Saturday, September 12, 2009

Review of G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra [SPOILERS]

Overall, it was a very decent film.

It did something that Transformers (the first film, I am not paying for a movie ticket to see the sequel to such trash as the first movie) did not do; namely, it managed to transpose the characters from the cartoon into a slightly more realistic-feeling setting quite believably. And it did not get lost dealing with the exploits of new characters created just for the movie or with unimportant side characters.

The movie is very big on special effects, and not very big on introspection or on the analysis of war, but, if you want to see that, don't go to a movie based on the 80s version of a toy franchise.

However, there were a few flaws.

I didn't like the Baroness' backstory. She should be German/Russian with a heavy accent, and should have chosen to be evil. The idea of her as one of the good guy's former love interests, and as a mind-controlled pawn, really don't do her character any good. She's supposed to be a former sudent radical with the hots for the chrome-domed one, for Pete's sake!

At the end, Cobra Commander was given a voice that should have gone to Destro. Cobra Commander should have had a higher-pitched, whinier voice, like the original Chris Latta voice. That's one of the iconic aspects to the character. But the backstory makes more sense than the Cobra-La backstory of the cartoon.

There is an implication that Cobra Commander's nano-facial surgery put Destro under some form of control at the end - maybe not mind control, but it is implied that he has Destro at his mercy and can give Destro great pain if he so wishes. That would be a bit of character decay, as Destro has always been portrayed as being very independent-minded. But the idea of Destro having a metal face rather than actually wearing a mask makes sense - his original appearance, with a fully-expressive metal mask, realy can only be duplicated by him having a metal face.

Finally, I think that Zartan should have had the mask/eye tattoos/whatever that he had in the original series, and that the long hair/hood that he wore would have been good as well. At least he should have had it in one scene, to make the connection with the cartoon counterpart more explicit.

I hope that if there is a sequel that we can see more of Dr. Mindbender. And he reall does need his monocle and menacing moustache.

That is all.

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