Monday, August 10, 2009

G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra

The above picture has nothing and everything to do with the overall tone of the G.I. Joe movie.

It's been nearly 48 hours since I saw the movie and in that time, I've had time to process it, pick it apart and have come to this simple conclusion:

This is the best movie based on a toy line/comic book/cartoon about ninjas/commandos in the military, fighting terrorists who occasionally employ a grape soda loving biker gang, you'll ever see, folks.

Seriously, folks...

That's what G.I. Joe is and always been.

A cartoon.

While I realize that many will be upset over Hollywood's over-the-top, cartoony take on Joe and not comic book writer Larry Hama's pseudo-realist leanings, we have to face this fact:

More people remember G.I. Joe from its cartoons than its comics and THAT is more who this movie was made for.

There are plenty of nods to Joe comics for you diehards. I mean, no one has ever geeked harder than me at one man handing another a piece of bubblegum but let's be real, Joe has never been about Bourne Identity sensibilities. No, G.I. Joe has always been more Superfriends vs. The Legion of Doom, only more deliberate and in the comics, with a splash of dark humor tossed in for good measure.

Hasbro went and produced the movie I'd have made in 1984 when I was a twelve year old boy. Moreso, the type of movie you make just before the 2007 Writer's Strike. Rise of Cobra was a little bit garish, way showy and had a ton of swordfighting and that, to me, was what G.I. Joe has always been about.

Can I get a, "YO, JOE?"


lordscarlet said...

This is exactly how I came out of the movie feeling. I must admit, I did not/do not read the comics. I am one of those that went to the movie because of the cartoon/toys. I went in expecting it to be the end of my childhood -- destroying every pleasant memory I once had. However, during the chase scene it became abundantly clear -- this is a cartoon.

Go back and watch an episode of the old cartoon. It was not good. Did I love it? Of course. Do I still think it's great? Obviously. Was it actually good? Hell no. The movie had plenty of flaws for me (not least of which was the lips on Snake Eyes's hood), but all-in-all the movie was good. IT was the realization of a cartoon. It didn't take itself too seriously, and didn't make a mockery of the source material.

ChrisM said...

I LOVED this movie. If it had a bit more Baroness vs. Scarlett girlfighting-it would have been perfect.

I gotta say though, that I was never a huge GIJOE fan..but I followed closely enough to know what they were doing..

But Eccleston as Destro? awesome! Giant Polar Supervillain headquarters? CHECK!

Even the silly lips on Snake Eyes were just ridiculous enough to be endearing.

Not overly pretentious-but while taking itself very seriously.

Just what I was in the mood for..

thanks for posting this Devon!

Jason Langlois said...

I think my only disappointment was that people died, rather than being ejected or parachuting or whatever.

Nate said...

I came out of the movie feeling like I'd just finished playing with my action figures in the back yard.

Great stuff.

Not a great movie, but a great way of dealing with the source material.

Adj said...

I haven't seen it yet, but I ADORE the cartoon, for me, that's what G.I. Joe is.

So from what Devon says, I'm probably going to love the heck out of this movie :)

Allan said...

It was funny, because as I watched the movie it occurred to me just how disconnected I was from the Joe universe, even though I had A LOT of the toys as a kid. The thing was, though, all of the ones I did have were either bad guys or second bananas. In fact, of all the characters in the film, the only ones I owned were Zartan, Cobra Commander and Storm Shadow.

The cartoon only aired sporadically in my area (you could never pin it down and watch it regularly) and I only read a handful of the comics, so in my head the world of GI Joe owed more to my own imagination than anything else.

That said, I loved the movie, and I regret the boyish misogyny that kept me from owning a Baroness or Scarlet figure, since they were easily the highlights of the experience.