Right off the bat, this is infinitely superior to both the recent G.I. Joe: Rise of the Cobra AND the original animated Transformer’s film; while those films are bogged down by lame, pointless plots, this film is pretty much wall-to-wall Joe vs. Cobra action, which is precisely and exactly what I want from a Joe movie. The framework involves the age-old battle between the Joes, the “Real American Heroes” (circa 1987), and the terrorist baddies the Cobras, as they are both pit against a third faction with even greater hardware than they possess. Meanwhile, the Joes train a new, younger generation of warriors (and toys) to beef up their chances against these new reptilian creatures. There are maybe 10 lines of dialogue not of the “GET HIM!” or “GO JOE!” variety, and they are trademark corny G.I. Joe; no middle-of-the-road tepid sincerity from Channing Tatum here (although Don Johnson is an excellent loose cannon recruit). The action here is definitely the name of the game here, and it is relentless, with huge battles involving fantastic vehicles, weapons, and creatures that have earned, in my eyes, multiple viewings just to capture all the glorious detail; a.k.a. FUCK AVATAR (seriously though, there is similar imagery in some of the action scenes, and this pulls it off with greater sincerity, originality, and aplomb). The visuals are of a significantly higher budget and care than the TV series, and allow for a minimalistic, thoroughly action-driven experience.
Highly Recommended to fans of the G.I. Joe cartoon (and for the Stephen Sommers version, for that matter) and action-oriented ’80s cartoons such as Fire and Ice or Heavy Metal; while this is not nearly as mature as those films, it delivers on the spectacle element so thoroughly that it earns being mentioned alongside them.