Monday, August 10, 2009

Summer Movie Recap: EPIC FAIL

I originally wanted to do a big end-of-summer review of all the "hero" movies to go with the debut of the spiffy site redesign...but after seeing G.I. Joe today, I realized that...I have nothing to say. At least, nothing to write home about. (Well, except for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, which I actually enjoyed and found very beautiful, but that's part of a whole series, so as a film, it's incomplete. Maybe later, as a stand-alone review.)


For the most part, I was simply BORED. For me, this was set-up to be a bad movie season by my disappointment in Frank Miller's The Spirit. High expectations, low reward. Transformers 2 was a terrible mess. I thought the first one, despite so many changes in the iconography, managed to be entertaining; the sequel, however, was...just...well, I love giant robots, and I love pyramids. This should have been an epic WIN, but...it wasn't. Just stupid. Wolverine was alright, but forgettable. (Although I dug the trickster aspect of the story, a topic I plan to explore here at length later.) I've already said my piece about Star Trek, which was more idealized than the movie actually deserved.Terminator: Salvation? Skipped that one. No interest whatsoever.

And today's movie, G.I. Joe? I wanted to leave ten minutes into it. I thought I'd be disgusted, a la Superman Returns, with the producer's fear of being "pro-American" (whatever happened to "A Real American Hero?"). But instead, I was simply BORED with the lack of story, lame character motivation, desecration of Cobra Commander's outfit, and more importantly, bored with the extreme caution this movie took in not offending anyone. There are good guys and bad guys, but none of them really stand for anything (or should that be stand for anything?). They're just fighting. The Joe's will are supposed to "fight for freedom, wherever there's trouble...". Well, as Nietzsche once asked, "freedom FROM what, or Freedom FOR what?" This, well...it's more cartoony (meaning simplistic) than the cartoon, without the charm.

All the superhero movies might seem like a good thing; having them is better than sending our "heroes into exile," right? It means that there is a realization that people really do want their heroes. Well, if you can't get rid of heroes, what do you do then? You send them on pointless missions amounting to mere escapism, at best, and parody, at worst. It seems the superhero movies right now are in "hologram foil number. 1 phase," referring to those dark ages of comics where every issue was a first issue with hologram covers...all style, no substance. That's what these movies are, all shiny and explosive with no story, with nothing to care about. We'll call it the "Rob Liefeld" phase of superhero movies. Ah, well. Hopefully IRON MAN II will deliver. Here's hoping to a decent lead-up to The Avengers. And maybe Ryan Reynolds won't frag up Green Lantern too bad...

4 comments:

Damien said...

Joe Maurone,

You know I just saw the live action JI Joe movie about month ago. I thought it was okay actually. I was disappointed by what I thought was a cliff hanger ending since I don't think they made a sequel, nor do I think they're going to. Other than that, for most part I thought it was fine. It was able to keep my attention until the final scene. Although they never stated exactly what Cobra or JI Joe stood for, to me it become pretty clear, just based on the symbolism they used. The only other thing I didn't like about it, was that in the movie version, JI Joe was more of a part of the UN than part of the American Military like it was in the old cartoon series. However, I wouldn't call it an epic fail. In my opinion JI Joe was a two and a half to three star movie.

Joe Maurone said...

Well, Damien, we must have seen two different movies (wait, "JI Joe"? Ah, well, that explains it...). ;)

Yeah, I don't think there will be a sequel, either...

Damien said...

Joe Maurone,

Glad you have a sense of humor. I can't believe that I didn't notice that I was writing it as "JI Joe," instead of "GI Joe" until now.

Joe Maurone said...

As long as you didn't mispell "Joe," then I might have to take issue...;)