13 August 2009

G.I. Joe

Wow. Astonishingly, overwhelmingly terrible. I knew it would be bad, so I went in prepared for two hours of suffering. But my expectations were nowhere near low enough. Beware: spoilers below if you haven't seen it.

The plot line is tortuous and inexplicable. The villain gets funding from NATO to develop four warheads of destructive nanotech, and then tries to engineer their theft in order to launch them at the major capitals of the world. As it turns out, this is because they have replaced the President with a look-alike and want the whole world to look to him for leadership after a disaster. That makes so little sense it's amazing anyone could say their lines without giggling. COBRA has technology that allows them to destroy any city in the world at will regardless of defenses, but that's their end goal?

This is in addition to the fact that they can control anyone's mind with their nanobots, but it never seems to occur to them how useful that might be.

Another major flaw is that the good guys sucked. There were like ten major good-guy field operatives, and they had cybernetic armor that made them super-soldiers capable of outrunning cars and making them almost immune to damage. This is compared to COBRA's three field operatives who are armed with a sword, a knife, and a ray-gun pistol. Compared to COBRA, the Joes were pathetic.

And then there's the characters:
  • Duke - I was surprised to find out that Tatum Channing - Channing Tatum? whatever, who the hell cares - was never a wrestler. And in fact, I thought he might be John Cena for a while there, since they are almost indistinguishable. And of course, their level of talent is about the same.
  • Hawk - Okay, Dennis Quaid was spot-on. Not a word of complaint.
  • Ripcord - Jesus fucking Christ, Marlon Wayans.
  • Baroness - Not hot. This is the only requirement for the Baroness, but Sienna Miller is not hot in this movie.
  • Scarlett - They tried really, really hard to make her the hot one. She spends about half of her screen time just jiggling ("Wait a second Ripcord, I have to break open some concrete with this jackhammer real quick. Then I'll help you on the trampoline, don't worry.") And while I appreciate that, it really started to smack of desperation after a while. Combined with her straw-man Spock attitude - she doesn't understand emotions because you can't test them scientifically durrr all smart scientists aren't as good as you folks in the audience - it made for irritation.
  • Stormshadow - "Oh, there's a Japanese character in the script? Eh, cast a Korean. They all look the same."
  • Snake Eyes - Foam-rubber lips now enter the annals of Costume Mistakes, right up there with Batman and Robin's foam-rubber nipples.

Give this one a pass. It's not worth it, even for curiosity. It wasn't even so bad as to be fun. It was just bad.


  1. You do not say such blasphemous thing about Lee Byung Hun. He was the best thing about the movie. Not to mention... there was no Japanese ANYWHERE. The kid was speaking badly pronounced Korean.

  2. That was supposed to be KOREAN?!

    I'm not sure if it's better or worse that they were in Japan speaking Korean - was that deliberate or did just figure it didn't matter?