Full frontal admission here, I know precisely dick about G.I. Joe.
I've maybe watched 2 or 3 episodes of the show on a sleepless night in my pre-teen years on Boomerang, I can name exactly 3 characters, Snake Eyes, Baroness, and Cobra Commander, and that's about it. So I walked in virtually blind, and the movie was okay. It wasn't horrible but wasn't terribly good either, I'd say the cast is the strongest point of the movie, the action is very shaky and is slightly hard to follow at times but done admirably, the story really didn't grab my attention until a good bit in, and the fact that the majority of the film takes place in Tokyo gets the movie some brownie points. Of course I enjoyed that immensely, seeing the bits of culture and locations on a big screen brought me much joy. But in terms of plot, it's sheer basics. We meet up with a young Snake Eyes, who sees his father murdered and devotes his entire life to kill the man who did it, only to be recruited by a ninja clan and you know the rest. It's very by the numbers, I kinda expected it to be an average decent movie from the trailers and TV spots and that's really what I got. I would absolutely love to see a hardcore G.I. Joe fan's thoughts on this, picking up on all the easter eggs and educating me on the differences. Henry Golding is a decent lead, he has the physical prowess and is believable in the role and he commits fully. Andrew Koji does actually really good work with the material and the inclusion of his character being the next heir to a powerful family clan brought a lot of enjoyment to the film for me. Haruka Abe is awesome, able to pull off the choreography and does indeed suit the role of chief of security for the family, she's class. Takehiro Hira and Ursula Corbero are okay villains, just not having much of a role to really play with. And from what very super little I know and have seen of the Baroness, I think Ursula hits the nail on the head in terms of physicality, and I'm genuinely curious to see what might come next for this new fledgling series. It's kind of a modus operandi for these G.I. Joe movies to be average, the first run got what, like 2 movies? And were not terribly loved at that, so it kinda peaks my interest more than anything to see if this series continues, though I have this tugging sense that this will be a one shot. Not because it's bad but because of how it's all about the profit the movie makes to seal the deal for a continuation. I'm not expecting high art or future action movie classics with this series, but it could turn into something better than what is here. I personally give the movie 2.5 stars, 6.5/10, but you can tell there was honest to God effort in terms of sets, choreography, acting, and it wanted to tell a story beyond this even if the story and script were not very good. It's a mixed bag, and thusly very mixed conclusions can be drawn from it. And on that shrugging bombshell it is time to end this week, see you next time everybody.
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