The following review contains spoilers, if you plan to see this movie and don’t want it ruined for you, please be advised and come back to this particular review after you’ve seen it.
While I really love the fact that Hollywood has decided to take on all of my childhood favorites, I really wish they’d have a little respect for the established history.
G.I. Joe has a ton of history behind it. Admittedly, the various cartoons and comics have rewritten it over the years, but the writers of the new Rise of Cobra decided that the only truly important history was Destro’s (honestly, I’m just glad they cast someone who could actually play Scottish, and Chris Eccleston is great in the part) and the Snake Eyes/Storm Shadow rivalry (well, one version of it). One of my main issues was all the character alterations. If you’re going to change a character that much, why not just make a new one instead?
Prime example, the Baroness is no longer Austrian, but American, and we find out early on that she and Duke were romantically involved. Was this really necessary? Both the change in nationality and the affections for Duke. Really, it felt more like a James Bond story line…
…well, EVERY James Bond story line.
There’s plenty of eye-popping action, and the basic plot did feel like a typical G.I. Joe cartoon episode.
Ray Park was perfect as Snake Eyes, but what’s with the mouth on the rubber mask? Was that made by the same ass who put nipples on the batsuit? And apparently, this version of Snake Eyes just took a vow of silence instead of having his vocal chords damaged saving his teammates (the Marvel Comics origin). Also, the writer’s went for the childhood rivalry angle between Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow.
A good chunk of the plot deals with Cobra’s use of nanobots (called nanomites in the movie). As much as I like the idea of nanobots in science fiction, it seems to have become a crutch for writers these days. How can we make Zartan a TRUE master of disguise? Nanobots! How can we make Cobra soldiers expendable and 100% loyal? Nanobots! And the big one, how can we give Destro a metal face? Nanobots!!
Hey, you guys do realize the only reason the lips on Destro’s mask moved in the cartoon was because the animators realized how pointless drawing a motionless mask would be. It was completely unnecessary to actually give him a metal face! Just put him in the mask, the audience will understand.
Oh yeah, and what’s the deal with writers wanting to turn EVERY villain into Darth Vader? Cobra Commander was not horribly disfigured requiring a life-support system in either the cartoon OR the comic. In fact, in the comic he was a used car salesman who became fed up with the U.S. government and turned to terrorism. This, for me, is a much better story. He wore the metal mask to conceal his identity (also, I was always a fan of the cloth mask, much more terrifying), nothing else.
The writers also decided to make the Commander more like Dr. Mindbender (who does appear, but briefly) by making him more of the mad scientist running his experiments with nanomites. Question: If you’re smart enough to make these nanomites that can create a metal face, or make another face completely malleable, why can’t they fix your own horrible disfigurement? I mean, isn’t that the point of nanobots?
The movie is fun, with a ton of good action, decent character development (regardless of the skewed history), with some EXTREMELY cheesy dialogue, and some questionable C.G. at points.
This movie is about what I expected, maybe a little better. I lost a lot of faith in it when those “accelerator suits” were first revealed. In the initial trailer, I thought those were going to be B.A.Ts (Cobra’s Battle Android Troopers). I was sadly mistaken. At least they weren’t a major part of the story.
It’s watchable, but I don’t know if it’s worth spending $8 or $9 bucks on. I don’t often say this, but wait for the DVD.
William, the Movie Nerdfighter
who knows he takes established continuity a little too seriously because writers need the freedom to create, but wonders if it’s really that difficult to follow.