G.I. Joe – Rise of the Cobra Review: G.I. D’oh

August 4, 2009 by  
Filed under - Home, Film Reviews

G.I. JOE – RISE OF THE COBRA: On General Release Friday 7th August

Watching G.I. Joe after being subjected to Transformers 2 is a curious thing.

It’s like sitting down to a bootlegged copy of Dukes of Hazzard, only Jessica Simpson has inexplicably been replaced by Jordan.

Hard as it is for your poor, movie-abused mind to conceive, but as you sit there watching yet another celluloid travesty unfold, you realise that there’s actually a whole new level of stupid so far beyond and below what you even thought possible.

Something that much more overblown, dumb, loud, fake and pointlessly vacuous that you can literally feel your helpless remaining brain cells not only dying, but willingly committing synapse-crumbling suicide if it means an end to the car-crash, gawptastic inanity-splooge currently playing out before your eyes.

Like I said, Jordan.

Chad ‘Beefcake’ Tatum takes on the role of Generic Cornbred, a predictably gifted soldier who is soon drafted into the covert branch of the American Army – G.I. Joe – after an assignment goes awry.

It turns out there are two raygun warring factions (headed by a budget Darth Vader and budget Dennis Quaid respectively), locked in an eternal battle to decide once and for all who can claim title to the world’s dodgiest Scottish accent.

That’s what I took from it anyway.

Basing movies on action figures is nothing new. Yet, as schlocky and over the top as Transformers 2 was, it was at least partially aware of its limitations and attempted to make up for its faults with humour, character and astounding special effects. They may not have struck true every time, but G.I. Joe is so far wide of the mark it might as well have been directed by David Blunkett.

For all intents and purposes, it’s a live action version of Team America: World Police. Only, hilariously in an ironically triple-bluff kind of way, without the humour. It’s an unknowingly amusing action movie that’s somehow an unwitting parody of a comedic parody of an action movie.

Want proof? There are Eiffel Tower demolishing set pieces, wooden acting (at least the puppets had an excuse) and hackneyed, laughable attempts at ‘character’ development.

Sienna Miller’s leather-clad buttocks fail to live up to the billboard hype, yet still manage to outperform every other person sharing the screen with every pronounced, slow-mo zoomed-in jiggle. The inclusion of a Wayans brother, any Wayans brother, is tantamount to writing, lobbying and then voting for its first Razzie nomination, while Christopher Eccleston’s entire performance is probably the most scarring thing you’ll see this summer.

And that includes Antichrist’s little DIY circumsicion.

It’s also hard to tell exactly where G.I. Joe is being pitched. The sporadic eyeball-knivings would prove too extreme for the pre-pubescents, the crappy CGI (also known as ‘the entire film’) is too hamfisted for cynical teenagers, and the head-slappingly atrocious dialogue, boring setpieces and offensively stupid plot is too childish for adults.

Stephen Sommers is a director who can charm with bedazzling enthusiasm (The Mummy, Deep Rising) as regularly as he can infuriate with braindead pointlessness (The Mummy Returns, Van Helsing), yet it’s still shocking to sit back, contemplate and slowly process the fact that he’s produced probably the most retarded thing you will ever see committed to camera.

And that includes Jordan.

Matt Risley

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