Tuesday, July 14, 2009

No Joe

I haven't done a real attempt at Movies I Haven't Seen since April when I grabbed The Ugly Truth by its virtual neck and shook it around for a bit until it cried. That's coming out shortly so we'll see if I was right about it. Until then, I'm still claiming a perfect record. True, I do tend to grab the low hanging fruit when it comes to predicting which movies are going to be godawfully horrible and, at the moment, the fruit that's damn near touching the ground is G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra. Let's all watch the trailer.

By all means, feel free to go out and get some air and maybe have a refreshing beverage while you try to shake off the experience of that trailer. All set? Okay, let's begin.

First, we see that the preview has been approved for all audiences. It's clean so that's cool. That's also the most intelligent part of the trailer. Unfortunately, actual film clips start playing and our innocence is forever shattered.

I'm immediately annoyed when I see Christopher Eccleston playing the villain. I'm assuming negotiations for his appearance in this film went something like this:

"No way will I jeopardize my reputation as an actor by appearing in this piece of crap."

"Oh, so you don't want this huge check?"

"Um...in northern England, piece of crap is what we call something that disgusts us but we love it anyway, like blood pudding. Where do I sign?"

Good Lord, Eccleston, you left Doctor Who so you could do this? Okay, moving on...come on man, you were great in Doctor Who. Why oh why oh why...really moving on now. Chris and the rest of the big ball of evil known as Cobra all live jolly lives under the sea in some Blofeld-style fortress plotting and launching terrorist attacks like the destruction of the Eiffel Tower through the use of some sort of metal dissolving missile. WHY destroy the Eiffel Tower? Oh, I'm sure there'll be a good reason that's not at all offensively stupid. I'm also sure there will be a perfectly logical reason why the world's governments can't simply trace the missile to the undersea fort and nuke the ever loving piss out of it in retaliation for one of the worst terrorist attacks in history. I'm predicting Cobra will have invented something called Quasi-Crypto-Cloaking Technology. This means the world's only hope will be some two fisted tough guys who I guaran-god damn-tee you will at some point be dressed down by some weenie superior for Having Crossed The Line And Made The Situation Worse.

This is where we get to the movie's real problem. The villains, like Eccleston and a leather clad Sienna Miller are okay but the heroes are boring as shit and that analogy doesn't really work since shit can sometimes be very interesting so let's say the heroes are as boring as really, really boring shit. First you have Channing Tatum playing the main member of the Joe team, Duke. Tatum does something here he's only done in about six other movies, standing around and looking morose. Playing Ripcord is Marlon Wayans. Casting a member of the Wayans family is basically the last refuge of incompetent casting directors. In the trailer at least, none of the heroes seems to all that interesting. So far, all we have is that one is clinically depressed and one is black (this is considered to be an actual personality trait by many filmmakers). Plus, the Joes wear those stupid battle suits, something that may work just fine in cartoons or comic books but on the screen turn them into bland, interchangeable fighters. Fortunately, we live in a time where interesting characters aren't necessary. Instead, a movie can be a feast for the eyes with interesting effects and exciting action sequences which, if this trailer is anything to go by, don't exist in this movie.

One thing the filmmakers must have liked about the battle suits is that it is now easier to put the people into CGI sequences. This, for example, means that the scene where the Joes are dodging rockets is nothing more than something made in some guy's Macintosh are dodging something made in another guy's Macintosh. It's not particularly well done CGI either. It looks like a high tech cartoon, which is what it is. Even the ugly, confusing effects in Transformers 2 looked better than this. That, by the way, is meant as a devastating insult.

G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra is going to thoroughly, utterly suck. The only way I could possibly be wrong is if the marketing strategy was to not show any of the good parts in the advertising. Another solid guarantee I want to give is that the actors in interviews will start referring to the movie as "fun" and that people should "lighten up and just enjoy it." This will be proof positive that I was right. Sienna Miller came close to doing that in an interview with Scifi Wire when she said that she took the part of the Duchess because she wanted to make, "...something that was just maybe really great fun and that people went to see and actually just had a great time seeing and weren't left damaged." That's close but not quite what I'm looking for. The Fun Movie Excuse will be used to dismiss critics, like me, who say their movie blows and will be proof that everything I've said today is true.

1 comment:

Dan Coyle said...

I've read the screenplay. The script is filled with the sort of inane coincidences and connections between the characters that may have worked in Larry Hama's run, but plays out awfully awkward here. Duke and the Baroness are ex-lovers, for one thing. And GOD do they spend forever and a day on that. Because it "means more" for the audience if they're all idiotically connected somehow... and believe me, it gets worse, though I can't spoil what.

Oh, and the thing with the Eiffel Tower- they showed a clip of that scene during the MTV movie awards. Baroness fires the metal disintegrating bazooka while Duke and Ripcord flail about like total jackasses in their robot suits. I realized that if they weren't using the experimental robot suits for the first time to catch lethal terrorists bent on murdering hundreds, they might have stopped her.

I'm not surprised it's rumored that the movie was one of the worst testing in Paramount's history.