He never gives up, he’ll stay till the fight’s won…
A generation of fans is about to be sated. Or nauseated. On August 7th, the Joes and Cobras make the leap to the big screen as their battle spills out into theaters across the world. Spurred on by the success of Michael Bay’s Transformers, Stephen Sommers is bringing GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra straight out of Hollywood and into our – well, hearts may be overselling it.
Initially thrilled at the prospect, many fans (myself included) are a bit terrified by what we’re seeing: Delta 6 Accelerator Suits, the mouth on Snake Eyes’ mask, and everything about Cobra Commander have all contributed to some pretty early criticism. Harsh, too. But is it still harsh if it’s deserved? So many of the core elements of the ARAH line – such as the individual looks of the various characters and the individual talents each brought to the table – seem to have been neglected in favor of making something that looks vaguely like Mission Impossible 4.
Still, this movie looms on the horizon, promising to make the biggest impact on the GI Joe franchise since Joe was scaled down to less than a third his size 27 years ago. Names such as Christopher Eccelston and Dennis Quaid alongside such stunning actresses as Sienna Miller and Rachel Nichols all add up to what should be a recipe for success. And the fact that Channing Tatum’s Duke sports a scar reminiscent of the one found on the cheek of the 12-inch Joes only lends credence to the theory that this movie will be nothing if not one massive fan-gasm of Easter Eggs and nods to the properties since passed.
And Hasbro’s behind it – as they usually are when one of their properties launches a film. Look on toy shelves these days and 25th Anniversary merchandise is gone or dwindling as movie-themed figures and vehicles eat up real estate. Proposed Resolute figures were shelved (or not shelved, as the case may be) in favor of film-faithful interpretations of the characters (though some have made their way into the movie line). There’s board games, role play toys, and even the first Joe-based video game in roughly 17 years. If this movie’s merchandise doesn’t make money, it certainly won’t be for lack of trying.
So brace yourselves, fanboys and girls. we’re one week away from the moment of truth. I’m hoping for the best, but I’ve prepared myself for the worst. I recommend you do the same. Until then – YO JOE!