"Ok, lets start this off by clarifying things. This film is not Oscar material"
Ok, lets start this off by clarifying things. This film is not Oscar material. It never will be, and it was never intended to be. This is a grade A, full blown summer blockbuster in its purest form. As a result, many critics will absolutely pan it – that’s their prerogative, but it’s not mine.
GI Joe, in isolation, isn’t a great film. It’s a case of style over substance. Yes the special effects are incredible, some of the very best I’ve seen on screen. The weapons are outrageous; the hero’s and villains paradigm as clear as black and white, and visually at least, it ticks all the right boxes. However, the actual substance of the film – the plot, the script, the acting – it’s all a bit ‘paint by numbers’. Hideously cheesy one-liners, both of a heroic and comic bent, an incredibly predictable plot – there’s nothing here to excite the soul.
Anyway – that’s me talking with my normal persons hat on. Except watching this film, I’m not a normal person. I spent a huge amount of my childhood playing with GI Joe toys. I had the good guys, I had the bad gays, I had the tanks, the planes – I wanted nothing more than to sit in my garden hunting down the evil forces of Cobra with the combined strength of the Joes.
This film therefore, is the physical manifestation of my childhood playtime. That they made it look so good means I don’t care if it’s rubbish. My toys were there, resplendent in CGI, parading around in locations that were far beyond my childhood imagination. The casting too is pretty spot on, and all the old favourites were there – Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje as Roadblock, Channing Tatum as Duke, but most importantly, Ray Park as the especially cool Snake Eyes.
Crunch time then - is GI Joe worth seeing? Kids will love it – no doubt there’ll be a wave of awesome toys released to coincide with the film. People like me who played with the toys as a kid and don’t mind a no brainer will love it. People who like proper cinema will absolutely hate it.