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One must wonder how many of these will be posted before they’ll be considered “credible” or “legitimate”, but add another one to the list, this time from ScreenDaily.Com.  The reviewer gives a spoiler-light overview of the film, and seemed to enjoy it quite a bit.  The most notable comment:

“The last big tentpole picture of the summer, opening in North America on Aug 7, is a bang-em-up action adventure stirring traditions from the James Bond, Mission: Impossible, Bourne and National Treasure franchises into a potent new blockbuster brew. An ambitious attempt by Paramount and Hasbro to bring the GI Joe action figures to life after the success of Transformers, the resulting film is a cheerfully entertaining popcorn picture that delivers the goods for a very broad audience and a new franchise for the studio.”

This is pretty much exactly what we’re looking for.  The full review can be read by clicking the “Read the rest of the story” link below.

GI Joe is directed by Stephen Sommers, whose credits include the first two Mummy movies and Van Helsing, and it is his most successful to date, achieving a more engaging balance of action, comedy and romance.

Domestically, where awareness of the brand is high, the film would appear to be a slamdunk. Internationally, the character has never really travelled – Hasbro redubbed the GI Joe action figure Action Man in the UK and Australia – so PPI faces initial challenges in spreading awareness and demand for the title. But the studio has cleverly taken steps to accelerate take-up in lucrative international markets.

GI Joe should easily achieve world domination at least for a couple of weeks this month.

Shot in the Czech Republic, the film has a multi-national cast and only a couple of scenes set in the US. Audiences in Europe in particular will respond warmly to the globe-trotting mayhem and local stars such as Sienna Miller and Said Taghmaoui in leading roles. With Harry Potter VI fading, GI Joe should easily achieve world domination at least for a couple of weeks this month.

Although GI Joe was created in 1964 as an action figure, an entire mythology was developed for the 155-issue Marvel Comics series (1982-1994) in which GI Joe evolved into a team of super-elite soldiers from around the world fighting the evil Cobra organisation. The film, which includes all the characters from the GI Joe universe, is less an origins story (a la Star Trek or Batman Begins) but a standalone action film in which the unit already exists but must face off against the emerging Cobra.

James McCullen (Eccleston), head of arms manufacturer MARS, has just clinched a deal with the US government for four potentially devastating warheads, but as an army unit led by Duke (Tatum) and Ripcord (Wayans, a winning comedic presence throughout) is driving them from MARS headquarters in eastern Europe, they are attacked by a crack team of armed warriors. These include the glamorous Baroness De Cobray (Miller, sashaying her way through the bad girl role with aplomb), Duke’s former fiancé, but soldiers from GI Joe (“Joes”) arrive just in time to save the day.

Duke and Ripcord are taken to GI Joe headquarters in an underground complex called The Pit in the Sahara Desert where they are trained to join the team led by General Hawk (Quaid) and also including Scarlett (Nichols), Snake-Eyes (Park), Heavy Duty (Akkinuoye-Agbaje) and Breaker (Taghmaoui).

But the Baroness and her ninja sidekick Storm Shadow (Lee), backed by the nefarious McCullen, are about to make a return.

As peopled by so many characters, the story never touches on any one with more than a two-dimensional brush stroke, although a couple of juicy back stories and romantic subplots will help to keep the audience invested in them.

Sommers focuses on action all the way through, most notably in a spectacular chase through the streets of Paris as the Joes pursue the bad guys intent on bringing down the Eiffel Tower. The chase seamlessly mixes real life stunts with CGI, a trademark of Sommers’ previous work and this film in particular.

The story is left wide open for a sequel; indeed the film-makers appear so confident in that prospect that one of the key plotlines here is left hanging.