Rumor has it that the original GI Joe script was a straight-forward action piece. Luckily, the studio decided to go the spoof route instead, resulting in a hilarious send up of every action movie cliché of the last 20 years.
It starts with an army platoon transporting a top secret “super weapon.” They’re engaged in standard pull-my-finger tough guy action movie banter, when they’re suddenly attacked by an alien spacecraft piloted by one of the army dudes’ former girlfriend, now inexplicably a ninja. The movie is full of “plot twists” like this--but not to worry, it’s all part of the fun; they’re not supposed to make sense.
The army platoon is wiped out (in rather humorous fashion), except for our hero and his wacky black sidekick--who are saved by a crack, international squad of Americans called GI Joe.
Soon, our heroes have become initiated into the ways of GI Joe, equipped with super-powered suits of armor, and sent to Paris to stop terrorists from destroying--what else--the Eiffel Tower.
Of course they’ll succeed, right? Not so fast. It’s an indication of how darkly clever this movie is, that not only do our heroes not prevent the destruction of the Eiffel Tower, they destroy half of Paris in the process! (Meaning, literally, that the city would have been better off had no one even bothered to try to save the day. Take that, action movies!)
Later, we learn that the bad guys have constructed a huge underwater base beneath the polar icecap. Which, when discovered, prompts this spontaneous exclamation from our heroes (and my favorite line in the movie): “The perfect location!”
The perfect location for a trap, that is! Once our heroes arrive, the villain detonates explosives hidden in the icecap, causing huge icebergs to fall and crush his own liar. (I particularly like this spoof of action movie physics. After all, if the hero can jump and ride the wave of an explosion, why can’t ice sink to the bottom of the ocean when blown into slightly smaller chunks by the villain?)
The villain turns out to be the disfigured brother of the hero’s former girlfriend, whom the hero failed to save and thought was dead, and who is also responsible for the brainwashing of his own sister into being a super-powered ninja and a whore. The hero makes the girl honest and submissive again through the power of love, the villain gets away, and GI Joe goes down in history as one of the funniest movies ever made.
Spoilers: Make sure to stay through the end credits, or you’ll miss Jonathan Pryce’s amazing “whistling president” scene!
Erik’s Rating: 10
Who It Works Best For: Your mom!!!