When Paramount decided to hold back on the reviewers pre-screening of G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, the usual suspicious sniffs of turkey wafted around Hollywood as fast celebrity gossip. But let’s not forget that Paramount’s very own Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen was panned by every critique with any note, only to become one of the biggest box office successes in recent years. Not to make drastic assumptions about young kids reading abilities but I don’t think many were taking any notice of what critiques had to say, they just wanted to see some kick ass special effects. Which brings be back to G.I. Joe. For those who have seen it, it packs every CGI punch it can muster in its 118 minute running time and satisfies grown up boy fans of the original 1964 G.I Joe plastic action figures and subsequent 1980’s comic and cartoon series. Paramount is going for the juggler with the obligatory toy merchandising tie-ins, just as they did with Transformers. And the cast list is impressive with Channing Tatum, Marlon Wayans, Dennis Quaid, Byung-Hun Lee, Sienna Miller, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, and Christopher Eccleston, cashing in on what would hope to be a successful franchise of Transformer proportions.
Set in the near future, army pals Duke (Tatum) and Ripcord (Wayans) transport a deadly weapon capable of destroying whole cities. Scottish arms magnate McCullen (Eccleston) intends to steal the device and hold the world to ransom. McCullen is a member of an evil organization called Cobra and enlists the help of its army of super fighters, Storm Shadow (Lee) and the Baroness (Miller). G.I. Joe commander General Hawk (Quaid) trains Duke and Ripcord to take on Cobra and battle to save the world.