Saturday, August 08, 2009

Not Blowing Is Half the Battle

The new G.I.JOE: THE RISE OF COBRA movie was surprisingly fun. It's a pity that non-Bond movies are doing Bond movies better than the actual Bond movies.

It helped that I felt little emotional connection with the 1980's G.I.Joe stories, since the movie weaves its own versions of the characters and their backstories. After all, while some fans grew up playing with and collecting the action figures, I was a teenager when they debuted -- and when I had collected G.I.Joe toys, I had collected the real G.I.Joes, the 12" ones from the '60's (military) and '70's (civilian). Thus, I could enjoy the action, the extrapolation of current military research, and the production design, which looked like a comic book come to life.

True, there's some embarrasingly obvious CGI, and a lot of violent deaths with little blood. (Although, for a movie designed to sell toys to kids, there are an awful lot of impalements.) And (spoiler) I was annoyed at the explanation the movie concocted for the Baroness's behavior, which undercut her as a strong female character. But after all, it's just a bunch of adult kids playing G.I.Joes.

Almost as entertaining: The woman in the row behind me, complaining that her family was making her watch this. "I want to watch JULIE AND JULIA!" she snapped. The kid in the family described the title of that film as JULIE VS. JULIA, which, come to think of it, sounds like another fun film.

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