By Joginder Tuteja
Film: "G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra"; Cast: Channing Tatum, Sienna Miller, Marlon Wayans, Rachel Nichols, Ray Park, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Christopher Eccleston, Dennis Quaid; Director: Stephen Sommers; Rating: ***1/2
Fights in the air, battles on the ground, chases unfolding under water, ninja fights and an American action director's ultimate fantasy -- destruction of the Eiffel Tower. There is variety galore in "G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra" with 100 minutes of pure action in the two-hour film.
An adaptation of the "G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero" toy franchise, this sci-fi action thriller turns out to be a solid entertainer. In the recent past, the closest parallel to "G.I. Joe...." would perhaps be "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" which released just a few weeks back.
However, "G.I. Joe...." is a far better and much more enjoyable affair for the sheer reason that it isn't as monotonous and predictable as "Transformers...".
The sequences unfold in a comic book manner, reiterating the fact that the film is targeted primarily at children. But the setting and treatment will entice adult audiences as well.
Of course not all twists in the tale really manage to jolt.
The duplicate of American president being placed in the office was something that even David Dhawan has experimented with many years back in "Aankhen". Also, a woman (Sienna Miller) being brainwashed by chemicals and electronic programming to turn against her boyfriend is passe.
There is also the quintessential white and black cop pair with the former (Channing Tatum) being serious and the latter (Marlon Wayans) cracking jokes. Well, all of this does carry a 'been there seen that' feel.
Still, the entire plot revolving around nanotechnology based weapons of mass destruction does keep interest alive in this thrill-a-minute saga. None of that is really original or out of the box stuff, but the credit must go to the entire special effects team that makes "G.I. Joe...." a visually spectacular affair.
This is one of those films that are made for the big screen and in no way should be compromised by giving it a small screen watch.
So there are good soldiers versus bad people (read scientists, global terrorists, their accomplices and some specially designed mutants/robots that are almost super humans).
Among the ladies, there is a 'forever cleavage displaying' bad girl and a sweet and smart good girl (Rachel Nichols), both of whom always manage to gather attention whenever they appear on frame.
So far there have been countless such franchise movies in the form of "Spiderman", "Harry Potter", "Lord of the Rings", "Transformers", "X-Men" etc. Same is the case with "G.I. Joe....." which not just leaves an open end for a definite sequel but also promises many in the series in the years to come.