Sunday, August 16, 2009

Why can't all movies of retro properties be so simple or My G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra review

In the last several years there has been a revival of old properties in the form of modern movies with one of the most recent being G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra. Now I know that a lot of people are knocking this movie but I am of the rare opinion that of the material that has been revived in the last few years (even including Transformers) in the form of a modern movie I have to say that G.I. Joe is one of the better ones. Here me out.

Back when we were kids and used to watch Transformers and G.I. Joe on Saturday mornings, while getting ready for school, or whenever we rarely cared about things like plot and character development (unless a new cool character was being introduced). All we cared about was that the Decepticons/Cobra were doing something bad and the G.I. Joe/Autobots figured it out and beat them in 30 minutes (but with the occasional multi-part storyline.

So now its a couple of decades later and movie studios are trying to bank off of the hope that the love of yesterday's kids for these franchises will translate into today's adults willing to shell out big bucks to see their old favorites on the big screen. Well a lot has changed since yesterday's kids became today's adults so we look for a bit more in our entertainment and the studios know that they have to up the ante a bit if they expect to get us to pay up at the movie theater.

When the marketing for the recent Transformers movies kicked in they seemed to be trying to advertise that they were really going to bring something new and even had a big name behind the camera (Micheal Bay). However when its all said and done those two movies really were just the same old thing I watched as a kid. Video games on every system, merchandising out the butt, ads on every other minute. All that hype wasted.

On the other hand G.I. Joe wasn't advertised anywhere near as much. One game on a hand held system (Nintendo DS), barely any clothes, not as many toys as Transformers (which is odd since G.I. Joe started as a toy line) and there wasn't much promise of new things. Just like the old cartoon there were a few cool vehicles, some explosions, and a bit of witty dialogue. No massive hype.

So I really hope the studios bear this lesson in mind when it comes time for movie adaptations of JEM, Go Bots, C.O.P.S., and The Smurfs.