I have a colleague who is offended by the idea that one should have to watch movies or perceive entertainment through the eyes of "their inner nine-year-old." This of course is the suggestion, or more often, the defense many mount against movies that grown-ups would potentially want to see, but probably not enjoy, because, quite frankly, they're stupid, or poorly done, or quickly undone if any sense of logic or thought is applied to them. And while I agree with the notion that entertainment needn't be only for kids, or intelligence exist in the exclusive province of adulthood, there is something to be said for abandoning one's usual barriers of cynicism – or, to be fair, even just familiarity with storytelling conventions – in the service of enjoying something unabashedly, and against all common sense. This brings me to G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra.
It's entirely possible that if I were nine or ten, the age that I first discovered the animated series, then G.I. Joe would be my favorite movie of all time. It features colorful, iconic characters, huge action scenes, and a plot that I'd feel smart for having figured out. As an adult, however, its shortcomings are obvious: thin, one-dimensional characters, death and destruction on an irresponsibly epic scale, and a nonsensical plot that I'd be depressed to have to try and "figure out." But G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra was made for my nine-year-old self, and the nine-year-old in all of our selves; and while it certainly doesn't hold up to the scrutiny of a more mature or sophisticated perspective, it's a surprisingly fun time at the movies that reminds us we needn't be children in order to enjoy something the same way as when we were.