Monday, August 3, 2009

A Real American Disappointment

GI Joe comes out this week, and I don't think there's going to be any way they'll get around ticking off GI Joe fans (of which I am one, having spent many an hour in my childhood playing with them and watching the cartoon). And admittedly, we're a harder fan base than normal to please because there are basically three or four types of Joe fan. You have the fans of the comics and fans of the cartoon show, which have some key differences. Both of us would fall into the category of fans of the toys, but there are also two toys: you have the Real American Hero line from the 80s, and the original Joe figure.

Focusing on the comics, cartoon, and Real American Heroes toys, here's what I want in a live action Joe movie: I want recognizable characters who are true to their origins. I want the organizations to remain true to their origins and purposes. I want to see some sweet-a vehicles, and I want crap to blow up. It really shouldn't be that difficult.

All the trailers look okay, and the action looks like it will be great, but here are my hang ups.

1) They botched the characters. According to things I've read, what they've done to the characters in this flick would be like making a live action Beavis and Butt-head movie about two borderline geniuses and their research at M.I.T. Or doing a Lincoln biopic that focuses on his career as a slave trader in the orient. You can't just completely change characters or their origins and think it'll be okay.

2) The characters are unrecognizable. Snake Eyes looks pretty sweet, and the Baronness looks great (and freaking hot). After that, I want to throw up in my mouth. And I've only seen the Joes thus far; I haven't seen any pics of Destro in the mask or Cobra Commander. (One caveat: her costume sucks, but Scarlett looks pretty good, too. Yowza.)

3) Hiring a pacifist to be the resident alpha-male of GI Joe is liking having Hugo Chavez dress as Uncle Sam.

4) GI Joe was America's daring, highly trained special missions force that's purpose was to defend human freedom against Cobra. They fought for freedom wherever there's trouble. So you can't change them into an international fighting unit just to make the Frenchies happy and expect me to like it. I don't. It sucks.

5) I'm going to be alone on this, and that's okay. And if I had more than five readers, I'd catch hell for it, but that's okay, too. I actually have no problem with Marlon Wayans, other than a lot of his movies are pretty gross. I'd even be okay with him in this flick if he was somebody else. I'd have been perplexed if he was, say, Stalker, but I could live with it. But he's Ripcord.'s the thing. You know how on SNL they have a white guy play Obama and people get pissed off about it? You know how people get pissed off any time a white guy plays a minority, or a minority character is changed into a white guy? Well, Ripcord's white and there's a black guy playing him. And ultimately, it's not that big of a deal, but like I said, I want to recognize characters. If you're used to seeing a white guy and he shows up and he's not white anymore, it's confusing.

Ultimately, here's what's going to happen. I'm going to go see this, knowing it's going to suck. I'm going to pay my $7 to knowingly be disappointed.

You know how everyone complains about Lucas and Spielberg destroying their childhood? Well, it looks like the 70s are destroyed and we're full speed ahead in pillaging the 80s.

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