Mr. Church reunites the Expendables for what should be an easy paycheck, but when one of their men is murdered on the job, their quest for revenge puts them deep in enemy territory and up against an unexpected threat.
Ex-con Jensen Ames is forced by the warden of a notorious prison to compete in our post-industrial world's most popular sport: a car race in which inmates must brutalize and kill one another on the road to victory.
Barney augments his team with new blood for a personal battle: to take down Conrad Stonebanks, the Expendables co-founder and notorious arms trader who is hell bent on wiping out Barney and every single one of his associates.
Two soldiers stationed in Kazahkstan (Captain Duke Hauser and his partner "Ripcord") are ordered to transport special warheads created by MARS, an arms' manufacturer controlled by James McCullen. When they are attacked by thieves (led by Anastasia DeCobray, with whom Duke has history), they are saved by a top secret, international special forces unit known as "G.I. Joe". The leader of G.I. Joe, General Abernathy (or Hawk) is on the trail of the thieves: an evil organization called "Cobra". While Duke and Ripcord train to join the Joes, McCullen ("Destro") is secretly working for Cobra and plotting to recapture his metal-eating "Nanomite" warheads. Duke and Ripcord (with help from Heavy Duty, Snake Eyes, and the rest of the Joes) must prove that they are Real American Heroes -- by stopping the launch of these warheads before Cobra uses them to take over the world. Written by
At the start of the movie, McCullen (a Scot) is accused of "treason" for selling arms to overthrow the king of France. French law allows "soldiers in the service of France" to be charged with treason. As an arms dealer to France, particularly at that time, McCullen could very well have been considered a soldier in the service of France. See more »
Bastille Prison Warden:
James McCullen, you Scottish pig, you've been found guilty of treason for the sale of military arms to the enemies of our Lord, King Louis XIII, even whilst you sold arms to our Lord himself.
James McCullen - 1641:
Your king is a vile bag of filth who murders his own allies. I should have charged him double.
Bastille Prison Warden:
You tried to overthrow the Crown in conspiracy with its enemies.
James McCullen - 1641:
Unlike your simpleton king, his enemies know that is the true McCullen destiny not simple to supply arms, but to run the wars!
Bastille Prison Warden:
Do you ...
[...] See more »
Part of the closing credits appear on a giant metal G.I. Joe logo. Visible on this logo are other military logos, including old G.I. Joe stickers, the US flying stars, and the G.I. Joe: Sigma 6 (2005) Sigma 6 designation. See more »
What Transformers 2 should have been and sadly wasn't
I was very looking forward to the G.I. Joe film, not because I'm a fan of the toys or the animated series, but because I knew what to expect: tons of cool special effects and some really exciting action. And guess what? That's exactly what the film provides.
If there's something G.I. Joe is, it's an action movie. But unlike movies like Transformers 2, Sommers' motion picture actually succeeds at providing with wall-to-wall action. Unlike Michael Bay, he doesn't insert explosions every three seconds, and doesn't seem to have the need of shaking his camera like a madman so that the audience doesn't have a clue of what's happening. Yes, there is a lot of action in this movie, but it is of the comprehensible sort, meaning the viewer actually knows if his favorite characters are in danger and also has the opportunity of enjoying and being marveled by the special effects instead of watching balls of fire and tons of CGI that doesn't make sense. Sommers' approach to action is almost "old-fashioned", and I thanks him for that. Of course, that doesn't mean that all of the action sequences work beautifully; some of them are a little tiresome actually. There is no denying, though, that the Paris action set-piece is quite awesome, both in terms of special effects, and in terms of how excited and tense it made me feel.
Now, regarding the special effects... yes, they are by no means perfect, and yes, the film does have a sort-of artificial look from time to time, but it's nothing serious. Sommers always inserts a lot of computer-generated effects and other extravagances in his movies, and although these kinds of tricks have improved in quality during the last couple of years, it's always hard to make them look 100% realistic if you're inserting them virtually everywhere. (The movie doesn't have an infinite budget, after all.) Nevertheless, because the film doesn't take itself excessively seriously (unlike Revenge of the Fallen), these kinds of "mistakes" are allowed. I even accepted a final "revelation", which occurs during the last few minutes of runningtime, and which includes a "new" (and very cheesy) Darth Vader-looking bad guy. Why? Because I accepted the fact that this is a "toy movie", and that nothing (expect maybe some of the characters) should be taken too seriously.
Performances are what should be expected from this kind of movie. Not particularly strong, but not bad either. The standout is Sienna Miller, who is almost unrecognizable with black hair and dark glasses. (She looks really hot, though.) She seems to be having lots of fun playing the bad guy, and thus manages to create a very memorable and entertaining character. Rachel Nichols is cute and believable as Scarlett, and Marlon Wayans is great as Ripcord; he can be funny and dorky from time to time, but because he's also a pretty good soldier and because he's never too goofy, one can take his character (kinda) seriously. His flirting with Nichols was great, not only because it was fun, but because it was - for a lack of a better word - awesome to see an inter-racial romance making an appearance in a big-budget Hollywood blockbuster. Christopher Eccleston is effective as a megalomaniac villain, and despite their small parts, the likes of Dennis Quaid (always reliable, that bloke), Brendan Fraser and Jonathan Pryce (!) are memorable. The one disappointment, though, is Channing Tatum, who as Duke is almost as wooden as Hayden Christensen's Anakin Skywalker. He looks good during the action sequences, but that's about it.
The main reason, though, of why G.I. Joe is so much superior to Revenge of the Fallen (I know I'm comparing both movies a little too much, but it's almost unavoidable) is that the former actually has memorable and fun characters worth rooting for, while the latter has virtually no characters, and instead provides with a gazzilion CGI robots who look virtually all the same during the confusing action sequences. I like the fact that each Joe is given a back-story through flashbacks (the most interesting is definitely the one concerning Snake Eyes and his rival, Storm Shadow), and I also like the fact that, despite having very archetypical personalities, each character is instantly recognizable and played with style. The screenplay might not be particularly smart (although it's a million times wittier and organized than the one for Michael Bay's picture), but it accomplishes what it sets to do: provide with nice and entertaining characters, a plot that actually makes sense, and action sequences that don't feel repetitive or dull.
So has Stephen Sommers and his creative team managed to fulfill expectations? Well, considering buzz for the movie a couple of months ago was horribly negative, it won't be hard for the filmmakers to please their audience, but even if expectations had been higher, I don't think viewers would have emerged disappointed from theatres. I can say I was a Joe virgin before watching the movie; I knew nothing about the characters, the plot or the role of the "Cobra" organization in the series' mythos, but after watching the film, I am now more interested in everything related to it. Needless to say, the movie does do a really good job at presenting the characters and the plot to newbies, and I'm sure that for die-hard fans, it is a very entertaining and visually-pleasing way to revisit their favorite characters. With its comprehensible action, cool special effects, effective performances and mildly-interesting plot, G.I. Joe is one of the better big-budget action extravaganzas I've seen in some time. In short, what Transformers 2 should have been and sadly wasn't.
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