Sunday, August 09, 2009

G.I. Joe: Rise of … WTF?!

I've just gotten back from seeing the movie G.I. Joe: Rise of the Cobra and I feel compelled to write this while it's still fresh in my mind.

Because lord knows I shall be doing anything and everything to erase it from my brain as soon as I hit 'Publish Post,' including bashing my face against the wall until I break through into next door's living room and get to greet my delightful lady neighbour with a bloodied face and a jaunty wink before passing out.

I can't say I was terribly enthusiastic about seeing this film, but as I had fond memories of owning the toys when I was a kid (known over here in Britland as Action Force, because we were obviously ill-equipped to deal with having to give our action figures American accents) I thought I'd give it a whirl. I subsequently roped in an unsuspecting Willowc to accompany me because, well, she made me see The Spirit so quite frankly she was asking for it.

So I won't beat around the bush: it genuinely was like a live-action version of Team America, only with all the songs, naughty language, and humour sucked out of it. It was really po-faced. I mean *really.* It took itself so seriously it wasn't funny. Literally. Which is a bit of a shame, because if it had some songs monosyllabic star Channing Tatum could've shown off his wicked dance steps; I've seen the trailer for Step-Up, I know he's got some killer moves. So yes, anyway, it was very serious. Even the most ridiculous lines were delivered with earnest conviction by the cast – with the exception of anything that spilled out of dear ol' Channing's mouth, of course; he simply mumbled, frowned, and went a bit cross-eyed with all the effort he was putting in. Bless. Give him a gold star, a pat on the head and send him on his way.

At least he looks like the freakin' doll.

As if the tone wasn't bad enough, the acting was universally horrific. Everyone - and I mean everyone - involved should be utterly ashamed of themselves. I've seen more convincing performances when I recite Star Trek lines to myself in the bathroom mirror in kindergarten nativity plays.

I shan't dwell on Channing Tatum's performance, because unless there was a dance number halfway through the film I wasn't really expecting too much from him. Sienna Miller, on the other hand…

Oh, Sienna - why? You've been forging such an interesting career for yourself and your perky breasts with such diverse roles in … that film … and the … other one … but here! Here, any vestige of talent just flew, FLEW out the window as you concentrated so hard on talking with a crappy American accent. At least I think it was supposed to be American … And what was up with the way you walked? It looked like you had either a club foot or crapped yourself. Or maybe it was trapped wind. May I suggest pavanamuktasana (that's wind-removing pose to you and me)?

I do hope she didn't follow through. That outfit is rather snug.

On the plus side, a scene in which she was in a car that exploded did give me the opportunity to utter the phrase 'burnt Sienna' to Willowc. HI-larity ensued, let me tell you.

Despite the appalling accent and lack of any discernable talent, the producers appear to have spent all their money on Sienna and some truly dreadful visual effects, and thus the rest of the cast was comprised of whoever they could get for what little money they had left.

Channing, of course, is like the poor man's Josh Hartnett, which I'm sure will please Josh Hartnett until I say that Josh Hartnett is also a poor man's Josh Hartnett. As I already mentioned, without an opportunity to break into dance, or any meaningful dialogue to advance whatever seemed to pass as a plot, Channing was left to mumble his way through the script somewhat incoherently. I don't know, maybe his mum wasn't around to help him with the big words. I'm pretty sure the only line he uttered that I understood was "WOO-HOO!" but maybe it was the visual aspect rather than the aural one that led me to understand that; I suppose they could've put him on a rollercoaster and green-screened a different background in later while his eyes lit up like a special on a day trip to the seaside.

Elsewhere, the head of G.I. Joe was played by Dennis Quaid, who I've always thought of as the poor man's Harrison Ford. Here he managed to wear a beret and still deliver lines of dialogue despite the fact that in some scenes I began to suspect that he might be in the midst of having a stroke or something.

Overheard on set: "What the hell did you sign me up for? I'm dressed like one of the Village People, and I can't feel the right-hand side of my body." TRUFAX.

Other than that, there was one of the Wayan brothers (I'm too depressed to go onto the IMDB to find out exactly which one) whose sole direction in the film appears to have been to "do it like Eddie Murphy would do it." Why they didn't just put him in a fat suit and pop a dress on him I don't know. And in the 'REALLY SHOULD KNOW BETTER' category we have Christopher Ecclescake, who after gurning his way through a season of Doctor Who put on possibly the worst Scottish accident I've ever heard for his role as … oh, I don't know, some pantomime villain or something here, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, to whom I'd just like to say: Jesus Christ, man, you were in Third Rock From the Sun for crying out loud - have some f**king sense!

And don't get me started on Jonathan Pryce. Tut. I'm disappointed in you, Sir.

About the only person I felt sorry for was Ray Park as Snake Eyes (I had that action figure!). Poor Ray Park; every movie he's in he has his face covered by extensive makeup or costume. He must be developing something of a complex. Surely he knows they only want him because he can bust some serious judo-chop moves? He doesn't even get to talk in this movie. Does he realise he's effectively just one step up from a prop?

And so we come to the architect of this tragic affair - James Tiberius Ki- Oh, wait, I was reciting Star Trek dialogue again there, wasn't I? Oops. Right, so Stephen Sommers - WHY?! I really want to like your films. Deep Rising was fun. The Mummy was fun too. The Mummy Returns sucked, quite frankly, and Van Helsing was a mess saved only by Hugh Jackman's laughably ridiculous hat and Kate Beckinsale's heaving bosum. But I just don't understand why Hollywood keeps giving you millions of dollars to go off and make ridiculous, vacuous movies.

Quite frankly, I'm pretty sure I could make a reasonable film if someone gave me a bag of cash - even one, like G.I. Joe, that focuses on a beloved plastic figure.

Hollywood: I'm awaiting your call.


WillowC said...

The Spirit was YOUR idea dammit!

At least I managed to stay awake in this one, eh? Although that was mostly through all the squirming in proximity embarrassment.

Channing Tatum is an emo potato. That is all.

Tim said...

The Spirit…? Nyah, whatevah!

An emo potato? What an interesting phrase. But yes, I think you're right. He certainly appeared to have a chip on his shoulder in this film.

iPandah said...

Mmm, Eccles Cakes...

Tim said...

They should make a film about them…

iPandah said...

And provide free ones when you go to see it!

Tim said...


Inexplicable DeVice said...

Thanks to your insightful and hilarious review, I no longer have to watch the film.
Not that I was going to anyway, what with already having more than an inkling that it's a pile of poo-poo.

I'm really looking forward to G.I.Joan, though!

Tim said...

G.I. Joan will *ROCK* what with her arsenal of pithy one-liners and battle-hardened features!

Tara said...

Was that Marlon Wayans? Not sure, well one of the younger Wayans at least.

Also, did burnt-Sienna play the Baroness? All I know about the Baroness is that a fan of the computer game The Sims made a Sim that has her outfit.

I bought a GI Joe several years ago because I wanted my Barbies to have a choice rather than just stick with Ken. I also had a few of the smaller action figures.

Tim said...

How many Wayans are there?! Wouldn't one suffice?!?!

I think Sienna was called the Baroness … quite frankly it was so incoherent, and she was so awful, that I couldn't get a grasp on who she was other than the fact that I kinda knew she was Sienna Miller!

the projectivist said...

oh hilarious!
i wish someone WOULD chuck some money your way so that you could make a fillum, Tim!

Tim said...

I should start a Facebook group, shouldn't I?