G.I Joe: The Rise of The Cobra Thoughts Before THE end of the summer blockbuster season is nearly over with the release of the atrociously named G.I Joe: The Rise Of The Cobra (second to Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen as the worst named movie thi

G.I Joe: The Rise of The Cobra (Cert PG)


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Thoughts Before

THE end of the summer blockbuster season is nearly over with the release of the atrociously named G.I Joe: The Rise Of The Cobra (second to Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen as the worst named movie this year I think).

My thoughts are quite ambivalent to this release though; I've got no synchronicity to the G.I Joe franchise at all and this isn't a brand that I'm particularly bothered about.

But this happens occasionally; a seemingly minor brand gets a film opportunity and suddenly a genuinely good franchise erupts from unknown ashes. A well-known recent example: Pirates Of The Caribbean.

Some good credentials shine with G.I Joe: The Rise Of The Cobra, which is refreshing. Director Stephen Sommers has previously been at the helm of some great summer flicks like The Mummy series and Van Helsing.

Writer Stuart Beattie wrote the script for two of the Pirates Of The Caribbean films and the rather sublime Collateral (which was nominated for a Best Original Screenplay Oscar).

So some pretty great things here... just a shame about the cast, for a release as major as it is there's not anyone that really stands out. Marlon Wayans, who co-starred in the amazing Requiem For A Dream, is someone I fear was a one hit wonder. Sienna Miller, though gorgeous, has not done much to prove herself in the big time.

So after a summer of magic spells, robots exploding and superheroes tussling about, it looks like the blockbuster season is ending with 'an elite military unit taking on a notorious arms dealer'. Brilliant.

Thoughts Afterwards

Some movies come out that I know I have to review but dread the time I hand over the money to see the damned thing. I admit I go in thinking that this looks terrible in trailers and as the opening credits roll I try and keep an open mind.

I saw the trailer to this and was not looking forward to it much at all.

But I'll be the first to say that this really surprised me a lot. The whole thing starts quite typically, and I rolled my eyes at the over-used historical opening, but as the story unfolded at a brisk pace I realised I was enjoying this increasingly.

The story follows, as previously stated, a top-secret military agent that tend to be the last call of governments across the globe. Dispatched when all else fails and with some neo-contemporary gadgets at their fingertips, they vow that 'when all else fails, we don't'. And all else did indeed fail when a nasty group of individuals get their hands on a devastating new super weapon. Sounds particularly bland, right?

And you'd be right, story-wise it's as generically action as it goes and you've seen this kind of thing a million times before. But there's something about this story that I liked, although I can't quite put my finger on it; perhaps it is the nice use of flashbacks throughout, the two fairly nice romantic sub-plots or that the villains were ridiculous but did mean business.

There was a fifteen-minute segment that stood out as easily my favourite summer blockbuster moment of 2009 though. As the team are battling to save the Eiffel Tower in Paris we are treated to some of the best visual effects for a long time and, unlike Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen, actually get more than shooting and explosions. We get some brilliant fight sequences and a terrifically intense car chase that puts even the famous one in The Matrix Reloaded to shame. I had a massive grin on my face and couldn't help but yelp an over-loud 'come on!' during certain points.

Cast and script wise it's standard fair - not as solid as Star Trek but definitely surpassing most other 2009 equivalents. Sienna Miller looked great, especially with the blonde hair in flashback, and newcomer Channing Tatum was likeable enough as the main hero. Marlon Wayans performed a great impression of Will Smith in Independence Day and was the surefire crowd-pleaser.

This is the ultimate boys and their toys movie. It's not thrown £100 million on dynamite, oh no, but it's basically realised the dream movie for anyone who grew up with Action Man and Military Muscle Men toys. Not only that but it's bound to be an essential purchase when it's on Blu Ray. This really is a brilliant and masculine gem of a film, the perfect father and son movie at last.

4/5 Stars