Tatum was ok as the lead, but he didn't have a very complicated character.

Marlon Wayans was actually pretty good in this, being a Wayans notwithstanding.

Sienna Miller was ok as Ana, the good-girl-turned-bad-turned-back-to-good, but she *really* looks different as a blonde and as a brunette. Guess they'll have to figure out how to get all those pesky nanites out of her in the next movie.

Rachel Nichols was fine as the other hot chick - and yes, the chick fight was pretty funny. No hair pulling though - they just kicked ass.

Dude who was Mr. Eko on "Lost" was pretty good, but Ray Park was awesome as silent dude, even though you never see his face.

Dude from "The Mummy Returns" was his usual creepy self, but he's now out of a job since Jonathan Pryce will now be taking over his role as the not-President.

Brendan Fraser has this tiny little role in the film - no clue why.

1 comment:

JeffG said...

This was the same director as the first two "Mummy" films, which is probably the reason for the Brendan Fraser cameo.

In case you didn't hear, Digital Domain was announced as the primary FX house for "Tron Legacy". At least with that one, I suppose that the FX looking like CGI could be a positive. :)