Been a long time since I’ve seen a movie on opening day but thanks to my wife having the day off, Good Friday was a good movie Friday. Once again, bullet points for a movie full o’ bullets:
–Never heard of director Jon M. Chu, but I’d say he did an admirable job. Storytelling was clear, fight scenes well-choreographed.
–The theater where we saw it had a brief intro to the film by Chu, then another with Dwayne Johnson and Mark Walberg mentioning their upcoming PAIN NO GAIN film. (The former “Rock” is in no less than three blockbusters this spring/summer.)
–Plenty of action with Snake Eyes, my favorite and the coolest Joe by far. (the video above shows off some of the great Snake Eyes action!)
–We find out who really killed the master of the temple that raised Snake and Stormshadow as seen in G.I. JOE: RISE OF COBRA.
–The humor, though sparse, was for the most part genuinely funny. We laughed out loud a few times. (The North Korea slams were cheap but humorous.)
–Bruce Willis is always Bruce Willis, whether he’s John McClane or the more subdued General Coulton. Too bad he had such few lines.
–For those who like guns, you’ll get your money’s worth.
–Did not see the connection between Snake Eyes and Darth Maul of STAR WARS till the end credits. Very cool!
–Some of the effects were by Digital Domain, the famous, Oscar-winning FX house that had to file Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last September.
–One of the three storyboard artists was Benton Jew, a cool guy and excellent storyteller I met at Comic-Con a few years ago. His illustrator brother, Anson, writes a blog with one of the best titles ever, “A Goy Named Jew”
–No less than three major characters buy the farm; one of which ticked off the G.I. Geek behind me so much he wouldn’t shut up about it during the credits. (Piece of advice: there’s something called “whispering” that’s very easy to do. But it requires turning your fat head to the person next to you. Try it sometime. The rest of the theater does NOT need to hear your reviews of the film or your “clever” comments during the previews.)
–G.I. Joes apparently have SPF 100 sunblock permanently grafted to their skin, because they don’t get the slightest bit sunburned even walking through the desert mid-day.
–If you’re part of COBRA, you can get rammed with an SUV and not only survive, not only stay conscious, not only not break anything, but can get up and run away!
–Some Joes have ugly-looking breast implants. You’d think the government could afford better.
–RZA, the Wu-Tang Clan rapper, plays a monk of the Ninja temple “Kre-O” (excuse any misspelling). Acting was fine but he obviously didn’t have a dialect coach. Last I checked, Asian monks do not speak with a Brooklyn accent!
–If you show a major city being blown up in a room full of heads of state, you could at least show the reaction of that country’s prime minister rather than its neighbor’s! WTF?
–As much as I love the silent-but-deadly Snake Eyes, no one has yet addressed how he asks a question. Or how he alerts one of his teammates to danger. (His full-head mask doesn’t make it easy to whistle!)
–I don’t know what’s going on with Hollywood. Last week’s OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN dealt with the White House being overtaken/destroyed by terrorists. This time we saw a preview for WHITE HOUSE DOWN (also with Channing Tatum) with the same premise. Also saw the trailer for WORLD WAR Z, about a global apocalypse. G.I. JOE deals with COBRA unleashing weapons to initiate a global apocalypse. IRON MAN 3 deals with the terrorist Mandarin threatening global apocalypse to take over the world. Good grief! I am apocalypsed out and the summer blockbuster season hasn’t even begun!
OVERALL RATING: Rent it. We’re glad we didn’t waste money on 3-D, DFX or anything else. If you catch it OnDemand or on Netflix, you can at least watch the first G.I. JOE for a refresher; I think it would help. This was fun but not worth rushing to the theater.
Unless, of course, you’re a guy with “low T” and need some testosterone. There’s enough in this film to give you what you need without the side effects. And it’s cheaper than pills!
P.S.: Speaking of macho, how about a badass, action-packed commission of G.I. JOE or any other franchise by yours truly? I’ll draw as many bullets and blood as you want, no extra charge. Just ask Craig here!