G.I. Joe Tries to Be Like Iron Man

G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra is based on the Hasbro’s dolls for boys. I don’t think I ever owned a G.I. Action figure. Friends of mine did. They were about a foot tall, had limbs you could move, and you put clothes on them. They had weapons and looked like Mattel’s Ken’s worst nightmare. In the post VietNam era it was an unusual toy. In the 80s action figures became smaller and more buff. There was a cartoon about G.I. Joe so kids could learn about all the different characters. I thought G.I. Joe was just one character but apparently he’s a whole team of soldiers. Twenty years later the kids who watched those cartoons now work in Hollywood.

The movie for me was a visual compilation of Iron Man and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. I really liked Iron Man and look forward to its sequel. On the other hand I loathed The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Like the Mummy film it seemed to rely on special effects too much. I’m tired of the particle effect being used over and over again in movies — it’s time for a new trick. There was some attempt a humor but it was not sharp enough. There was an attempt at some backstory but it to seemed flat. The point of all that seemed to be to formulate some sort of character genesis but it never really succeeded. We don’t learn much about Dennis Quaid’s character who presumably formed the team.

The movie is very loud and qualifies as a fun popcorn movie but not much more. It is set up for a sequel but I would not expect one to be made. There is one redeeming scene in the movie and it is the Paris chase scene. The characters are still getting used to their Iron Man suits and are constantly falling over and running into things. At one point a character gets hit by a car. The car is totaled but the suit protects the character.

That fun sequence is not enough to carry the movie. There are ton’s of stars here but they each seem to be just showing up for a paycheck. Marlon Wayans is good in his character but they did not let him be smart or funny. He is constantly being shown up by Scarlett who later has a breakdown and has a change of heart for him.

I’m glad I didn’t spend money to see it in the theater. As a Netflix rental it was fun.

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