Starring: Channing Tatum, Sienna Miller, Marlon Wayans
Directed by: Stephen Sommers (“The Mummy”)
Written by: Stuart Beattie (“Australia”), David Elliot (“Four Brothers”), and Paul Lovett (“Four Brothers”)
While video-game adaptations for movies are still finding their way to the big screen, Hollywood has deemed it necessary to also turn more toy lines into feature films. As if “Transformers” wasn’t enough of an unnecessary ploy, welcome “G.I. Joe” to the fray.
Call it pure, mindless summer fun for the escapist in all of us, but where the movie lacks severely is in a fleshed-out narrative and memorable special effects. Still, at least “G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra” stays true to its original toy soldiers by making every one of its characters is as synthetic as the Hasbro toy they spawned from.
In the film, a top-secret Special Forces brigade known as G.I. Joe (short for Global Integrated Joint Operating Entity) is sent on a mission to find a massively destructive weapon that has fallen into the hands of the mysterious Cobra organization.
Channing Tatum (“Fighting”) stars as Duke, who along with his friend Ripcord (Marlon Wayans) become the newest members of the elite military group. Duke jumps on board since he is familiar with the femme fatale known as the Baroness (Sienna Miller) who is part of the evil plot to destroy the world.
For fans who collected the action figures or watched the 80s cartoon, there are plenty more characters carrying high-tech weapons that will probably transport you back to a time when melting things with a magnifying glass was considered the highlight of the weekend. But unless you know the entire mythology of the series, there’s really no reason to start learning about it now.
This isn’t rocket science we’re dealing with here. Basically, all anyone needs to know about “G.I. Joe” is that there are good guys and bad guys and a whole lot of fighting that needs to happen before the credits roll. This includes a tedious scene where about 100 vehicles are destroyed for what seems to be an eternity. There are also a couple of head-to-head ninja sequences between Snake Eyes (Ray Park) and Storm Shadow (Byung-hun Lee) that aren’t half bad.
Overall, “G.I. Joe” is one big cartoon of a movie. Depending on how invested you are in the franchise will make or break this visceral action-pack adventure for you.