G.I. Schmoe

Written by Burl on September 8th, 2009

If you were to distill the testosterone of a 10-year-old boy who’s been playing HALO all weekend, you’d have what juices “G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra.”
There is some sort of plot to the movie, although it’s basically an excuse for a bunch of noisy mayhem. There are two gigantic secret organizations, one of which is the G.I. Joes, and I suppose the other is Cobra. The political details are fuzzy. The secret paramilitary organizations are so huge that all the black budgets in history would never keep them under cover, but hey, reality isn’t the point. Neither is basic physics. (And one point, the polar ice cap is blowed up good, and the ice sinks in the ocean.)
Nope. It’s all about pressing the trigger, baby.
Sounds profoundly stupid, which it is, but proudly. Also, sounds awful, which it isn’t. Not if you’re still in contact with that frustrated 10-year-old inside. “G.I. Joe” is perfectly OK with what it’s trying to do, which is bring toys to life. And reduce the humans to toylike avatars.
“G.I. Joe” is a tremendous success at one thing, and that is choreographing action sequences. Director Stephen Sommers — “The Mummy,” etc. — is an old hand at this sort of thing, but he’d outdone himself here. The movie is one bravura thrilling bit of crazy crashbang after another, and despite all the noise and fury and spinning camera work, you never lose your footing. You’re able to keep track of who’s doing what, where, and with whom. It’s the motion part of “motion pictures,” and on steroids. Michael Bay could learn a thing or two in basic storyboarding from Sommers.


1 Comments so far ↓

  1. Mutt says:

    This is what I like about you and your friend Mr. Ebert — your movie review addresses what the movie itself has tried to do, not what someone thinks it should be. A panned movie still might “succeed” if it is exactly what it is supposed to be, even if that something is simple, mindless entertainment.

    Ain’t nothin’ wrong with that.

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