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Non-Review Review: G.I. Joe – The Rise of Cobra

I never grew up with G.I. Joe. For me it was Batman: The Animated Series or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. To me, this franchise was just a bunch of generic toy soldiers – in fact, I didn’t even know that they had separate names or defining characteristics. So I come to this movie without a sense of nostalgia or a familiarity with the core product. So, Stephen Sommers’ adaptation of the popular multi-media franchise to the big screen is my first major exposure to the product, and it left me feeling like I’d spent two hours watching a guy playing with toys, rather than making a movie. One of the characters even has a “kung-fu grip”.

It's a black-and-white world...

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Hell Hath No Fury Like a Critic Scorned…

So, G.I. Joe didn’t get screened for critics as part of Paramount’s unusual marketing. I’m miffed. I’m ticked off. I think it’s a bad omen.

I’m also (apparently) a damnsight more professional than the huge number of film critics out there. Apparently the fact that most of them haven’t seen a frame of it, a huge number of professional film critics are panning the movie.

Are critics a bigger threat to Joe than Destro?

Are critics a bigger threat to Joe than Destro?

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G.I. Joe teams up with Uncle Sam…

I’ll admit it. In my defense, I’m suitably ashamed. But I am a little bit interested in G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra. Yes, I know – deep down in my heart – that it will be terrible. No, I was not a fan of the television show, nor the toys – so I have no defense. I am a fan of Christopher Eccleston and I always have been, so my faith in him is on the line. And Stephen Sommers is the guy behind the two really good Mummy films, right? Still, the most interesting aspect of the production (amid all the rumours and gossip, the leaked reviews – both good and bad) is the approach that the studio is taking to marketing. Some movies – like The Dark Knight or Tron: Legacy or Cloverfield – go the subtle, nuanced approach of viral marketing. They create an emersive, engaging experience. G.I. Joe, on the other hand, is not subtle. The marketing team seems to be hammering home on single message: if you don’t dig this movie, you just ain’t patriotic enough.

No Dennis Quaid, you can't out act him... He's Christopher Eccleston!

No Dennis Quaid, you can't out act him... He's Christopher Eccleston!

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