My youngest son and I went to see GI Joe yesterday and surprise of surprises I actually enjoyed it. Yeah, he wasn’t like the all-American GI Joe of my youth, but . . .
Well, I take that back, because the main GI Joe, Duke, and his funny sidekick Ripcord were very much like the All-American GI Joe of my youth. At least as much as any modern American soldier could be like the GI Joe of my youth, which was a World War II type in all his semi-professional, citizen soldier glory. But modern American soldiers aren’t like that now. They’re all professionals all the time. Even the part-timers (if there is such a thing any longer). Sleek, honed warriors who, except for sharing the courage, dedication, and patriotism of their World War II predecessors, have little in common with the mostly brave amateur soldiers who fought that great war.
(Please don’t think I am dissing our World War II vets. My father is a World War II vet. All I am saying is that comparing the modern American military to the WWII American military is like comparing apples and oranges in many ways. Of course there were professional soldiers at that time. Skilled warriors in their own right. But they led a vast citizen soldier force who, while certainly being battle-hardened during the war, were still not the trained professional military we have now. Hell, our military today is in many ways more professional than it was when I served during the later days of the Cold War.)
At least that’s my take.
Anyway, I am off-topic.
What I meant to say was that the GI Joes in this movie seemed pretty-damn American and I mean that in the best way possible. Yes, now GI Joe is an acronym for something called “Global Integrated Joint Operating Entity” instead of “Government Issue” Joe, but past that and the generically lame looking camouflage uniforms they sure seemed American to me.
First you have Dennis Quaid who is about as American as they come even when he is dressed like some French hip-hop rapper in a leather Member’s Only jacket. Then, like I said, both Duke and Ripcord are American and, despite their British and somewhat East-Indian accents, the rest of the main crew seemed pretty darn American too. And certainly the general can-do, kick-ass attitude coupled with the ultra-modern, ultra-cool war toys seemed American so matter how silly their camouflage uniforms looked, especially Quaid’s lame jacket. (It’s bad enough to mention twice.)
Point is if you weren’t going to see this movie because of some protest about them “Europeanizing” GI Joe, well, get past it. The movie is a smash-fest with great special effects, action-packed chase scenes and very cool military weapons and toys that you know our own military is working on even today (assuming Obama doesn’t cut them from the budget).
I do have a two nits to pick though. One, Duke is referred to as a Captain in the movie but in flash-back scenes he is wearing the gold leaves of a Major. I assume they changed his rank later and didn’t think to re-shoot (or more likely figured no one would notice), but it stuck out at me and no doubt all the military types who saw it. Secondly, he had a fricken goatee both in the flashback, and while I was never in the US Army, I am pretty sure that is not allowed. There were a few other military mistakes made that I noted and I am sure there were even more that I didn’t see, but it’s those small things that can spoil a military movie for us military types.
Despite those little things though, if you want to see a fast-paced shoot-em-up, blow-em-up, summer feel-good war movie, then check GI Joe out. I don’t think you will be as disappointed as you think.
I forgot to mention the villains in the movie. They were all from America, Scotland, and Japan. Which makes sense really because everyone knows that these three countries are the major threats to world peace these days. Especially the Scots. You can’t trust anyone who would even dream-up haggis much less eat it.