The trailers for the new G.I. Joe movie look pretty cool. Oh, I know it’s easy to look down on this sort of absurd, over-the-top adventure flick. But damn it, I’m not going to do that. Fun action-adventure flicks are not automatically stupid. A good adventure film takes just as much care and skill to produce as a quiet English period drama. There’s a lot of lousy and ridiculous action adventure movies, but there’s a lot of lousy English period dramas too. So don’t tell me it’s stupid and expect me to automatically agree with you. Although it can be, and often is.
But this flick looks awesome because G.I. Joe is awesome. Not just G.I. Joe, but the entire concepts of 80’s toys are just cool. Whether it’s G.I. Joe, Transformers, M.A.S.K., or Care Bears, there’s just something magical about this stuff. And I admit here that I did actually like Care Bears and owned a few because Care Bears are cute and they let me know it’s okay to have feelings. Plus, have you seen that first Care Bear movie? It is a dark journey, man. Even a little scary. (Hey, I was a kid at the time.)
The thing I love about 80’s toys is that they are crazy weird, but they’re crazy weird in a way that the world should be.
G.I. Joe is about an elite commando squad who fights an organization of superterrorists whose ultimate goal is to take over the world. Terrorists in real life are just stupid. They have no goal other than to blow people up and create havoc. But Cobra is there to make money, to get power, to rule the world. And instead of suicide bombers and grainy video tape footage threats, they have hovercrafts and specially trained soldiers and colorful minions. One of their most important members is a guy who has a metal face. And that’s just neat.
Wouldn’t terrorism be easier to stomach if its leaders were created via experiments with raw protoplasm, a dash of sorcery, and the combined DNA of history’s greatest conquerors? I think so. Anyway, Cobra wouldn’t do anything as pointless and destructive as the World Trade Center attack. They’d be too busy building death rays and weather machines.
Also, I love the whole concept of the Joes. In what other military unit does a shirt and no shoes (Quick Kick) qualify as a uniform? (Don’t ask, don’t tell, indeed.) And while the Navy Seals are very damn cool, they still can’t compete with a single mute ninja. By the way, isn’t it cool that G.I. Joe employs the handicapable?
G.I. Joe is the only military unit I know of where having a unique animal sidekick is considered a perk. Shipwreck has a parrot. I can just imagine his interview now.
SHIPWRECK: Look, I’ll join your supersecret military unit, but only if I can bring this bird with me into battle.
HAWK: You’re in.
Ah, to live in such a world. I’d have a kangaroo myself. And they’d call me Outback, the Australian Joe.
sigh. Stupid reality. Sometimes you really get on my nerves.