(For awhile now, folks have been hammering into G.I. Joe without much proof that it was actually a very bad film. Sure, the trailers revealed a dorky action flick, but how is it different from any other mindless summer popcorn flick? Over at Cinematical, Eugene Novikov analyzes the bad buzz and tries to determine whether or not it's justified.)
One of the most mystifying things about the summer of 2009 has been how, months ago and without any actual information to go on, it became gospel that G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra was going to be a ridiculous train wreck. This is especially bewildering in light of the moderate-to-positive buzz that preceded the release of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, also for no apparent reason. Who decided that G.I. Joe would be terrible? When? Why?
I have, as they say, no robotically enhanced dog in this hunt. I certainly do not expect G.I. Joe to be any sort of season's highlight. I don't have any specific expectations for it, to be honest. But here's the information I have: this is a summer action movie directed by Stephen Sommers, whose last three blockbusters have ranged from tolerable mediocrity to delirious fun. Its cast includes character actors like Christopher Eccleston and Joseph Gordon-Levitt (as the arch-villain, no less). Its trailer is no more or less ridiculous than you would expect from a movie based on action figures, and actually struck me as lighter on its feet than other recent tentpoles. Why it's fated to be the summer's biggest disaster escapes me entirely.