Saw the new G.I. Joe movie. I’m not going to sugarcoat this. I’m just going to come right out and say it.
G.I. Joe was freakin’ awesome!
Do you remember when action movies actually had action in them? Back before The Matrix created a world where action movies have lots and lots of boring scenes where people talk and talk and talk and then, occasionally, someone gets kicked in the head but then we’re right back to talky talky talk talking.
G.I. Joe is a welcome return to that art form. All hail the return of the genuine thrilling action adventure film, where the good guys are good, the bad guys are bad, and shades of gray is for wusses.
And it’s about damned time.
I know that it’ll be fashionable to call G.I. Joe stupid, to say that it’s a ridiculous film built on ridiculous action pieces with two-dimensional characters and an absurd plot out of a Saturday morning cartoon. The problem isn’t that these cirticisms aren’t valid. It’s that many will think this is a negative, when in fact, it’s the film’s greatest strength. Yes, G.I. Joe is based on a line of toys, and the cartoon was often just categorized as a toy commercial. Rather than hide away from this, the makers of the Joe movie decided to run with it, and the result is more wonderful than words can describe.
Hovercrafts! Neovipers! Exosuits! Blasters! Ninjas! Underwater bases! Doomsday missiles! Jetpacks! If this list doesn’t convince you that this movie is awesome, well, save yourself the trouble because it’s clearly too much fun for you.
This was the movie Transformers should’ve been. A gutsy adrenalin rush of good versus evil tinged with just enough nostalgia to give it a little extra kick. The movie even improves on the original by managing to make Cobra dangerous. Though this was more a product of its 80′s origin, Cobra never really seemed a credible threat. It wasn’t just because they couldn’t kill anyone. (Death is too often a cheap contrivance in modern adventure fiction.) More often, their plans were too easily foiled, their schemes so ineffectively executed that they were more like The Three Stooges than an elite secret empire.
But in this film, Cobra proves to be far more effective. Also, while they are foiled, they aren’t entirely foiled. In fact, they achieve quite a noteworthy victory. I won’t spoil the details, but some will undoubtedly think the ending a bit of a cliffhanger. But to me, it was more of an acknowledgement that the battle between G.I. Joe and Cobra is far from over. And that Cobra is more dangerous than even the Joes have ever suspected.
I could go on and on about this film, but the bottom line is that you’ll either like it or you won’t. If the idea of a car chase involving two Joes in supersuits, another Joe on a motorcycle, a souped up SUV with a battering ram, and–not one–but two ninjas isn’t appealing to you, forget it then.
But for those of us who like underwater Arctic bases, doomsday devices, and a dash of Baroness with a healthy side of Snake Eyes, this movie is an instant classic.