Yet another Hasbro toy-based movie made it to the big screen. In 2009, we were given the legendary G.I. Joe, but on a much bigger scale than any small screen animation company could have given us back in the late 1970s or early 1980s. The “Global Infiltration Joint Operations Executions” team is huge, and filled with all kinds of gadgets and hidden in places no one would ever think of looking. But let let’s get to where the whole thing started, and look at a little bit of unwritten history from about three hundred fifty years ago.
Back in 1641, a two-faced Scotsman, Jame McCullen (David Murray) was building an arms-dealing empire by selling guns and cannons to the French and their enemies during the reign of Louis XIII. The thing is, the French caught him, and they are going to make an example of him. No, he is not to be executed, but he is to wear a mask of iron to the end of his days to be an example to others whom might consider double-dealing in arms trade. This mask cannot be removed, as it has been fused to his body in tortuously painful punishment, but that will not stop the McCullen clan from becoming the biggest global arms manufacturers hundreds of year later.
Cut to present day. McMullen (Christopher Eccleston of Doctor Who) is running the MARS, McMullen Arms, business, and it has been very good for his research and development division as they have created “Nanomites”. These are thousands of microscopic silicon organisms that can eat through metals in seconds. These nasty metal-eating bugs have been stashed into two warheads, and they are being transported by Duke (Channing Tatum) and his partner, Ripcord (Marlon Wayans) through Kazahkstan to a secret base, when their convoy is hit by some high-tech thieves, lead by a stunning brunette, Baroness Anastasia DeCobray (Sienna Miller). She leads the team of Storm Shadow (Byung-hun Lee) and Zartan (Arnold Vosloo) as they steal the nanomite warheads, then disappear into the night after much chaos and bloodshed. After the heist, the NATO team is rescued by General Hawk’s (Dennis Quaid) unit, and they are taken to a huge secret underground base outside of Cairo. This is the headquarters for the Global Infiltration Joint Operations Executions, or G.I. JOE. Duke and Ripcord are being considered to join the team to get those nanomites back before they can wreak havoc on the world. After much training and testing, they join the team of Snake Eyes (Ray Park), Heavy Duty (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje), Scarlett (Rachel Nichols), CoverGirl (Karolina Kurkova), and Dr. Mindbender (Kevin J. O’Connor) in a high-tech good vs. evil story for the post-modern age, but it gets more than that basic. There are so many ties between the hero and the misaligned heroine who is playing for the other side, and doing so for all the wrong reasons.
There was some good chemistry between all the players, but some performance were rather flat, and others just fell perfectly into synch. I’ve never been a big fan of Channing Tatum, but having Marlon Wayans as his right-hand made that work. There was more sensual tension between the Baroness and Storm Shadow than with any of the men she was manipulating to get her mission done. While this movie was filled with great eye candy, both with the actors and the gadgets, it could have been better. Sure it was purely action and sci-fi, so the old fans of the cartoon were pretty much in for a great treat, but maybe a little less time on the cutting room floor, and a recasting of the leads might have given us a better movie. There are more GO JOE! movies on the way. I hope they do much better than this one did.
I give this film a Musing review of