Tell us what you thought of ‘G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra’

Posted by · 1:34 pm · August 10th, 2009

G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra

Okay, so I shelled out the cash last night to see “G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra” while I’m away in San Francisco.  It’s awful in many ways (most of them beginning with Joseph and ending with Gordon-Levitt, surprisingly enough).  But it was also, I thought, unbelievably enjoyable.  I’m on the tongue-in-cheek bandwagon, I guess. It’s kitsch, certainly not high kitsch, but kitsch nevertheless.  Channing Tatum should never be in another movie, of course, but, well, I had a good time.  Sue me.  But I’d love to hear what the readership thinks, so rifle off your thoughts in the comments section below.

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26 responses so far

  • 1 8-10-2009 at 1:48 pm

    AmericanRequiem said...

    Ya I was laughing throughout and Gordon Levitt blew my mind(having seen 500 days of summer the day before) Truely awful, but the tounge in cheek was so much better then revenge of the fallen

  • 2 8-10-2009 at 2:36 pm

    Chase Kahn said...

    I guess I’ll never understand this mindsight, but how can a movie that’s “awful” be in any way “enjoyable”. I mean, I wasn’t bored at all during “Knowing”, but it’s easily one of the worst movies of the year and I’d never see it again.

    Shit is shit — whether you just want to knock out two hours or not. Don’t give me this guilty pleasure, so bad it’s good bullshit.

  • 3 8-10-2009 at 3:16 pm

    Joel said...

    I really liked it, but the acting was no specialty…nor was it the point. The point is the action scenes. I’ve gotten in trouble before for saying that, since apparently some people are so self-important as to declare what the “right way” to make a movie is. Apparently Sommers and Bay are hated, thus their movies are automatically bad. I personally love Bay, think that there is no pure action director out there (PURE action…not action with thought behind it). Sommers ain’t Bay, but I’ve liked his movies thus far, forgiving The Scorpion King. GI Joe is no different. If I’d give Transformers 2 4/4, I’d give GI Joe 3/4.

    “Shit is shit — whether you just want to knock out two hours or not. Don’t give me this guilty pleasure, so bad it’s good bullshit.”

    Not true, sorry, Chase. So you can’t have a good time at the movies? What, do you group Transformers 2 and No Country for Old Men (or whatever movie you really like from ’07 or ’08) in the same group? I don’t mean to attack you; these are actual questions. I just want to know the reasoning behind that statement.

    There’s a difference between “film” and “movie.” A lot (not all, though) of critics today have forgotten the difference or don’t care for whatever reason.

  • 4 8-10-2009 at 3:20 pm

    Rare Addict said...

    Like most people, I went into G.I. Joe expecting – to be fairly blunt – a steaming pile of shit. That being said, for some inexplicable reason, I was excited about seeing it anyway. I went and saw it on Saturday, and I have to say that I was pretty pleasantly surprised.

    Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow aside, what I love most about this movie is that, unlike Transformers 2, it has its own identity. The movie doesn’t pander to an audience, and yet doesn’t try to make the source material out to be anything more than what it actually is. There are some very cartoonish moments, yes, but not so much so that they make you feel like the tone of the film has been disrupted.

    Contrary to what most people have said, I think that G.I. Joe has a few solid performances, including Sienna Miller (Baroness), Dennis Quaid (Hawk), Arnold Vosloo (Zartan), and Rachel Nichols (Scarlett). Ray Park and Byung-hun Lee as Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow, respectively, are especially brilliant; in fact, I could’ve easily gone for an entire movie centered around those two characters.

    However, Channing Tatum and Marlon Wayans as the film’s two main heroes, Duke and Ripcord, are extraordinarily awful (the former’s performance being one of the worst I’ve seen on film in a long time).

    So, yeah, not a great film by any stretch of the imagination, but much better than I was expecting.

  • 5 8-10-2009 at 3:29 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Chase: No need to be pompous, but you also kind of answered your own question with the “Knowing” bit. If you’re questioning that I thought the film was enjoyable, I don’t know what to tell you. It’s sad, though, that so many think that a film must be a certain thing to be “good,” and that “good” is such an acutely defined term.

    Shit is shit, you’re right. But there are levels of shit and there can, in my view, be good, enjoyable shit.

    In the way of metaphor, I’ll quote Bill Murray from “Ghostbusters 2”:

    “I have more than two grades of laundry, okay? There’s not just clean and dirty. There are many subtle levels. Okay?”

    Rare Addict: The only awful performances, I felt, were Tatum and Gordon-Levitt. Everyone else was serviceable and I actually thought Wayans was just fine. Comedy relief. Hit the notes he was supposed to. Etc.

    Anyway, I think Joel touches on a certain truth with his comment. Those who think G.I. Joe being a bad movie but a decent piece of entertainment, and therefore think the film world is damaged by its existence, are so self-important it’s suffocating. There is such a thing as commerce in this world and I don’t think it’s out of control…yet. There might be a lack of creativity via numerous sequels and franchises, etc., but I can deal with one or two G.I. Joes from time to time to cut the air of self-importance.

    At the end of the day, it’s just movies.

  • 6 8-10-2009 at 4:05 pm

    Daniel said...

    Speaking of awful films, anyone get around to seeing The Room yet? I’m a bit of a jackass when it comes to ratings, but it’s the easiest 10/10 (ten/ten) i’ve ever given.

  • 7 8-10-2009 at 4:11 pm

    entertainmenttoday.. said...

    I thought it was alot of fun. It had alot of characters in it and I liked that. Sienna Miller was very good and I could look at Rachel Nichols all day long. Actually thought Marlon Wayons in some ways stole the film. The action was exciting. It worked for me. 7.5 out of 10.


  • 8 8-10-2009 at 4:46 pm

    Georgie said...

    I heard that JGL was only in the film for two minutes, I can’t understand how his performance could be that awful.

    I haven’t seen the film, I chose to watch (500) Days of Summer instead (drove an hour to see it, too) which I really hope can pull off a screenplay nomination. I know it doesn’t stand a chance in any of the other categories.

  • 9 8-10-2009 at 4:49 pm

    James D. said...

    I have to agree with Chase, awful and enjoyable should not be in the same sentence. If you enjoyed it, you have to think it was a good movie. I don’t see a lot of people eating things that they think taste bad but saying how much they enjoy it, because it does not make sense.

    I think part of it comes from feeling critical pressure. You aren’t supposed to like G.I. Joe, so you have to make a qualifier before you say you enjoyed it. When I see a bad film (Bruno, Away We Go) it is awful BECAUSE it is not enjoyable. Sure, the enjoyment from watching Julie and Julia and Moon come from different angles, but they are still an enjoyment. On the other hand, if I was forced to sit down to watch G.I. Joe and enjoyed it, I would have to conclude it was a good film.

  • 10 8-10-2009 at 5:14 pm

    Chase Kahn said...

    “Not true, sorry, Chase. So you can’t have a good time at the movies? What, do you group Transformers 2 and No Country for Old Men (or whatever movie you really like from ‘07 or ‘08) in the same group? I don’t mean to attack you; these are actual questions. I just want to know the reasoning behind that statement.”

    This is what I’m talking about. Of course “Transformers” and “No Country for Old Men” are in the same category — they’re both movies, aren’t they?

    So I should rate “Transformers” differently because it isn’t to be taken seriously and the other one is? Sorry, that’s ridiculous.

    It’s like that old saying, “Leave your brain at the door and it’s really fun!!” — why would I want to do that?

    Kris: Sorry, didn’t mean to sound pompous…

  • 11 8-10-2009 at 5:40 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    James: Despite the fact that I think an awful film can be enjoyable and you clearly do not, I should say both words are in different sentences. :)

    And obviously it needs the qualifier because of the culture of critical hate around it. In a perfect world, that bullshit would be gone and people could say what they feel: it was plenty fun. But people like to gang up and I like to be preemptive, so there we are.

    But we also have different ideas of what makes a film “awful.” The writing is severely below par in G.I. Joe and there are a couple bad performances, but the execution is just fine. Hence, it was enjoyable.

    In a nutshell, I call bullshit on awful films not qualifying as enjoyable. After all, some films are enjoyable BECAUSE they are awful (though that is not the case with G.I. Joe), so it’s a Swiss cheese argument from the start.

    Chase: Do you rate a 4-year-old’s watercolor or paint-by-numbers on the same level you do Van Gogh? After all, they are both paintings.

  • 12 8-10-2009 at 6:19 pm

    Chase Kahn said...

    I’m having trouble getting this around my head — do people have two seperate Top 10 Lists every year?

    One for good movies that they like and one for bad movies that they like?

    I suppose I get enjoyment out of films by appreciating their artistic merits and actually what they have to say and how they do it — be it the performances, writing, technical aspects, score, etc. I don’t find shitty filmmaking enjoyable in the slightest.

  • 13 8-10-2009 at 6:23 pm

    entertainmenttoday.. said...

    Chase: Do you rate a 4-year-old’s watercolor or paint-by-numbers on the same level you do Van Gogh? After all, they are both paintings.

    Well said as I agree with that.
    This why some critics annoy me. The main thing I want in a Summer popcorn film is to be involved, enjoy the characters and then have my adreneline flow while watching. These three things were acheived watching G.I Joe for me. I mean its GI Joe its not The Godfather. I want to have fun and don’t expect to see something profound or overly deep.


  • 14 8-10-2009 at 6:33 pm

    /3rtfu11 said...

    “It’s awful in many ways (most of them beginning with Joseph and ending with Gordon-Levitt, surprisingly enough).”

    But he’s damn cute. However, since I know his playing Cobra Commander I’m sure not so much. Haven’t seen the movie nor plan to. I can smell crap through my TV screen.

  • 15 8-10-2009 at 6:36 pm

    Chase Kahn said...

    “Do you rate a 4-year-old’s watercolor or paint-by-numbers on the same level you do Van Gogh?”

    You’re right though, Stephen Sommers’ work does sometimes resemble the doings of a 4 year-old.

    Okay, I’m done — Truce ;)

  • 16 8-10-2009 at 6:38 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Who said anything about having separate top 10 lists? The argument is whether films that fail artistically can be appreciated otherwise. What’s so difficult to understand about that?

  • 17 8-10-2009 at 6:39 pm

    AmericanRequiem said...

    I saw Orphan a few days ago, one of the funnest times Ive had at the theatres in awhile, will it make my top 10? Ha, doubtful, but could it, sure

  • 18 8-10-2009 at 6:53 pm

    Chase Kahn said...

    I was simply saying that, no, I don’t go into watching a film any differently than if it’s by Paul W.S. Anderson (watercolor) or Paul Thomas Anderson (Van Gogh).

  • 19 8-10-2009 at 7:38 pm

    James D. said...

    Kris, does that mean that when I talk about critically beloved films that I don’t like, I have to qualify it first, saying it was great, but that I didn’t like it?

    I hated Juno and did not enjoy myself, therefore it is a bad film. I think you are putting too much emphasis on “artistic” qualities, frankly. After all, Bolt did not get the same critical praise that other films did, but you made it your number 2 on your Top Ten. Do you qualify that as well?

    A film’s qualities are subjective, as is the enjoyment factor. One critic can love Streep in Doubt, while I can think it is overdone, does that make me wrong? After all, not all critics agree, which is why on a Metacritic scale you will see high films go from 100 to sometimes the 40s or so.

    If I saw G.I. Joe and enjoyed it, I would say it is a good film. I can’t wrap my head around this “it is bad, but I liked it”. That seems like a contradiction to me.

    For a guy that makes unconventional choices and rips a lot of what the critical establishment pushes out, this seems like ceding them some authority.

  • 20 8-10-2009 at 8:35 pm

    Nicolas Mancuso said...

    My argument begins and ends with “Troll 2”. Have any of you seen it? One of the worst films I’ve ever seen, with atrocious acting and ridiculous plotting, but also one of my favourites. Seriously, watch this movie.

    On a side note, I saw a wonderful documentary about “Troll 2” at the Fantasia Film Festival in Montreal called “Best Worst Movie”. I hope it gets a theatrical release.

  • 21 8-10-2009 at 9:30 pm

    Homero said...

    1) Better than Transformers 2

    2) Sommers gave Snake Eyes a reaction shot…really?! Jesus…

  • 22 8-10-2009 at 10:57 pm

    Andrew said...

    Well, I found this far more easy to digest than Revenge of the Fallen. It’s greatly flawed, but at least it’s excesses and over the top nature did not come off to the point that it was practically insulting my intelligence.

  • 23 8-11-2009 at 9:32 am

    Jonathan Spuij said...

    I’m sorry but I simply refuse to believe Stephen Sommers knows what he’s doing and that he’s deliberately delivering cheesy films. Not this bad.
    I totally hated it. The humor was excruciating, frequently the lines left me scratching my head thinking “did they really just say that?”. There was a couple next to me laughing at all the stupid jokes Wayans made. They were truly all poor.
    The acting was totally poor and a disgrace, even from Quaid. Tatum in particular is totally not fit for such films. Eccleston’s accent was beyond poor, and just painful to bear.
    The whole prologue in the castle was totally irrelevant and already put the movie beyond saviour. It was so totally bad.
    The SFX were horrible at times, some folks at the end joked theyt were probably too busy rendering Transformers 2. You know, they might’ve been right. Christ, that was bad. All of it. There was no way to enjoy anything about the film.
    No the best guilty pleasures of the year still are The Boat That Rocked and Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus.

  • 24 8-11-2009 at 10:11 am

    Jonathan Spuij said...

    Oh I forgot to mention that I believe that a movie with such an immense budget should never be this cheesy, especially if it’s deliberate.

  • 25 8-11-2009 at 1:11 pm

    Joel said...

    “The acting was totally poor and a disgrace, even from Quaid.” Now that I’ll agree with, except I still think it fit the requirements. Thought Quaid was quite horrid…just dreadful.

  • 26 8-05-2014 at 8:24 am

    Aldeir said...

    Thanks! These were all taken with my Sony CyberShot which I love since it’s so tiny and convenient! I pull out eeithr my Nikon D80 or D700 (DSLR) for photo shoots and more artistic photos. Let me know if you have any other questions about photography / cameras! I’d be happy to help!