Sunday, August 16, 2009

Review : G.I: Rise of Cobra

So film producers just couldn´t help it , could they ? After turning "Transformers" into a successful franchise , since the second film has already become this year´s highest grossing movie , Paramount executives are hoping that this G.I Joe : Rise of Cobra will follow on "Transformers" footsteps. But is it any good ? We have to remind ourselves that this movie is the adaptation of a very popular cartoon show , that was a huge hit throughout the globe , especially during the 1980s, a time when America´s military might had reached it´s climax. More than 20 years after the first episode , we find ourselves witnessing the release of what seems to be the first in a future line of films. The movie follows the adventures of an elite group of soldiers , called G.I Joe , that try to rescue the world of any sorts of problems and in this film the problems go by the name of Cobra. Cobra is a secret organization , even more secret than the Joe´s themselves and it plans to do the thing that bad guys in action movies usually plan to : rule the world. After we first meet the film´s main characters, played my Marlon Wayans and Channing Tatum , as they try to defend themselves from a vicious Cobra attack lead by The Baroness aka Sienna Miller, we immediatly realize that any ideas that we had about a sense making plot and a decent character development are simply thrown out of the window. This is a film that sometimes takes itself a bit seriously , something that the first "Transformers" smartly avoided. The characters are extremely one dimensional , the only exception being one called Snake Eyes , who doesn´t talk. The fact that Snake Eyes doesn´t speak , or has promised that he will never speak again after witnessing a gruesome murder , does deserve to be mentioned , simply because the dialogues in this film are just dire , apart from one or two , maybe three , lines. I´m trying to understand why actors who are extremely talented and have already proved it , such as Sienna Miller and Christopher Eccleston decided to star in this film , and so far I haven´t come up with an answer. Hopefully Miller won´t be nominated for a Razzie , but if she does , I´m afraid to say that she had seen it coming. Her Baroness , although amazingly stylish and slightly dangerous , is so badly drawn on a psychological level that not even a sudden change of heart sort of improves her performance. Dennis Quaid is clearly in this one because of the money and because his kids asked him to. Marlon Wayan´s character is the ultimate of clichés and one would have thought that starring in two of the Scary Movies would have taught him something. Arnold Vosloo, the actor who played Imothep in Stephen Sommer´s "The Mummy " does manage to deliver an interesting performance , simply because he´s the one who opens the door to future sequels. Other actors are just seen saying corny lines and acting like stereotypes . As for the one some are already calling " Hollywood´s new golden boy " , Channing Tatum...well , lets just say that he won´t be receiving an Oscar nomination for this. Yes , the movie doesn´t take itself amazingly seriously , but one would expect that the actors would try their best to find decent ways to work with the material that they had in hands. What really is quite impressive about this film , and I´m starting to think that it´s the only thing Sommers is good at are the special effects , which are quite impressive. The chase sequence that takes place in " Paris " ( since it was actually shot on the outskirts of Prague ) is clearly the film´s best moment , although it is a little long. The destruction of the Eiffel Tower is the film´s best moment and a final underwater battle does deserve to be mentioned , although it is way too long , and one finds himself thinking : " when will this end ? ". Stepehen Sommers´knows how to capture good performances from his actors , or at least , he was interested in doing it when he shot the first of the Mummy films , but with this one we have the feeling that he didn´t even look at the things that the actors had to say, didn´t think about rewriting some scenes and was only bent on shooting or supervising the creation of this movie´s gigantic special effects. Transformers was far from perfect , but we cared about the characters. G.I Joe isn´t a total mess , but there are moments when we hope that it will just end on a sad note , with every single character dead.

G.I Joe : Rise Of Cobra : 0 to 10 : 4


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