As a Brit my childhood was dominated by Action Man and from what I understand was in some ways the equivalent of the G.I. Joe toy. In some ways that probably helped when watching "G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra" as I had no expectations, no prior knowledge, basically I knew nothing and had no preconceived ideas. What I got was the equivalent of one of those imaginary stories I use to act out with my Action Man toys as a child except here we have a lot more Sci-Fi fantasy on show as the G.I. Joe's have all this fancy weaponry. And as such I would imagine young boys will absolutely love "G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra" because this is their fantasy stories acted out on screen with an abundance of action delivered from hunky, good looking stars with some comedy thrown in. But as such it has to be said that "G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra" is also no different to so many other modern movies, think "Transformers" and "X-Men" and you have an idea of the what you have on show.
Whilst part of a team to transport a top secret weapon invented by MARS Industries, Duke (Channing Tatum - Public Enemies) and Ripcord (Marlon Wayans) are the only survivors of an ambush, saved thanks to the intervention of the "G.I. Joe". General Hawk (Dennis Quaid - Vantage Point) who is in charge of the G.I. Joe outfit is on the trail of this group especially when they later on infiltrate G.I. Joe headquarters and manage to steal the top secret weapon. With Duke and Ripcord becoming part of this crack outfit they go after this evil group known as Cobra who are planning something seriously nefarious with the weapon. But with relationships and history muddying the waters the Joe's will have to be real American Heroes to save the day.
Now in fairness whilst "G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra" is mainly an action movie there is a storyline, actually there is quite a bit of storyline. We get some history which established the McMullen family and their interest in weapons manufacturing and selling, we then learn all about the G.I. Joes themselves and also relationships between certain people. Of course with the main storyline being about a nefarious plan involving a plot to destroy various places using a high tech weaponry we have the G,I, Joes doing battle with an evil nemesis. But the good things is that none of this is hard to follow, okay so it is also very ordinary, an almost text book storyline, good guys, bad guys, back stories and relationships but at least it gives a meaning for all the action.
So as already said what "G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra" is, is really just an action movie with plenty of fantasy elements and characters who have great fighting powers. It is over the top, it is highly visual, it is a series of scenes which have cropped up in other movies but it strangely works, it is entertaining even from an adult's point of view. And the simple reason is that whilst we have massive chase sequences, explosions, high tech gadgetry and a touch of comedy it is action which you can follow. Basically director Stephen Sommers and his team of CGI guys and editors have given us action which isn't going to induce a seizure. In fact they have given us action which allows us to admire the special effects rather than trying to disguise any deficiencies by making it too quick and snappy.
You could say that "G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra" is basically a sexy, hunk action movie and as such the cast is full of good looking actors. Now good looking actors doesn't mean the performances are good but it also doesn't mean they are bad either. So basically what this means is that in a long list of actors we have Channing Tatum, Sienna Miller, Marlon Wayans, Rachel Nichols and Joseph Gordon-Levitt all young, all popular and all basically add to the movie's visually appealing nature. And whilst there are some older actors which include Christopher Eccleston, Jonathan Pryce, Dennis Quaid everything does really rest on the shoulders of the younger actors.
The trouble is that whilst "G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra" works and even for an adult it is entertaining it all seems so unoriginal. The storyline, characters, comedy and action is really just the same as you will see in various other modern action movies. If only the writers had broken the mould and tried to give something different, a different storyline or action it would have been so much better rather than just another big effects action movie.
What this all boils down to is that in fairness "G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra" is entertaining and compared to some modern big budget effect movies it is better. But with what is a stock storyline with stock action elements it really is just another big effects modern action movie made to appeal to the masses who like their entertainment to be simple and visual.