Monday Review: G.I. Joe - Destructoid

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Monday reviews aren't on Monday. It's old school, trust me.

OK, so I've been and editor for a while now. I probably should fill this part in a bit more fully.

I've been here a while. In most all likelihood longer than you. I was here when the first cblog post went up, and before. I like to believe I rep Dtoid old school. I fell in love with this community the second the cblogs opened up and posted all that I could as Cowzilla3 (you may remember him as an angry banana). I fell off the radar a bit as I started working for other sites and my time got stretched, but I never left Dtoid and finally, one day, my dreams came true.

Now I'm the Weekend Editor at Dtoid (and sometimes a game reviewer). If you didn't know me before as Cowzilla3, then "Hi! I'm Matt Razak. They let me out of the cage on weekends." I feel I should put the customary Dtoid rocks things here, but you already know that. I'd put my regular posts up below, but I don't have any (yet). Needless to say, I love Destructoid and everyone here.

Big group hug.

I'll see you on the weekends and we can celebrate Hammer Day together.

I also write movie reviews for a living. Sometimes I'll post them here. If you liked my review I would appreciate your kind clickage here. It would be most helpful in feeding the starving African orphans I take care of.
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Go Joe?

As a film critic I was pretty sure that G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra was going to be the worst film of the summer, but one must do what one must do. I thus headed into the theater and firmly shoved the film critic inside me out of the way, prepared to accept whatever was thrown my way. What was thrown my way was probably the best summer action film of the year (if we consider Star Trek too early for summer and District 9 too late). I know you're a bit surprised, but don't run away yet. Let me explain myself.

First off being the best summer action film this year is kind of like being the best pile of garbage; sure you won, but you're still a pile of garbage. Secondly, unlike much of the rest of the summer blockbuster fare for the year , G.I. Joe doesn't pretend to be anything but a pile of action garbage, and works with that fact very well. Good movie? No, but when you've been assailed with so much blockbuster crap all summer, mediocrity starts to shine.

The story of G.I. Joe sticks pretty close to the Hasbro action figure-based cartoon. An elite force of soldiers takes on a world dominating organization and they shoot at each other and spew some life lessons. There's a bit of romance thrown in, a bunch of wise cracking and some ninja action. Here's the beauty of Joe though, it never overreaches. It's content to be about good guys shooting at bad guys for two hours, and for that it works.

The film charges headfirst through non-stop action sequences. When dialog does rear its ugly head its kept to about five minutes -- just long enough to let you breathe, appreciate the cleavage and Channing Tatum's abs, and then throw you back into some over-the-top escapades of the Joes. Unlike Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, G.I. Joe is paced how a stupid summer action movie should be paced, and that's with little to no stops between fights and explosions. If someone is having a conversation during G.I. Joe you can sure as hell be bet that they are either about to blow something up or blowing something up while they're talking.

And those explosions are solid. There's not much that you haven't seen before -- though a foot chase in Paris using some cybernetic suit things is pretty cool -- but it's so non-stop that you don't really have time to care about it. The action is handled with the kind of stupid simplicity that makes action work. Director Stephen Sommers aptly avoids doing anything special, and amazingly does something incredibly special since most action directors these days can't seem to keep from butchering their own overblown sequences. I'm not sure if I should be complimenting a director who seems to have taken "Action Cinema 101" and run with it, but then again, if this summer's action movies are any sign maybe Hollywood needs a little refresher.

In short G.I. Joe is far from great, but it's the best way to spend some money on a summer matinee we've had all summer. Joe pretends to be absolutely nothing more than it is, and that makes it immensely enjoyable even if offers up nothing but mindless action. Anyway, if you don't like this one there's always a chance you'll like the next one. I don't think I've seen an untested film franchise be set up for a sequel so hard in my entire life.

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