G.I. Joe: The Rise Of Cobra (2009)

STEPHEN SOMMERS

Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBB

USA, 2009.  Paramount Pictures, Spyglass Entertainment, Hasbro, Di Bonaventura Pictures, Digital Image Associates. Story by , , Stephen Sommers, Screenplay by Stuart Beattie, Cinematography by .  Produced by , , .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by Bob Ducsay, ,

Well, it certainly doesn’t look like the little green guys my friends were playing with in the eighties. In this supercharged action flick, a group of soldiers are transporting a dangerous biochemical weapon when they are waylaid by bad guys who nearly get away with the loot. Thankfully, a team of elite international fighters called G.I. Joes show up, save the day, and take the two surviving soldiers (, ) back to their headquarters for recruitment. From there begins a game of armed ping-pong as two sides of a struggle do their best to hold on to a very precious, but dangerous, weapon that could destroy entire cities in no time. At the head of the evil operation is a turncoat weapons manufacturer () with no morals who will sell to the highest bidder (or two of them), his sexy female accomplice () who was once Tatum’s girlfriend, and the evil genius Cobra () behind the design. Despite a completely meatheaded approach to filmmaking that simply tries to make everything as loud and vulgar as possible, this film by veteran summer blockbuster helmer Stephen Sommers (The Mummy) manages to make you glad you stuck it out. The action starts out confusing but eventually becomes a really fun game of Tag whose crazy fights and disastrous explosions grow more and more entertaining. Even the visual effects, which are plentiful and, I’m hoping, intentionally unrealistic, become colourful and appealing as the film wears down your resolve and forces you to completely enjoy yourself. The only really sore point is a lack of appealing characters or performances; Tatum is a walking tree trunk and reveals nothing charismatic or memorable, his performance somehow even more boring than his role, while Wayans is funny but too familiar a stereotype. Look out for cameos from Sommers’ Mummy cast, including Brendan Fraser, and .

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