This morning, while most of you were still sleeping, Peter Travers did something very adventurous for this week’s At The Movies: He went to his local movie theater, plunked down $10 and change and went to see a matinee screening of G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra because Paramount Pictures wouldn’t let film critics get a sneak peek. After 120 action-packed minutes, Travers emerged from with some good news: G.I. Joe is not worse than the decade’s most abominable film, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. However, that doesn’t mean by any stretch that G.I. Joe is a good film, it’s “big, loud and galactically stupid,” according to Travers. It’s just better than Transformers 2, but still worse than everything else in theaters now.
The movie, of course, is based on the popular children’s toys and cartoon, except by making the film live-action, they’ve somehow taken the decades-old franchise and made it even stupider and out-of-touch. It starts out with the Eiffel Tower being destroyed after a terrorist organization called Cobra deploys a green slime that chews away at the structure, and from there it goes further downhill. There’s tacky special effects, worse-than-cardboard acting (courtesy of Channing Tatum and Sienna Miller), a horrendous script and it’s all wrapped up into an all-out colossally bad $170 million stinker courtesy of director Stephen Sommers, who previously assaulted audiences with The Mummy trilogy and the awful Van Helsing. It goes without saying that this film is bound for the Scum Bucket.
Travers’ recommendation? Log onto Netflix, queue up the South Park team’s fantastic puppets vs. terrorism flick Team America: World Police — a satire on the whole G.I. Joe mythology — and save yourself the money you would’ve spent on movie tickets. Or you can go see the Meryl Streep vehicle Julie & Julia, which Travers gave three stars to in the new issue of Rolling Stone.