Monday, August 10, 2009

"G"-MOVIES AND THEIR BOOM BOOM BOOMS

Two recent special-ops films - one about gerbils, one about Joes - use The Black-Eyed Peas' #1 mega-market smash hit, "Boom Boom Pow", in them. I'm not here to critique the song, just the usage of it in each film. In Disney's G-Force, the song makes sense. "Boom Boom Pow"'s now notorious back-rhythms drive along such silly animated action as two gerbils riding inside of an abandoned tire as it conspicuously rolls past a pack of curious dogs. In G.I. Joe : The Rise of Cobra, the song plays over the heavy steel-plated credits. Eww, gross. This doesn't even make sense. I mean, I get that there was a contract signed somewhere by somebody to somehow place this song within the film, but why not have it blasting out of Marlon Wayans' boombox while he's working out, or something? I would have much rather heard the phony Green Day playing a candy-ass cover of the old G.I. Joe theme song for chrissakes.

And yes, undoubtedly, G-Force is the smarter, wittier, flashier, brainier, and - most crucially - shorter of the two films. G-Force wins on all accounts. Director, and visual effects veteran, Hoyt Yeatman even makes it more believable that four little rodents could save the universe over the put-on that Sienna Miller could actually kick someone's ass, that Joseph Gordon Levitt is menacing, and that Rachel Nichols can act (her turn as "Scarlett" is the worst performance of the year, thus far. Imagine a hooker doing her best to pretend that she really has feelings for you, and then think of a charade 4 times less convincing... and then you're pretty close.). As a thirtysomething, I'll still take fart jokes and poop jokes from the mouths and butts of talking animals that a hologram of Dennis Quaid telling us slowly and bluntly that "know-ing ... is ... half ... the ... bat-tle". Sure, we may be dunces for seeing your film, Dennis, but we ain't retarded, ok?

"Knowing is half the battle". That's true, but so is pre-production. And who invited Brendan Fraser to this mess anyways? Seems like a nice guy, but why? Is it because he was in The Mummy? It better have been a director's favor because, he sure isn't cool enough for a cameo. And how about Snake Eyes (indisputably the coolest G.I. Joe ever) having chiseled out lips on his suit of armor? The lips don't move, and Snake Eyes doesn't talk, so why bother even having anything there beyond a smooth surface? It just looks creepy. It actually sexualizes Snake Eyes. I mean, if they gave him lips with fangs, or a slithering little tongue, or even a Billy Idol sneer, I would have been mildly ok with it. But no. Instead, Snake Eyes' perfect mouth just made me wanna kiss him. He looked like the sexiest gimp ever.


I was also almost destroyed by the way the origins of Destro were revealed. I know I sound like one of those shoe stomping fanboys who just can't get over the way they fantasize their false idols in the movies in their heads, but Destro was the coolest bad dude as a cartoon and action figure. In G.I. Joe : The Rise of Cobra, however, he's just kind of soggy and clammy. In fact, the Cobras in general look awful. Where's the BLUE??? I'm guessing the studio and producers saw the old-school Cobra Commander helmet as a little too "Nazi", while the Cobra Commander "hooded" look gave off too much of a Klansman/executioner vibe for our sensitive times. However, what they ended up with is just plain bizarre, a glowing metal concoction looking something like Rocky Dennis mixed with one of those vagina tools that David Cronenberg designed for Dead Ringers.

I will at least give Stephen Sommers the courtesy of putting a half asterisk next to my overwhelmingly negative feelings about his G.I. Joe : The Rise of Cobra, because I was admittedly coming off a two-hour workout and suffering a wicked left-eye sinus headache as I eased down into the theater seat. (Because of that half-asterisk, I will watch GIJ:TROC again when it comes out on video, but I refuse to see it again at theater... anytime soon). I even fell asleep in the film's final battle sequence, which seemed to last as long as four months worth of Catholic homilies slowly rolling off the good Father's tongue while Warren Moon was lining up on the Cleveland Brown's 1-yard line back home on TV. So, if you're Joe-nsing for some Real American Hero popcorn fun, go see G-Force instead. No, G-Force isn't a great film, but you won't feel cheated afterwards, and not feeling cheated is half the summer blockbuster experience.

17 comments:

Ed Howard said...

Oh Fox, I know I can always count on you to write super-entertaining reviews of movies I'll never see -- reviews where you admit to wanting to make out with characters based on beloved childhood action figures, even. You provide a valuable service, my friend. But even you should draw the line at actually giving G.I. Joe a second chance on DVD. I mean, come on, there has to be a limit to your masochism, no? No?

Matt said...

Yeah, the Black Eyed Peas song is good, but a little ridiculous and shouldn't be used as a heavy hitter.

Fox said...

Ed-

I can't help it!! It's like a disaster I can't help staring at (mixed in with a little childhood nostalgia). Or, maybe it's like those Twilight fans that "loved the book, hated the movie" yet they've seen the movie 6 times.

Plus, Sienna Miller is pretty sexy in leather.

Fox said...

Matt-

I usually try to stay through the credits, or at least the credit sequence before the scroll, but I just couldn't do it this time. It was kind of embarrassing.

bill r. said...

I'll see it for the Baroness, because I have a thing for chicks with glasses, particularly brunettes, and apparently their being evil doesn't ruin anything, either.

Fox said...

I have a thing for chicks with glasses, particularly brunettes, and apparently their being evil doesn't ruin anything, either....

I concur with all of that.

Also, she's got some evil cleavage working in the film as well. Not that THE cleavage itself is bad, but that it's cleavage from an evil source. I hope someone writes a song called "Evil Cleavage".

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