G.I. Joe (series)

D: Stephen Sommers
Paramount/Spyglass/Hasbro (Lorenzo di Bonaventura, Bob Ducsay & Brian Goldner)     
USA 🇺🇸 2009
118 mins


W: Stuart Beattie, David Elliott & Paul Lovett [based on characters created by Hasbro]
DP: Mitchell Amundsen
Ed: Bob Ducsay & Jim May
Mus: Alan Silvestri

Channing Tatum (Duke), Marlon Wayans (Ripcord), Sienna Miller (The Baroness), Christopher Eccleston (Destro), Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Cobra Commander), Lee Byung-Hun (Storm Shadow), Rachel Nichols (Scarlett), Ray Park (Snake Eyes), Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (Heavy Duty), Dennis Quaid (Hawk)

It was inevitable that after Transformers hit the cinemas that another of the cartoon series of the 1980's would get the big screen treatment. This movie however is not a faithful rendering of that childhood favourite. The screenwriters obviously didn't watch the cartoon and clearly used wikipedia to do their research.
Stephen Sommers' direction is as ham-fisted as Steven E. de Souza's effort on the Streetfighter movie, but where de Souza can be forgiven for being a directorial debutante, Sommers had pedigree, having directed the first two Mummy movies. The action scenes are very badly photographed & edited, so much so that it's difficult to tell what's going on. The visual effects aren't terrible but are terribly visualised, most of the action takes place in darkness and shadow. The only watchable set piece is the Paris scene which goes on and on like a Peter Griffin chicken fight.
The casting is completely uninspired. Dennis Quaid does his best with what little dialogue he's given, whilst Channing Tatum gives Keanu Reeves a run for his money as the most wooden action performance of all time. Marlon Wayans is irritatingly miscast and the less said about Sienna Miller the better. Everyone else just seems to be there to pick up a paycheck and a credit.
Having nothing to do with its source material, this becomes just another generic action movie with yet another way to destroy Paris. America 1 France 0... Yeah, Go Joe!

G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra
G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra

D: Jon M. Chu
Paramount/MGM/Spyglass/Hasbro (Lorenzo di Bonaventura & Brian Goldner)                 
USA 🇺🇸 2013
110 mins


W: Rhett Reese & Paul Wernick [based on characters created by Hasbro]
DP: Stephen Windon
Ed: Roger Barton & Jim May
Mus: Henry Jackman

Dwayne Johnson (Roadblock), Bruce Willis (Gen. Joseph Colton), D.J. Cotrana (Flint), Byung-Hun Lee (Storm Shadow), Adrienne Palicki (Lady Jaye), Ray Park (Snake Eyes), Channing Tatum (Duke)

This sequel isn't much better than the first film (The Rise Of Cobra), but it generally captures the essence of the cartoons, features some lively action scenes and even has the balls to kill off some major characters.  Still, the script is rather terrible and very lazily written. The screenwriters really didn't do enough research into this at all, settling on a generic action film with no real links to it's source material. It's also a complete waste of Bruce Willis.
G.I. Joe: Retaliation
G.I. Joe: Retaliation


D: Robert Schwentke

Paramount / MGM / Skydance / Entertainment One  (Brian Goldner, Erik Howsam & Lorenzo di Bonaventura)

US 🇺🇸 2021

121 mins


W: Evan Spiliotopolous, Joe Shrapnel & Anna Waterhouse [based on characters created by Hasbro]

DP: Bojan Bozelli

Ed: Stuart Levy

Mus: Martin Todsharow

Henry Golding (Snake Eyes), Andrew Koji (Tomisaburo Arashikage / Storm Shadow), Ursula Corbero (Ana DeCobray / The Baroness), Samara Weaving (Maj. O’Hara / Scarlett), Haruka Abe (Akiko)

Making a franchise from a pair of flops seems to be Paramount’s only motivation for this spinoff, which has very little to tie into the G.I. Joe movies released in 2009 and 2013, neither of which living up to any kind of expectations.

The focus here is on Snake Eyes prior to his exploits as a commando with the G.I. Joe task force, although they could have slapped any title on this film and it wouldn’t have made any difference, as it has absolutely nothing to do with its extended universe and only seems to have been tied into it as an afterthought.

Henry Golding plays the title character, who becomes involved in a conflict between two oriental gangs following the assassination of his father.

The action set pieces are really poorly handled here, dependent on frenetic editing to hide the stunt performances whilst the acting performances are particularly poor, due to miscasting, though even the finest actors would struggle with this terrible script.

Surprisingly, this manages to be even more of a disappointment than the first two films.


Henry Golding in Snake Eyes
Henry Golding in Snake Eyes