Monday, November 30, 2009

GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra: Some Assembly Required

This movie, much like the action figures that it is based upon, is sold only partially assembled. While the movie does offer cheap thrills and a few good laughs, the plot line of the movie is muddled and most of the characters are embodiments of gross stereotypes and largely forgettable. Between the funny and adorable sidekick, the Asian ninja character, and the emotionally detached yet super sexy redhead, this movie somehow managed to include every stock character in the book.

The female characters are clad in skintight leather, and the main female antagonist, Baroness, also sported traditional library glasses, clearly serving a select demographic. While the plot of the movie was straightforward enough – the bad guys got the really bad weapon and want to use it in bad ways and the good guys must stop them – the plot is as weakly developed as possible in order to leave as much time for fight scenes and B-rated special effects.

While some action adventure movies take some liberties with the basic principles of nature, GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra, goes too far. There's a Cobra-run military base under the polar ice cap! How exciting! While this is plausible, the movie ventures into even more exciting territory when it ignores the basic principles of density and gravity! When the Joe's take over this base and Rex Lewis, the evil scientist of the movie, needs to eradicate them, he orders the destruction of the polar ice cap above the military base in order to crush those still in the base. Now in the real world, a broken ice cap would just float away since ice is less dense than water, but not in this movie! Density, Shmensity! It's so much more exciting to see the ice magically crush the underwater military base. Wow!

But this isn't the only super exciting moment in this movie. One of the major chase scenes happens in Paris, where for some unexplained reason, the Baroness and the rest of the Cobra team must activate the nanomite weaponry in a particle accelerator run by the husband of the Baroness. A particle accelerator! And unexplained at that! Don't we all love it when random scientific nonsense is thrown in the movie with absolutely no explanation? It makes it super exciting! While this detour certainly provides ample opportunity for yet another fight scene, it doesn't seem to have any basis in the plot line of the movie.

Then again, GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra, doesn't exactly have a very complex plot line, and perhaps this is why the movie has enjoyed the modicum of success that it has. For a simple thriller, with obvious endings and a few good jokes along the way, this movie certainly entertains even if it fails to impress or comply with the laws of density. And for the twenty to thirty something male demographic, a ten dollar movie ticket is a small price to pay in order to relive the memories of a childhood with these action figures and their jet packs.

To see the trailer for GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra on YouTube, click here.

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