A Case For The Defence: GI Joe – The Rise of Cobra

Alright, this is a recent film. But within the mission statement of Bad Education is the discovery of the new classics, the films that people in 10 years will be looking back in with happiness.

So, ladies and gentlemen, I present to you GI Joe.

This was universally trashed when it came out in 2009. Directed by the legend that is Steven Sommers, it is a movie version of the toy line from the 1980s.

Ah, the toys.

You’ll have to excuse me here whilst I dissapear into the nostalgia box for a few minutes. You see, as far as I was concerned, GI Joe (or Action Force as it was known in the UK) was one of the big franchises. You had He-Man, Transformers and GI Joe. Yes, there were others but they were the big three. A team of good guys, a team of bad guys, awesome vehicles and everyone a rubbish shot.

It was goofy fun. And you know what? So is the film.

It was always going to be a difficult one to translate to live action. You can’t make it realistic but you can’t granger the bright colours of a Saturday morning cartoon either.

The film goes down the realistic route, but not too far. You can see this in the Joes home base. Not only is it built in the middle of a desert but 5 levels down there is a giant water tank with submarines tearing through a giant assault course. And underneath that is where all the planes are kept.

It’s ridiculous. I doesn’t make any sense. And yet it does. This film is the true successor to the spirit of the 60/70s Bond films.

The villains are great, both chewing the scenery as fast as it can be built. It also does a good job in capturing one of the coolest characters in pop culture, Snake Eyes. The ninja action scenes are great fun, but then you can never go wrong with ninjas.

Alright, the plot is a bit rubbish. Some of the jumps it makes are daft, especially when it comes to weapons that can only be voice controlled by people who can speak Gaelic.

The trick is, and why it is much better than the Michael Bay Transformer films, is that it knows it’s rubbish. All it’s concerned about is getting from set piece to set piece. It doesn’t have the po-face seriousness of Transformers o Prince of Persia. It’s huge fun.

If I had seen this when I was 12, it would have been the best film I had ever seen.

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