Well I first talked about this a year ago, but I didn't go anywhere with it.
Of course you all know by now I was a HUGE fan of G.I. Joe comics and action figures during the 80's and early 90's. Of course I watched the animated TV show, but I was way WAY more into the Marvel Comics that fleshed out the characters and had mature adult story arcs making the characters more personable and believable at the same time.
Last year a G.I. Joe movie came out, and I was very VERY skeptical about the whole thing. Too much CGI, bad one liners, Channing Tatum, Marlon Wayans, and my favorite played out cliche of all...the token black lycra costume which has been in gross overuse since 1999.
These costumes suck, and they are stupid too! It looks like they were borrowed off of 2000's X-MEN
. Hated those costumes too...
This looks more like G.I. Joe to me...
I loved Stephen Sommers' approach of making it more of an homage to James Bond, and keeping the plot in line with the comics rather than the animated series. Also, Joseph Gordon-Levitt really sold me as the best Cobra Commander ever. Also the movie did not take itself too seriously...thank goodness.
I first got the idea for a kick ass G.I. Joe movie when I first saw Predator
back in 1987. Enter a team of muscle headed special forces type guys. Drop them into the woods with their bag of tricks. Watch them swat terrorists off like flies, only to watch them killed off like livestock by a mysterious alien being. I LOVED it! But lets face it... Arnold's team was the best film version of G.I. Joe at the time...had G.I. Joe been made for an adult audience.
2010 longtime favorite muscle head Stallone manages to put together almost all of the original egg heads from the 1980's together on one screen. I would not have cared if it sucked monkey, I was there just to see all of the egg heads on screen at the same time. What I got was the movie I had hoped for!
Stallone leads a hard nosed group of tattooed Harley riding mercenaries comprised of mostly ex special forces types who are faced with challenge of saving a small country vs getting paid. Surprisingly, Jason Statham and Stallone have a good chemistry! What I expected was a lot of former egg heads trying to steal scenes from each other, but they actually complemented each other well. Jet Li wound up being the comic relief, and Eric Roberts played a great villain as a fallen FBI agent turned drug lord. Of course there is no shortage of big explosions, graphic violence, and all around ass kicking. Also it is set to a fantastic score of classic rock n' roll! I left the theater singing Thin Lizzy's "Boys are Back In Town" with new meaning.
Also, sometimes I forget as we all band together to make fun of Stallone for his bone head speech and his steroid induced shortcomings, we forget that he CAN write. He wrote Rocky
after all. So him writing and directing this movie was second nature to him.
Now I am excited that there is sequels planned for both movies!
G.I. Joe: Retaliation
set for June of this year.
Not excited about Dwayne The Rock Johnson as Roadblock, but as much as I hate to admit it, he DOES fit the part. Also, it is not being directed by Sommers, however, this one sports a darker plot direction, and also Bruce Willis (one of my favorite action heroes of all time) is in it! Basically the plot picks up where the first movie left off.
Zartan is in the White House disguised as The President, making it to frame G.I. Joe for treason, and open the back door for Cobra.
Then in August, we have Expendables 2
Basic plot from IMBD has the boys getting back together for an easy paycheck, but when one of the boys gets snuffed, they seek revenge.
Good times! After the success of the first one, Mr. Chuck Norris has been able to free himself of doing total gym commercials to show up for this movie. (he previously turned down the first one for which many scoffed at). And Jean-Claude Van Damn has taken time off from doing nothing....to showing up as well. Also during the trailer we see Arnold firing a weapon suggesting that he may have slightly more than a cameo. Oh and also...more Bruce Willis! Can't wait.
So basically, it boils down to this. The Expendables is the G.I. Joe movie that I envisioned. G.I. Joe morphed into more of a futuristic James Bond type movie which is a different approach than I had envisioned but it works. Also, I didn't see no Black Lycra costumes other than Snake Eyes which is also a good thing.
So morale of the story, it took a while, but those films now exist. If you want to see G.I. Joe, watch the original, and the sequel! If you want to see the G.I. Joe adult version, go see Expendables
. At heart they are basically the same thing.