What do you get when you put Star Wars, Iron Man, and Universal Soldier (the Jean-Claude Van Damme/Dolph Lundgren cult fave)?
You get G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra.
As a summer action movie, the very first live-action film in the G.I. Joe franchise has it all-- cool gadgets, high-powered action scenes, and a palatable story. The ensemble cast of Channing Tatum, Marlon Wayans, Dennis Quaid, Ray Park, and Rachel Nichols deliver performances appropriate for the genre and the villains in the story (Sienna Miller, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Christopher Eccleston) give good and believable motivations for their devious acts. The film diverges with the cartoon series in a lot of ways, but it was a nice touch to make the G.I. Joe unit an international force (like the United Nations).
Director Stephen Sommers (The Mummy, Van Helsing, The Scorpion King) injects his action movie expertise and may have found a good formula by integrating James Bond-like international intrigue and battle scenes on the ground and beyond. The movie is definitely escapist in nature and geared toward the little children in boys and men. Also, the movie has several easter eggs that give a little nod to the original G.I. Joe cartoons.
Just so you know, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra is one of the most enjoyable films of this summer season. And knowing is half the battle.
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