There were really only two things this time around. The first was highly annoying, and the second had to be the strangest theater experience yet. The first was a little boy, maybe 2 or 3 years old, who sat behind me. And he literally (no hyperbole here) never shut up, not even for 1 second. If he wasn't talking or rambling or asking the same question 5 times in a row without giving anybody time to answer, he was singing or making incoherent noises. And all of this he was doing loud enough for the entire theater to hear him. And the most the mother (or whomever) would tell him was "shh." I'm a relatively laid back person and I'm not really easy to anger. I never tell off anybody in the theater (or otherwise, really). But this had to be the closest I'd ever come to cussing out both a toddler and his mother in public without care of consequence (again, keeping in mind that I didn't even care about this movie... that's how annoying it was).
Now, the second thing was just strange. Two seats to my right there was a little girl, maybe 9 or 10 years old (at the most). There was an empty seat between us. Let me briefly describe her film-going experience. During the entire previews portion, she had her head turned toward me, which I could easily see out the corner of my eye. I'd look at her, and she's staring up at the far wall (maybe a light fixture)... just... staring. Her body doesn't move an inch, nor does her head. She just stares. The movie starts and she faces forward... but only for a couple minutes. Then she does something with her phone before getting up and leaving for about 15 minutes. When she comes back, she sits back down and, yet again, I can see her face staring in my general direction. I look over again, and her eyes are closes, and her hands go from pressed to folded. And then she makes the sign of the cross. She was praying. So she goes to watch the film for a few minutes before I see her staring in my direction again. Then she gets up and leaves for another 10-15 minutes. When she comes back... yes, you guessed it... more staring. Eventually, she leans forward with her head between her legs and starts playing with a pile of spilled popcorn that's on the floor, and I'm sitting there wondering if she's found Jesus' face in it or something. Once she's done with that, again, turned toward me, though I believe she was sleeping this time. And it wasn't long after that when the movie ended.
So, with the peripheral distraction and the kid I wanted to smack in a movie I was only minimally intrigued in at best... I give you my review of GI Joe. The movie is about Duke (Channing Tatum) and Ripcord (Marlon Wayans), who find themselves involved with a special ops departement called GI Joe, run by General Hawk (Dennis Quaid). Other members include Snake Eyes (Ray Park), Heavy Duty (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje), Scarlett (Rachel Nichols), and Breaker (Said Taghmaoui). They're fighting against a group of baddies run by McCullen (Christopher Eccleston) and The Doctor (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), but also include Ana (Sienna Miller), Storm Shadow (Byung-hun Lee), and Zartan (Arnold Vosloo). The baddies are after some bio-chemical weapons that, well, they made in the first place. And each side has super-enhancement weapons and whatnot.
Honestly, story-wise, the movie both does and doesn't make sense. It has its share of logic or plot holes. One of the most annoying being that the Neo-Vipers (or whatever they're called) are stated toward the beginning to not feel pain or have emotions, but they sure do show both when they're being killed. But really, it isn't about the story.
The only redeeming factor in this movie is its action. I have to say, honestly, this movie does have some pretty cool action. The CGI is hit or miss, but the action is pretty dang good. The only real disappointment in the action department was that (and especially with Ray Park involved) the fight scenes between Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow could have been so much cooler (and longer) than they were. But for the most part, the action scenes were inventive, fun, and overall entertaining.
The acting isn't the greatest, either, really. In fact, it's pretty spotty. Stephen Sommers actually brings in a few of his Mummy alums for various roles, such as the mummy himself, Arnold Vosloo. And there are a couple interesting though mostly wasted cameos, like Brendan Fraser and Kevin J. O'Connor. Casting Marlon Wayans was mostly a waste, as well, because the writing of the movie tried too hard to be funny and fell flat on its face. There's maybe one good joke, and it's not good enough to get more than a weak chuckle.
As I said, the CGI is hit or miss. Some of it is really good. Some of it is really bad. Parts of it are mostly unnecessary. And the rest of it looks like Watchmen leftovers--very comic book-ish. Luckily, most of the spotty CGI isn't in the action scenes, so that was good, at least.
Overall, despite all the distractions I had, I was still mildly entertained by the action pieces of the film. I also have to say, for the film's credit, the ending was a pretty interesting surprise (though I wonder if it would have been had I not been as distracted as I was). But this is a movie to see for the action. Otherwise, it's really not worth it, at least from a non-fan's perspective.
Stop Saying Okay! Okay.