07 August 2009

GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra

URBAN: Completely over the top. Not quality, but somewhat entertaining.

Stephen Sommers directs this loud, wild, and fast paced battle that never ends.

URBAN: Unlike some of the other ridiculous action films of this summer, Transformers-with its soldiers engaged in the war on terror in Iraq and Wolverine-with its references to the Vietnam Conflict, this film makes no attempt to claim it has a connection with the real world. For that, it is almost refreshing, especially since this film is so ridiculously over-the-top.

The characters are the most obvious lack of real world connection. All of the characters are amazingly able to survive the calamities that befall the myriad of stooges on both sides of the conflict. One of them is able to leap over flying vehicles and another can avoid death even after he ejects from an airplane that has escaped the earth's atmosphere.

Weaponry also plays a part in identifying this world from the real one. Here, there is a type of funnel force field weapon that sounds like a weapon fired by the Geonosis characters on Star Wars: Battlefront. As you might expect, there are also multiple jets and tunneling machines that confound the imagination. Most confounding of all, is the underwater base that Cobra uses. Actually, the most confounding thing is the physics that exist during the battle around the sea base. People are afraid of ice sinking and crushing the base. Subs hit by rockets spin off as if they were in space. It really does seem like another planet.

Also, I know that several other reviews have mentioned the sound level being a little extreme. I know this sounds like an old person thing to say, but the sound levels were ridiculously loud. While I would like to think this was some sort of rookie mistake, Per Hallberg and Karen Baker, the credited sound editors, have both won academy awards for work in action/war films before. Hopefully, this isn't a signal of things to come.

The story is bare there,, and the flashbacks intended to explain it are even worse. I was laughing out loud at many of these, especially the ones of young storm shadow, who is the same kid who plays the drug lord on Tropic Thunder.

Most infuriating about this film-the characters aren't American. GI Joe is no longer the Real American Hero, although all of the characters still speak English.

Despite this long list of what is wrong with the film, I would still say it is better than Wolverine: Origins and Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen. It manages to do so by completely ignoring reality and focusing on creating a world of superheroes that fight against each other with James Bond technology and change identity with the ease of Mission Impossible face masks. With pure action and awesomeness such as this,,, you know that they would set themselves up well for a sequel.

I guess that if you lower your expectations, this film would be alright. I just imagined that this story would be able to convey so much more.

URBAN: Not Recommended

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