I went into this film a little skeptical and with very low expectations. Like, Transformers 2 low expectations. Luckily, I was pleasantly surprised. I was able to figure out early on that this film was built with the 12-year old boy in mind. So when I was able to channel my own inner 12-year old boy, (we’ll call him Johnny) my eyes were opened to the sheer beauty and artistry of this work. Here’s why.
Guns! Planes! ‘Splosions! For anyone who watched these cartoons in the ’80’s, they were all about cool weaponry and even cooler vehicles and planes. This movie is chock full of guns I would like to shoot, planes I would like to fly and underwater bases that I would like to live in. James Bond officially sucks compared to this movie.
Delta-6 Accelerator Suits. In a word awesome. The scene where Duke and Ripcord adorn themselves in these accelerator suits and chase down the Baroness through the streets of Paris was clearly one of the best scenes in the entire movie. Sure, the Baroness was in a Hummer, and the Joe’s could have simply driven one of their cool cars through the streets to chase them down, but then we would have missed out on some severe awesome. And anytime anything can lay waste to the city of Paris, I would certainly like to see more of that.
Ninja on Ninja Fights. Ray Park either needs to fire his agent or get a voice transplant. Yet again, the martial arts master is in a role where he is required not to speak. Ever. It’s got to be a blow to the ol’ self-esteem when you can play somebody as hardcore as Darth Maul, yet your voice is so horrible they now require the character not to speak. That said, the dude can lay it down when it comes to the martial art-ery. Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow go toe to toe and they even throw in a nice little backstory to explain the origins. Not that anyone cares, because all you really want to see is clanking swords, spin kicks and limbs being severed.
Sienna Miller Kicking Trash. Not only is she actually better looking as a brunette, but as the Baroness, she destroys everything in her path, especially her old fiancee. I would have appreciated just a little bit of back story as to why she became so hardcore in the four years she was gone, because she was just cold as ice. Even Foreigner thinks so. But she did bring some un-Sienna Miller-like intesity to her role. Either that, or she was imagining kicking Jude Law in the face every time she engaged in a fight scene. And in the race between who has the coolest weapons, she totally wins.
Horrible Special Effects. For a $200 million dollar movie, you can tell that they spent all of the money on sewing cool costumes, getting Brendan Fraser to cameo and constructing sets, instead of on the effects or the script. Both were absolutely horrible. In fact, there was one scene where I thought I was watching a tinfoil spaceship on wires enter a desert cave made out of cardboard and macaroni noodles. It looked that bad. To their credit, SOME of the effects were cool, and there was lots of stuff that blew up, but for the love, if Shrek can look real, then you can do much better.
Yeah. They pretty much looked like this.
Dennis Quaid. For the record, ever since he peaked in ‘Innerspace’, Dennis Quaid is pretty much the kiss of death for any movie. Luckily, he doesn’t have to speak too much here and he looks surprisingly sharp in a beret. Yet still, his “acting” consists of barking his lines. It’s cute for the first two minutes or so.
A Script I Could Have Written. Some gems, (say all of these lines while yelling)
Duke: Technically, we don’t exist. We answer to no one. And when all else fails, we don’t.
YES! Just try NOT to get pumped up while hearing stuff like this! It kind of makes you want to jump into a RavenStryke and kick some Cobra butt, doesn’t it?
Stunts. Stunts. And More Stunts.
Nanomites. What more is there to say, then Nanomites? Seriously.
People That Actually Die. It always bothered me in the cartoon when an airplane would be shot down, or when a tank would explode, the pilot or driver would ALWAYS parachute to safety, or scramble out of the tank before it actually blew up. Come on! Let’s see some death and carnage in here! Luckily, the movie delivers on this count. Johnny is pleased.
To Sum Up: go see this film before the theaters are too crowded with movie critics and audiences alike waiting to heap praise upon it. It’s a good thing they expanded the Best Picture category to now include 10 films, as this movie is a mortal friggin’ lock.