Film Review – GI Joe Is Appalling Blockbuster Garbage

I’ve been spoiling myself of late with movies. My DVD of ‘Let The Right One In’ arrived so I enjoyed that for the 57th time this year. I was fortunate enough to catch ‘Il Divo’, a film so good I’ll happily watch it 56 more times, and I revisited ‘Harvey’, just to check that the remake was as pointless as I supposed. It is.


So, of course, ‘GI Joe’ was always going to be a bit of a jolt back into the realms of blockbuster garbage. I was, however, completely unprepared for how just downright appalling this tosh would be and how angry it would ultimately make me. My pretentious sensibilities were very much offended.

But enough about how highbrow my movie taste is. If a film is well-made I don’t give a damn what its country of origin is or what genre or category it fits into it. All I ask is that a film has believable characters, unforced dialogue and a point to why it is made in the first place. Okay, its not all I ask for but it should be a start.

From the opening, nonsensical prologue of a Scottish arms dealer playing against the French government of the 17th Century (presumably put there because director Stephen Sommers had some costumes left over form his abysmal ‘Van Helsing’ film) to everything that follows the film is a mess of ‘Batman and Robin’ proportions.

The “hilarious” white guy, black guy, buddy talk of Channing Tatum’s Duke and Marlon Wayan’s Ripchord feels as natural as a chinwag between Obama and Bush. Every bit of dialogue is either a badly excecuted one-liner or a dreadfully convoluted piece of exposition. All three credited writers should hang themselves in shame (No I didn’t miss out ‘their heads’ in that last sentence).

It’s hard to blame the actors for their, across the board, awful performances when the script is this lousy, but their piss-poor attempts at accents from around the world are intolerable. From the French “Sacre Bleu” to the Scottish “Och aye the noo” each country is given a stereotype that Nick Griffin would struggle to accept. (I’m especially upset at Christopher Eccleston, seeing as his accent in ‘Shallow Grave’ had me believing he actually was Scottish for years).

The counter-argument to all this is that “It’s all a bit of fun for kids”. To that I say a big Fuck You. Firstly the level of actual human death is up there with the video nasties of the 80’s and the violence depicted is stronger than on the streets of Tehran.

Then there’s the ‘Team America’ comparisons that don’t just end with Paris being obliterated. Dennis Quaid’s ‘Hawk’ may as well have asked the new recruits to blow him, the Joes as the bad guys sub-plot is lifted right from the puppet film and as for the moody ‘Tatum on a motorbike in the rain’ shot, all I can say is “Jesus Titty Fucking Christ”.

The overall message of the film isn’t even as eloquent as “Dick’s Fuck Assholes”. And, yes I’ll say it, the puppets aren’t as wooden as Channing and co. Whether Sommers saw Matt and Trey’s parody and thought they could out parody it is a question that I can’t really answer. Actually I can. No he didn’t. He’s just a useless hack of a director that deserves an ‘American History X’ teeth on the curb ending to his life.

I feel much better for getting that out of my system. Let me know your thoughts once you’ve seen it. Does it fully deserve my inarticulate ramblings? Do you think it falls into the ‘so bad its good’ category? Or will you just save your money for something, y’know, not completely shit? Post below.