Good? Great? Somewhere in between?
I’ve gotta spend a few minutes setting up the scene. Last night was an adventure and a half. The three plus hour drive to Warwick, Rhode Island was mostly uneventful, though I did hit some Targets on the way down and got myself some Wave 3 troop builders… but no Pit Commandos, dammit. However, once the Charity Screening event started, it was just that…an event! Mingling in the crowd with so many other folks from the general public as well as Hasbro people, Stephen Sommers, Lorenzo Di Bonaventura, media folks, and yes, Rachel Nichols, was an amazing spectacle. Something a small town boy like me doesn’t get to experience very often.
Perhaps it was the high from the event itself, or perhaps it was because I was in the front of the theater on a monster screen, but the film was..well…it was nuts. Tons of action, lots of stuff happening all at once, yet not too much to keep track of. My head was sorta swimming a bit, but now that I’ve had some time to mull it over, I’m ready to post my review(s).
Yeah, I did two of them. How lame is that? A lot of the info in the two is the same, but I’ve separated them into a “Spoiler Free” version and a “Spoiler Full” version. You can choose which path you take. A word of warning, the Spoiler Full one has a LOT more detail, because, obviously, being able to talk about character specifics and specific events helps me to flesh out the review a bit better.
I knew it was going to be a good night when Stephen Sommers stood in front of the crowd and said “If you have to use the rest room, use it now, because there won’t be time to do it when the film starts”.
He was right.
As release date nears, more and more reviews are starting to crop up for G.I. Joe: The Rise of COBRA, and surprise, surprise…most of them are positive. Here’s the latest round up:
- Merrick, AintItCoolNews; When reading this review you need to keep in mind, that Merrick has spent the better half of the past 18 months slamming the movie, slamming the director, deriding pretty much every angle and everything to do with the production of this movie. Pretty much all of it, soup to nuts. Here is his first line:
“This said, I’m unable to keep my mouth shut about G.I. JOE: THE RISE OF COBRA – primarily because I’ve spent the last year and a half kicking the film, knocking Stephen Sommers (whose VAN HELSING I still regard as one of the most overwrought, self-indulgent pieces of pap to hit screens in many years), and negatively prejudging the capabilities of nearly everyone involved with this project.
I was wrong. I’m here to say it, and I’m happy to admit it. I was wrong.
G.I. JOE is big, OTT, intellectually challenged, and idiotic as they come – which could certainly describe nearly ever other Stephen Sommers film to date. But it’s also a helluva lot more fun than they are, and here’s why…”
Yeah, I’ll take that as hefty praise from someone who is absolutely not a plant, a blind G.I. Joe fanboy, or someone with mysterious alterior motives.
“Well, it’s time to let Sommers out of director jail, folks, because his latest film “G.I. Joe: The Rise Of Cobra” is big, ridiculous, and way more fun than I would have thought possible. It is a summer movie, through and through, pure pulp preposterousness, and it is one of the most successful little-boy adventure movies I’ve seen in a long time.”
More good words… Also, movie ratings site RottenTomatoes.com finally has G.I. Joe: The Rise of COBRA on its radar, and it currently as a very fresh “83%” with 5 out of 6 positive reviews to show for it. Check those reviews out here.
I’m sure the bad words are coming, but until then, it’s just damn nice to see some positive buzz for a change, especially considering the fact that it’s coming from people who have actually, shock of all shocks, SEEN the film.
I’d mentioned that the Film School Rejects Twitter Feed had already raved about The Rise of COBRA, but now the actual review has been posted, and it earned a “B”. The reviewer, Neil Miller, talks about the film extensively, and it’s obvious that he really enjoyed it.
“Over the course of the past several months, there has been a lot of talk about G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra — everything from director changes to problems in the editing room to abysmal test screening results. And such is the case with any movie made from a line of toys or a comic book, these types of rumors and reports have set the internet ablaze. It is to the point where even now, as I come to you to attest to the fun ride that I have witnessed with my own two eyes, you will still remain skeptical. It is a sad situation, especially for a movie that is a lot more fun than it should’ve been. It’s a movie that is a lot tighter and well-paced than some of the other action tentpoles we’ve seen this summer. And, on its most basic level, it’s a movie worth seeing.”
This seems to be an ongoing theme with the reviewers of the film…it’s got bad buzz, it doesn’t deserve it, it’s a tightly directed, well-paced, frenetic action film that will keep you entertained. And best of all, it’s fun. He finishes with the following two apt paragraphs:
“If you go in expecting an Iron Man, you’re in for a big disappointment. Seeing G.I. Joe hearkens back the experience I had seeing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles as a young boy. If I were to look back at TMNT with fresh eyes now, I wouldn’t like it as much. Having seen it as a child, that movie has a special place in my heart. The same can be said for G.I. Joe, and for this generation of young boys. And those young boys and their families? That is who will love this film. This is not an adult movie; this is a family-friendly, youthful movie. Go see it; but don’t expect it to be a movie made specifically for you. Unless, of course, you’re a ten year-old boy.
In the end, G.I. Joe is simple spectacle. A movie that, while silly and in many ways over-the-top, can deliver an experience that is deliriously fun. And it is fun. Quick. Exciting. And fun. It sets you in a world that is cartoony and larger then life, propels you through one big chase and ultimately delivers the goods and the explosions. It is this kind of efficient, fun-natured storytelling that could make G.I. Joe one of the best action movies of the summer. That is, if you can look past all of that bad buzz and actually give it a chance.”
The pregnancy of my wife will determine if I make the trip to see the Monday screening, but things are looking good so far. I can’t remember a time when I’ve been so excited to see a movie. Hopefully it will not disappoint. Click here to read the full review.
Someone tell me if they get tired of the review posts…maybe I’m just too “Gung Ho” but I can’t help but link to every review I find, especially since most of them are quite positive. JoBlo gives the film a solid 7.5 out of 10 and says:
“…you may really appreciate what director Stephen Sommers offers up in what could be the biggest, loudest, dumbest flick this year. But it also happens to be an absolutely action packed bit of crazy fun that’ll be worth at least a bargain matinee. “
Most of his review balances the good with the bad, but the reviewer generally seems to enjoy what he’s watching. He wraps up the review with the following quote:
“This is a no-brainer, if you don’t mind your memories of G.I. Joe pumped up a notch and loaded with goofiness, you’re going to have a great time. And aside from some good performances from Dennis Quaid, Christopher Eccleston and Joseph Gordon-Levitt the cast is workable, nothing great, but they are fine where they are. Hell, I’m guessing once this bad boy comes on DVD, I’ll be having a popcorn night with the family and breaking out the toys. Yep, I said it… G.I. Joe may not be a great movie, but it sure is a hoot and a half, just make sure to find that inner child in you that still likes to play pretend. GO JOE! My rating 7.5/10”
Great news! As usual, you can click on the “Read the Rest of this Story” link below for the full review.
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.
YoJoe staffmember and comic specialist Josh “Antarctica” Eggebeen got a chance to catch an early screening of G.I. Joe: The Rise of COBRA, and was kind enough to post a VERY in depth review of the film here.
He gives a very well-balanced and fair look at the film from the perspective of a movie-goer as well as the perspective of a Joe fan, and has some great things to say. Overall he seems very pleased with the movie, even if it’s not exactly what he (and many others) were looking for in a film based off of G.I. Joe. It’s a great read, I recommend folks check it out, though beware, there are some spoilers.
Again, it’s posted currently at YoJoe.