Posted by: Dr P | June 22, 2009

GI Joe

A Wednesday night movie in the company of Big G is always a treat. We ended up plumping for GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra on the basis of the trailer and premise. If ever there was a movie made for boys, it was this one. Sexy gadgets, special military suits, secret forces, stealth ops, world domination, hot babes, silly stunts … oh yes! This movie is spectacular!! Well, spectacularly silly. It’s Transformers on speed, James Bond with a head rush, Star Wars without the aliens, lightsabers, plot, space, story … nothing like Star Wars really.

The idea is relatively straightforward (it would have to be). An alarmingly mad scientist (played in an alarmingly mad way by Christopher Ecclestone) has developed the ultimate nonotechnology weapon, little robot creatures that will eat their way through any target and destroy it utterly. He’s auctioned it off to the US military, but – predictably – has aligned himself with a secret terrorist group hell bent on global domination. When the weapons are under convoy to their destination, said group, known as “Cobra”, intercepts and steals the weaponry. The Cobra team is led by a spectacularly sexy leather catsuited girl known as “The Duchess” (Sienna Miller, ten times hotter as a brunette). This has provoked raging debates among my (female) friends, who all appear to think Kate Beckinsale is the ultimate black leather catsuited girl in her Underworld role … can’t disagree actually, but Sienna does a decent enough job!

Just two survivors remain from the theft, square jawed Duke (Channing Tatum) and the pumped up Ripcord (Marlon Wayans); having been rescued from certain death at the hands of the Cobra team by a counter unit, “GI Joe”, they decide they want in on the action, and are transported to the secret African military base where Dennis Quaid is ruling the roost. Predictably the secret base is located right under the desert, yet there’s not a grain of sand in sight inside! Marvellous cleaners they must have … (not sure why I wrote that in Yoda speak …).

Anyway there then follows a whole segment of Rocky-like training (though mercifully without any chicken grabbing scenes) as our buff commandos are put through their paces. Duke in particular is keen to avenge the theft as he used to date the Duchess when she was merely Ana (and blonde). The GI Joe unit get wind that the Cobras are ready to use the weaponry and so the remaining time is filled with a desperate race against time to stop the weapons being unleashed on Paris, Moscow and elsewhere (as in somewhere else, not the hospital in that telly series, that’d just be silly).

Quite how the film attracted the calibre of cast it did has had me baffled. OK, Marlon Wayans is renowned for appearing in his brothers’ stupid parody films (which, with the notable exception of White Chicks, are generally quite entertaining), but this was a straight role in an even siller movie! Ecclestone should hang his head in shame though, one of our great British actors reduced to a horribly cliched Scottish lunatic – they’d have been better bringing in Frankie Boyle! Quaid plays it quite straight but can do better. Sienna possibly stands out in the acting chops, or maybe it’s just the dye and catsuit talking …

If you want a brainless piece of action candy, and don’t want to sit through three hours of Transformers, this is a suitable popcorn movie. It has attractive folk left, right and centre (the hottest girl of which was alarmingly identical to my Twin), big bangs, silly stunts, weapons, gadgets etc. There are mad scientists, daft chase scenes, and the rest – and a huge bonus for the British as we get to see the French being pulverised. Maybe it wasn’t so bad after all …

Watch out for next year’s sequel: GI Joe, the Rise of Python: Squeezing the Life out of the Franchise

Christopher Ecclestone’s accent – 3
Christopher Ecclestone’s acting – 1
Cast credentials – 9
Cast performance in the film – 2
The utterly mad professor type guy with the facemask – 10
Updating the concept for the 21st Century and calling it GI Obama – 4
Sienna in a catsuit – 8
Kate Beckinsale in a catsuit – 800
Paris getting it – 9
A cat in a catsuit – unnecessary and slightly cruel
A cat in a hat – the stuff of fairytales
Cornholio in my Bunghole – easily the best line in Beavis and Butthead

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