Massawyrm sees G.I. JOE: THE RISE OF COBRA and discovers that ass kicking is the other half of the battle
Published at: Aug. 7, 2009, 9:31 a.m. CST by merrick
Hola all. Massawyrm here.
You can say that G.I. JOE: THE RISE OF COBRA is completely absurd. You can say that it is a mindless trek into the imagination of a sugar tweaking 8 year old. You can say that it is SFX Eyeball Porn; that it is senseless; that it is goofy, stupid and stretches believability beyond the realm the acceptable. But what you can’t say is that this isn’t really a G.I. JOE movie. Because it fucking is.
I can see why Paramount was so terrified of it; why they snuck it out only to a few select critics. This is not a movie for the mainstream press. It just isn’t. It is a gleefully violent, psychotic voyage through mind’s eye of every boy born in the mid-to-late 70’s. This movie duplicates what it was like to play G.I. JOE. Nothing else. The explosions are huge, the action fast and the battles confusing. Important vehicles seem nigh indestructible, with Humvees that survive 23 consecutive car accidents without losing momentum and motorcycles that swerve a little after getting broadsided by a Ford F-250; while unimportant vehicles get torn apart like tinfoil and tossed around like…well, like toys.
Because that’s what they are. Toys.
There is nothing smart about this movie. It is not “surprisingly good.” In fact, I almost hesitate to use the word good at all. It’s crap, punctuated by several laugh out loud moments that are either beautifully intentional or sadly ironic. But it is fun. Every moment of it is delightfully aggressive, ever smiling and never content with the amount of carnage it has managed to burp out. And much like the cartoon, many of the battle sequences contain so much information that it is impossible to take it all in – but if you pay careful attention to the background, you just might see something funny or cool going on.
This is the very essence of short attention span film making, the kind of film that could tame a spastic, hyperactive 8 year old and paralyze him with overstimulation, completely preventing him from making any movements that weren’t excited claps of elation. It will not bore you; it will not stop to try to explain anything; it will not attempt to catch its breath. G.I. JOE wants to blow shit up and this movie aims to let them.
Purists are going to be a little pissed. Cobra doesn’t wear blue suits, Destro isn’t Destro yet, Cobra Commander isn’t wearing his trademark mask (or even a hood), Zartan doesn’t have heavy metal face paint nor does he live in a swamp. Shit like that. But it sure feels like G.I. JOE. When Cobra first attacks a regular military unit, they decimate them with technology that the military just can’t handle – and when the JOEs finally show up, you get a real sense of why they exist. Every JOE is every bit as badass as they should be. Snake Eyes is a fast, ass kicking mother fucker. Scarlet is smart, good in a fight and every 13 year old boy’s wet dream. And Duke is every bit the bold leader he should be.
In fact, if there is one departure from the show I was happy to see, it was that Cobra wasn’t filled with ineffective buffoons. Quite the contrary, they were pretty kickass in their own right. Storm Shadow is a vicious murderer – and his fights with Snake Eyes are every bit as epic as they should be. The Baroness is no slouch. Destro and Cobra Commander have multi-layered plans that don’t fail at every turn. And the Cobra troops are actually really pretty tough.
Of course, none of that will excuse the stilted dialog, the cheesy moments, the implausibility of the story or the hilarious flashback sequences in the minds of many out there. If you want a real, honest to god film out of this, you are looking at the wrong movie, brother. This is a nostalgic theme park ride designed to remind you what it was like to be 10 years old in 1985 and to sell a whole new generation of kids a line of plastic that can help them make their daydreams come true too. It is unapologetic in its brash, over the top manner, and if the words “big dumb movie” scare the shit out of you, you probably shouldn’t step within 50 feet of a theater showing this.
Me? I loved the shit out of it. For two hours I was taken back to a time when I tossed around plastic jeeps, spent hours building elaborate Cobra fortresses and flew my favorite toy in the world - The Cobra Rattler – over G.I. JOE’s poorly fortified headquarters, strafing it with my badass Gatling gun. Hell yeah. Will I watch this again? Probably not. But I saw this with a row of my buddies, prefaced by a howling Tim League dressed as Cobra Commander, and ate pizza, drank soda and lived the life the 10 year old me would have high fived me for. This movie was for him. And he loved it.
Until next time friends, smoke ‘em if ya got ‘em.