Oh, Joe

The first trailer for the upcoming Hollywood adaptation of G.I. Joe has hit the Internet, and it is…awful. Execrable. Embarrassing. A disgrace. This is, as it should be.

I suppose this is where a certain percentage of 30-something man-children revert to a feral state and begin snarling about how such-and-such a person/group/entity is sexually violating their childhood, but let’s not be silly. Much as I enjoyed the Joe cartoon before growing old enough to know better, much as I loved Larry Hama’s comic book adaptation before the ineffable hand of Hasbro demanded he do less intricate storytelling and more selling of their neon-colored missile-launching toys, the rumors (floating around even way back then) of a live-action adaptation made me roll my young (and too sheltered to be cynical yet) eyes. How could an adaptation of a toyline that featured such winners as Ice Cream Soldier, Skidmark and Raptor the Flying Accountant be cast with live humans and not be ridiculous? It can’t. Of course, it’s 20 years later, so instead of ugly cartoon-style costumes and bad bluescreen effects we’ll be getting ugly X-Men-style costumes and bad CG effects. Plus ca change….

This whole thing is happening, of course, because of the equally abysmal Transformers, which stunned me and pretty much anyone with a fondness for quality entertainment by becoming a massive blockbuster. There’s no way this one will fare equally well, of course — even if the national zeitgeist hadn’t turned away from war-as-policy in the past year or so, there’s surely only so much poo you can pile on the public before it shakes its collective self and hits the shower. I feel kind of bad for everyone attached to this product, except maybe Dennis Quaid, who’s old enough to know better. I’m sure the only one who’ll come out of this disaster untarnished will be Ray Park, because (1) he’s playing Snake-Eyes and gets to wear a mask the whole movie and (2) Hollywood always needs limber physical actors for its crappy blockbusters.

That being said, I’ll definitely be going to see the movie. Maybe even opening weekend! I have no interest in actually watching it, but I figure I need to repay the girlfriend for her, er, kindness — she’s expressed her intent to take me to see Twilight despite my naked horror at the prospect. I figure taking her to see this year’s worst movie seems a fair trade for being dragged to what is widely regarded as last year’s worst.

And in the meantime, my nostalgic love for the G.I. Joe toyline will continue unabated, because I understand what it’s really about:

Cobra commandos trying to rescue Destro from Parappa the Super Servbot, of course.

30 thoughts on “Oh, Joe

  1. Ooo, untarnished Ray Park is going to be in 2010’s live action feature based on the video game “King of Fighters”.

  2. I dunno, what I’ve heard of Twilight makes it not so much the worst movie of 2008, but the Best Movie For All The Wrong Reasons. Which might also count for this movie’s case, come to think of it.

  3. If it’s just bad movies of 2008 we’re talking about, I think the one-two punch of An American Carol and Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed is gonna walk away with the prize.

  4. It looks like the Servbot is playing “Superman” with Destro.

    I think the G.I. Joe movie will be on par with the Transformers movie. I think the concept of putting cartoon plots into a real-world backdrop has been gaining ground in Hollywood for these ’80s revamp films.

  5. Yeah, and my dislike of the Transformers movie has nothing to do with preexisting fandom — I don’t give a wet slap about the toys or cartoons. I just thought it was a horribly-written, badly-made lot of noise and stupidity.

    I’m pretty sure Cobra-La would make this movie a million billion times together. But that could never happen because they’d need Burgess Meredith to bring Golobulous to life.

  6. Ray Park tried acting in Ecks Vs. Sever and survived it. That’s really saying something. Its like surviving ground zero of an atomic blast without having a lead lined refrigerator around to crawl into.

  7. Someone should tell the Cobra diver that he doesn’t really need his wetsuit and fins on land.

  8. Whoops, I forgot to put in a name. I wrote that miniature rant against the Transformers movie above.

  9. … Aaaaand it disappeared without a name attached. I’ll post it again here:

    I’m gonna have to agree with the “Transformers was awful!” crowd.

    To its credit, it did have some big, stylish set-pieces where the Autobots and Decepticons fought each other. Those were at least entertaining. The problem is in the nebulous category of “everything else”, and for a movie supposedly about giant robots I remember a lot of things that weren’t giant robots.

    Every character was a single-note caricature, any attempt to convey a meaningful message wasn’t, any humor that aimed higher than lowbrow still came across as lowbrow, and the movie somehow performed the grand feat of robbing giant robots of their dignity. It also had a Micheal Bay trademark, the little-guys that are always right because they defy strawman authority figures. I did not like this movie, a problem only made worse by the fact that the audience at my screening freaking /applauded/ at the end of it. Ugh.

  10. Grrr. I hate applause at movies. Unless, you’re at a screening where someone that partook in its creation is present, it’s just plain ridiculous.

  11. Hasn’t Japan been robbing giant robots of their dignity for several decades now? Transformers especially.

    The real question here should be who keeps sabotaging Roadblock in the GI Joe franchise? That’s what I’d like to know. Someone must really have it out for that guy.

  12. Regardless of how bad the G.I. Joe movie turns out to be, I think that Dragonball one has it beat for worst movie of the year.

  13. There is a certain portion of the Transformers movie that I loved enough to see three times in the theater. I also saw Phantom Menace nine times for basically the podracing scene and the duel with Darth Maul. I own neither movie on video.

    One of my best friends wasn’t allowed to watch the G.I. Joe cartoon because it was too violent but let him watch all the Transformers he wanted, where characters were always shot and getting their limbs ripped off.

    And that picture is excellent.

  14. Jesus Christ, could they cram any more black leather/bodypaint into a goddamned movie?

    I was never a huge G.I. Joes fan when I was a kid (though I remember reading the Marvel comic about the secret origins of Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow), but one of the the things I DID like about the whole franchise was the ridiculous variety of outlandish/colorful character designs they managed to whip up, despite the all characters ostensibly belonging to a pair of rigidly-trained/uniformed military organizations. That’s not to say that their big-screen counterparts oughtta look like the goddamned Village People or anything, but would a little olive-drab camo’ve (and maybe a talking parrot on someone’s shoulder) killed anyone?

  15. The funny thing is that most of the characters in the image above wore really reasonable outfits as toys — generally green BDUs. The exceptions are Scarlett (whose battle bathing suit was admittedly pretty silly) and Snake Eyes, who…looks the same. But, whatever. So long as they don’t change Dr. Mindbender!!!!!111

  16. Fun fact: Dr. Mindbender’s voice actor went on to voice Sokolov in MGS3. Come to think of it, that’s not much of a change.

    Also, I was NOT expecting that image to pop up when I hit the link. My hat’s off to you, sir.

  17. A live action remake of Team America, minus the irony. Slow motion missile dodging and bus-jumping-through… ugh.

  18. Will we get to see Dennis Quaid fly around in a jetpack in front of the Statue of Liberty while rock opera plays in the background?

  19. God, if that was true and they remade that intro live action, this would automatically be my favorite movie of all time.

  20. What’s up with the hair/helmet on that second guy from the left? Also, Dennis Quaid in that photo reminds me of Jean Claude Van Damme as Guile from the Street Fighter live action movie. And that’s definitely not a good thing.

  21. Wow. This looks far worse than I could ever imagine. And it’s only a minute of footage.

    I agree with an above comment, though – that DragonBall film will most definitely be the worst.

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