GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra

Starring Sienna Miller, Dennis Quaid, Jonathan Pryce, Christopher Eccleston. Directed by Stephen Sommers. 118 mins.
Rated M (action violence).

A bit embarrassing – even though it is one of those mindless violence matinee holiday movies, I found myself quite enjoying it.  And that, despite, the deafening soundtrack and booming musical score, not very startling performances and some basic and functional dialogue.

It comes from the Hasbro toys from past decades, especially the statue/toy of GI Joe (the name of the average Joe, the GI of World War II).  Hasbro is also responsible for The Transformers (which was also deafening and pounding but much more difficult to follow, even the folding and unfolding machines and whose side they were on).

This one is better.  After a rather frightening opening with a Scots arms dealer becoming a man in a fiery iron mask as punishment in the times of Louis XIII, we move to the 'not so distant' future where the billionaire Scots descendent (Christopher Eccleston in a kind of Blofeld megalomaniac interested in world power and domination) explains the warheads he has developed.  They contain nanomites which can instantly chew any metal into nothingness (and we see some examples in demonstrations – and later a certain Parisian icon as well as some of the characters showing how effective the nanomites can be).

When the warheads are stolen in a fierce battle encounter, enter the special force the GIs, under the command of Denis Quaid.  The GI Joes have lots of ultramodern and futuristic weaponry as do the enemy, so there is lots of warfare.  The new GIS are Channing Tatum and Marlon Wayans who have to confront an enemy known to them, Ana (Sienna Miller) whose brother, Rex (Joseph Gordon Leavitt) is a mad scientist who can manipulate minds and wills with cobra venom.  Jonathan Pryce is the US president.

Actually, a good cast, excellent sets, special effects and stunts that are particularly well done make it an adrenalin pumper while it is there.  Then, with its gung-ho attitudes, probably better forgotten.

Out August 6

Fr Peter Malone MSC directs the film desk of SIGNIS: the World Association of Catholic Communicators, and is an associate of the Australian Catholic Office for Film & Broadcasting.

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