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.
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.
Disgraced Secret Service agent (and former presidential guard) Mike Banning finds himself trapped inside the White House in the wake of a terrorist attack; using his inside knowledge, Banning works with national security to rescue the President from his kidnappers.
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.
Having endured his legendary twelve labors, Hercules, the Greek demigod, has his life as a sword-for-hire tested when the King of Thrace and his daughter seek his aid in defeating a tyrannical warlord.
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
During the flashback of Rex' funeral, the ceremonial firing squad seems to be firing directly into the crowd of spectators. 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 »
I have to confess I'm not much of a G.I. Joe fan when I was a kid, partly because the other Hasbro product in transforming robots had more appeal to a boy than a bunch of plastic figures in military garb. The cartoon series too didn't convert me either, as it was up against a whole host of classic series from MASK to Silverhawks, Centurion to Starcomm. Ahh, the wonderful 80s to be growing up...
So while I do not hold G.I Joe in as high a regard as Transformers, between the two films this summer based on the Hasbro toys, I will unabashedly proclaim that G.I. Joe triumphs over the other by a long mile. Michael Bay in his second robot outing has proved to be a two-trick pony, relying on countless of larger than large explosions - hardly a frame passes by without being engulfed in an inferno - and of course, Ms Fox's bouncing assets in slow motion. While one can afford to leave one's brains at the door for popcorn flicks such as these, Bay had forgotten than they have to be basically fun to watch, and magically he had dumbed Transformers down to a mind-numbing bore.
Enter Stephen Sommers, who had a couple of box office successes with the action-adventure genre in The Mummy movies, so this guy obviously knows what he's doing, and it shows. Forget the excuse of a story just to link up the big set action pieces, and it is precisely in the action that Sommers understood when to show restraint, add in a dash of humour, pepper it with proper camera angles, though of course still unable to buckle the trend of slowing things down just before any impact. Slow motion unfortunately is here to stay I guess.
There are obviously some updates to this big budgeted flick, that while it's still a military- type based movie per se, some common sensibilities have crept in. No more are the soldiers "Real American" heroes (though that iconic phrase still managed a mention), and a more inclusive (but still token in a way) United Nations type best-of-the-best elite troopers get invited to this highly classified unit blessed with unlimited budget for high tech weapons and toys. Unlike Bay's invasion-and-conquer type of US troopers, these guys do get arrested after they unleash their weapons of mass destruction, diplomatic immunity not withstanding afterwards. And of course having futuristic toys help to lift this into fantasy-land, than an all out US Military commercial selling the virtues of why Uncle Sam needs you.
Sommers also managed to blend in the myriad of characters from the beloved toy lines and series, akin to what Bryan Singer managed to pull off with X-Men, but of course without the cerebral material to go along. Everything here is plain and simple, with black being black and white being white. It doesn't get bogged down with trying to tell the origin stories of everyone, but does so at precise intervals. I suspect if there was going to be more movies, then the case dossiers of the Joes would get their respective air time.
Otherwise, like the subtitle mentioned, it's more of a bad guys take all film, where surprisingly the Joes always a step behind, from the first action sequence until the last. It was smart too that the film had action over land, sea and air, covering a wide range of military operations to mop up a growing conspiracy involving arms dealers and nano- technology that doesn't seem to far fetched (in fact also seen before in other science fiction films). The best part of course is echoing some sentiments whenever opportunity allows in lambasting a superpower's policies, including a subtle jibe that most of the world's terrorist type problems, stem from ineptness and how the monster came to grow from within.
G.I. Joe was much better than expected as pure entertainment, and you really shouldn't give this a miss as it might just restore your faith in big-action summer popcorn flicks that takes a huge leaf out of their cartoon counterparts. A bevy of good looking, established stars in its casting also helped in making this watchable, even though some, like Ray Park, had to spend all his time behind a mask. See if you can spot an uncredited Brandan Fraser as well!
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