Sunday, 16 August 2009

GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra

Following a disastrous escort mission, boring studs Channing Tatum and Marlon Wayans are drafted into the eponymous beige-ops smile squad. Tatum broods over his dangerous ex, while Wayans makes a play for the in-house red head - who may (or may not) be already attached to the in-house ninja. This is GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra, the Global War on Terror with way less waterboarding and way more Tiger Beat romancing. Unlike the US centric 80s toy franchise, this Joe is a crypto-fascist arm of NATO, responsible for thwarting eurotrash militants, placating influential billionaires, and monitoring picture messaging. After a round of training that resembles video game tutorials, the calamity students get their own Iron Man suits.

Like Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, GI Joe peaks early. Instead of a forest set Royal Rumble we get a zippy street-level race through France's capital. Making use of catapulted cars, alarming 12A hyper-violence, and a human-shaped missile called Snake Eyes, this sequence has a dizzy sense of propulsion, knowingly straying into wink-wink territory with a live action steal from Team America: World Police. The yucks don't last. Unfortunately, the remainder clashes resemble 60s spy-capades conducted by the unimaginatives not drafted for Bay's sequel. The conclusion is a playset heavy restage of Thunderball's frogman slaughterhouse, minus spectacle and danger, with a dash of quick-cut martial art bots for taste. Joe keeps it on a mediocre keel, staffed with anti-people, and disinclined to engage.

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