Thursday, August 27, 2009



While I know G.I Joe came out weeks ago I actually went and saw (500) Days of Summer for a second time instead of seeing this movie once. I think I made the correct choice seeing as (500) Days was amazing and G.I. Joe is a huge mess of CGI, bad acting, and thoughts by Joe lovers of what could have been.

(If you can't tell, I love (500) Days of Summer)

G.I. Joe is about an elite tactical unit that is so discreet even the best Army personnel don't know about it. As Dennis Quaid states in this film, "When everything else fails, we don't." The story revolves around two of the Army's finest; Duke (Channing Tatum) and his buddy Ripcord (Marlon Wayans). The two are set to deliver a special package containing a new and deadly warhead containing nano-mites. Nano-mites can be used for the complete destruction of entire cities or even injected into humans to control them. As Duke and Ripcord are delivering the Nano-mite warheads their team is ambushed by the evil Baroness, or as Duke used to know her, Ana.

The story evolves(?) as Duke and Ripcord join the Joes and their strict training regiment. This training is when viewers get a glimpse of how ridiculous this film really is. Not solely because Brendan Frasier appears for 4 minutes but also because of the jousting and underwater flying practice. The Joes try to stop the manufacturer of the Nano-mites and his evil buddies from harnessing this power onto the public. Blah blah, lots of blue screen action and CGI, blah blah, big standoff against evil...roll credits.

No point in trying to elaborate this entire plot as it was not a great one. G.I. Joe had a lot of potential to be a decent or good film if it was executed a lot better.

First, let me start with what I like about G.I. Joe. The acting was great. Whoops, that's a joke.
First correction of this project: DON'T HIRE CHANNING TATUM. He is by far, and I mean by far the worst actor in Hollywood today. I cannot imagine anyone with any cinematic experience watching him act behind the camera saying, "cut and print." He's terrible, and unless the director took the 1,001 take because he was sick of waiting for Channing to give him an actual plausible imitation of acting I will make fun of you too Director Stephen Sommers. Tatum is so flat and uncharismatic in all his scenes you just have to sit and laugh at how dumb he looks while trying to act.

The acting of the whole cast was poor quality making this movie that much worse. I will however give credit where credit is due. Marlon Wayans actually surprised me and was head and shoulders the best actor in this film. Well, him and the silent dude Snake Eyes. You know that the overall bar for pretending in front of a camera must be pretty low if Marlon Wayans is at the top of the heap.

Even Dennis Quaid seemed to stoop down to Tatum's level with plenty of poorly executed dialogue of his own. I've never been a huge Quaid fan, but this was surely his worst product yet.

I also want to comment on the bad looking CGI that was weaved throughout much of this picture. At times it was Ok, and others it was just terrible. The CG not only looked bad but the filmmakers overuse of it makes some of the scenes impossible to watch. The sheer volume of CG action throughout this project mixed in with the fact that it looked bad also mixed in with Channing Tatum attempting to act in them....just more than a person could handle.
Even though the CG looked bad I enjoyed watching the way the action unfolded. The weaponry in G.I. Joe was one of a kind and it was a real treat to watch the weapons used in so many different killing strokes. The action was slowed down so viewers could truly witness explosions, weapons discharging, and lots of other sweet action that deserves a longer look.

I especially liked the accelerator suits that Duke and Ripcord wear to track down the warheads. Watching these seemingly indestructible and powerful suits tearing through the streets of France on a chase was another intense scene that the filmmakers got MOSTLY right.

Some of this scene's thunder was stolen by one of the Joe's team members named Scarlett also chasing the warheads, but on a crotch rocket, through insane traffic causing it to be the most unbelievable pieces of crap ever. The suits make sense in the chase because they are a crazy Iron Man like technology, but a girl with nothing but a helmet and a bike making it through all these obstructions is just moronic. Scarlett on the bike was also some of the worst looking CGI in the film...note to editor: Cut that garbage out!
My favorite part of this entire film was probably the same as most who sat through a showing of this movie. Snakes Eyes vs. Storm Shadow. Two bad ass ninjas who have been fighting against each other since they were children equals one gigantic and awesome showdown in the end of this movie. The sword fighting between these two was such a marvel to watch I could not peel my eyes off the screen the entire duration of the fight. Storm Shadow was played by Ray Park, or as many of you may know him...Darth Maul.

G.I. Joe also gives these two characters some depth as the film flashes back in time when Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow were just kids, and have their first encounter. The film used this technique with it's other characters too which I felt enhanced the telling of these characters lives. This is pretty much the only credit you get screenwriters.

Another thing this film boasts a lot of is pretty females in costumes that I can only guess by the way they look are horribly uncomfortable. Why do costume designers always choose these ugly leather suits for action heroes?? My guess is the costume designer from the X-Men movies was available and he threw together what was left over from those projects hoping we wouldn't notice.
Overall, G.I. Joe is entertaining sometimes and others just dreadful. The acting is just terrible and the CGI in summary was embarassing for a movie released in 2009 with a $175 million dollar budget. The story was intriguing and the characters though portrayed poorly by most of the actors were enough to keep this story afloat until the end. I will say I did enjoy seeing this film to take in the decent action and scrutinize the failed attempt to make this movie an actual good one. Worth theater money? Definitely not more than a $5 showing. Worth seeing once, I would say most definitely.


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