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Brian’s Delicious DLP Screening of G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra

Well I said I would not do it, but I did!  I got my hopes up before seeing G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra.  Was I disappointed?  Heck no!  I sat there like a carefree kid in a candy store waiting for the next trip down memory lane as I saw all the action figures of my childhood come to life before my eyes on the big screen.  Although, who would have ever known that The Baroness and Scarlett would have ever looked so good brought to life?  We’ll get to that in a moment.

So how was it is the burning with anticipation question that must be on everyone’s mind reading this review.  Well let me rewind back a year and tell you about my fear, apprehension and heartburn I had towards this movie.  Much like I felt about going into the first Transformers film, I feared that my childhood memories of the beloved G.I. Joe franchise would be destroyed by a live action motion picture take on the storylines.  And much like the aftermath results of seeing the first Transformers film, my fears were quickly relinquished, as I was able to breathe a huge sigh of relief.  Sure G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra is not going to take home any prestigious movie awards, but it never ambitiously sets out to do so. Instead, this film is going to represent your typical big summer blockbuster, which this summer was desperately in need of.  And if you live in Ohio, we need all the summer we can get. 

Let me just clear the air with one fear I am sure most people have, including myself originally.  Those accelerator suits are not worn throughout the movie.  Get over it!  They are in one scene only.  All right, you can now breathe a huge sigh of relief.  I think besides the new black outfits, those accelerator suits were the one unanimous thing people frowned upon, after seeing the initial film trailers.  And so we come to the black suits.  I mean c’mon.  Did you really expect Scarlett to run around fighting bad guys in a yellow and pastel blue jumpsuit?  Most of you did not mind the changes made to the outfits in the X-Men films so don’t concern yourself too much with it in this film.  Let’s just move on.  It is, after all, the year 2009 and not 1983 anymore.

To help ease my fear of the film I purchased the official novel of the movie to hopefully be able to read during my air travel on my most recent trip to San Diego.  Finding time to read on a plane, for that trip, was not a problem at all.  It’s a long story you don’t want to hear about.  Anyway, I admit to not being the biggest fan of reading.  Usually I read about 20 pages and then it is lights out.  That was not the case with this book.  After the first 20 pages of reading about Destro’s ancestors I found myself an hour later with over 100 pages of time invested and I was craving for more.  The only time I can remember being this giddy about a book was when I was reading the Star Wars prequels before the films came out, a tradition most people find strange.  People question why I read the movie novels before seeing the film and not after, like most normal peeps do.  Wow!  I do get off the subject fast don’t I?  So anyways, it was upon finishing the G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra novel up that I immediately realized that this film could actually be good.  The book perfectly crafted an adult G.I. Joe universe with plenty of humor and action, memorable characters and a plot I cared about, unlike that of the second Transformers film.  So let’s get to the good parts.

Already knowing that the book exceeded my expectations, I started feeling the way I promised myself I would not going into the film.  I knew in my heart that if the movie was even half as good as the novel I just read that I had a serious contender here.  The only problem now was the overwhelming hype brewing inside of me and knowing everything that was about to transpire going into last night’s screening.  However, that did not stop me from having a good time and as I sit here writing this I can’t stop grinning about wanting to see this one again.  There was plenty of spectacular balls off-the-wall action to behold, although mostly CGI induced, and just the right amount of comedic events mixed in to get the audience chuckling every so often courtesy of Marlon Wayans.  The action seemed mostly surreal at times, almost like watching the film Ultraviolet, but not in a distracting way. 

I think director Stephen Sommers capitalized on delivering a fun summer blockbuster movie voiding the audience of having to do any exhausting thinking.  His sole intention seemed focused on having people (everyday Joe’s) enjoy themselves at the movies and I believe he accomplished that.  After leaving the screening, no one in the audience looked or felt cheated out of their ticket prices. It helped me, having had read the novel, to know what was going on at all times, but even people who never experienced G.I. Joe before in their lives, like my wife, understood exactly what had just transpired on the screen.  And best of all…she is willing to also go back and experience it over again!  So I guess what I am trying to say is don’t buy into that entire negative buzz campaign which surrounded the film many months ago.  Stephen Sommers never got fired and was never asked to leave the editing room.  If anything, I believe all that press attention, as negative as it may have been, really could have been nothing more than a marketing ploy to stir up interest in the film.  I know it sure worked for me.  I sat there wide-eyed reading all those horrible stories months ago and in disbelief as there was hardly a peep about the movie at this year’s Comic-Con, an event I thought for sure Paramount would have taken the opportunity to capitalize on for this film.  I was dead wrong in my thoughts.  But as I drove home from the theater last night and my thoughts started to wander, as they often do, I realized you know what…Paramount did not need to spend any extra money promoting this film, the name sold this product a long time ago and it is what it is.

Now let’s get to the good stuff.  Let’s see…there was The Baroness, the actress who played The Baroness and the black outfits that The Baroness wore.  Did I tell you about The Baroness?  I am just kidding of course.  I can spend an exuberant amount of time telling you everything I liked about this film so I will just stick with the highlights for me.  First off, if you could not tell, I was a huge fan of Sienna Miller’s portrayal of The Baroness.  That’s what got me in there in the first place.  All right, I am lying again.  The name of the product and the fond childhood memories of playing with the action figures in my youth sold me a long time ago.   Second, I was really nervous for her, but my girl Rachel Nichols really pulled off her role as Scarlett and also fit into her outfits very well.  Marlon Wayans added the comedic relief, sort of like C-3P0 to Channing Tatum’s R2D2-like seriousness.  If he was not born for this role, then I don’t know who was, as Dennis Quaid pulled off a very convincing General Hawk.  His demeanor and looks fit that role to a tee.  I don’t even think he had to try and act.  Of course, you can never go wrong with the brilliant minds behind Destro and Zartan, Christopher Eccleston and Arnold Vosloo.

So I went over some of the goods, but how about some of the not so goods?  Oh sure there are plenty, but I will just pick several to talk about so instead of wasting your time reading this review when you could be out there already seeing this film!  First off, I had a beef with Snake Eyes and that ridiculous mask he wore, most notably the lips on it.  I really wish they had consulted with me before.  I do have to disagree with Rick Gerbasich about his liking of the new origin story of why Snake Eyes is mute.  I don’t know.  I just was not sold on it.  I believe there to be problems and holes with that origin story that could have been better explained by a war injury, in my opinion.   And what is with Storm Shadow’s winter parka outfit?  This bugged me from the beginning of the film’s production years ago all the way to now.  They could not have found a cooler way to make a white ninja outfit?  Of course, this is just nitpicking on my account.  All of the CGI effects were rendered splendid except the ice caps inside the Cobra’s Arctic base, but again this is very minor squabbling.  I also want to challenge Channing Tatum to step up in his role as Duke in the next film and work on delivering his lines with more conviction.  After viewing, I am sure you will see why I am faulting his performance a bit.  Last but not least, was the feeling that there was two minor deviations from the book that I feel should not have been changed and/or left out.  One of them was brought to the attention of my wife who later asked me how did this happen and I had to explain to her that a major dialogue scene was missing from the movie that was in the book and ironically, it was in the trailers for the film, but cut from the theatrical release.  That ladies and gentleman, is pretty much the only heartburn I experienced with the film.  That was not so bad was it?

So in essence, what we have here is not a failure to communicate, but rather a fun filled explosively good time at the cinema, a perfect way to escape the summer heat, unless you live in Ohio that is.  So regardless of what you heard in the news and media, you owe to yourself to go and check out G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra in theaters today.  Heck, go twice!  Why not!  What a perfect way for the adults, really the kid in all of us, to rediscover the magic and appeal of G.I. Joe all over again, and to be able to share it with your offspring now.  Who said the magic of the 1980’s was dead?  It’s still alive in the hearts of all us thirty-something year old fans and now it is forever immortalized on the silver screen.  Want a no strings attached summer thrill ride?  Then look no further than G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, the blockbuster big-budget family action film that’s sorely been missing this summer’s movie lineup.  Harry Potter who?  And did I mention Sienna Miller is The Baroness?  All right already, I will shut up.  Thanks for reading!

 

Sienna Miller as The Baroness (pictured below…)

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Owner/Writer/Reviewer/Editor, Dreamer, Producer, Agent of Love, Film Lover, Writer of Screenplays and a Devoted Apostle to all things Ford Mustangs (the real ones with V8's!). Some of my favorite films include FIGHT CLUB, MOULIN ROUGE, THE DARK KNIGHT, STAR WARS alongside television shows such as SEINFELD, 24, SANFORD & SON and even the often loathed in the geek community BIG BANG THEORY. Outside of my three lives I live I also enjoy spending time with my girlfriend and our three girls (of the furry kind).

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