GI Joe: The Rise of the Cobra is based on a line of military-themed action toy figures. I couldn't decide if this is one step up or down from Pirates of the Caribbean, which was inspired by a theme park ride. But obviously, you enter the theater with expectations set appropriately low. However GI Joe is so devoid of narrative, character, dialogue, coherence and logic, that it gives toys a bad name.
The Joes are an elite, multi-national team of the best soldiers from around the world. As General Hawk, played by Dennis Quaid, who runs the Joes, puts it: You don't ask to be part of GI Joe. You get asked."
The Joes are asked to protect four deadly nano-missiles. These are missiles containing nanomites, which is a snot-like substance that eats through metal and human beings alike. When I saw it tearing through the Eiffel Tower, I wondered, a170-million-dollar budget and all they could come up with is green goo. The missiles are also being pursued by a deadly arms dealer and a disfigured scientist, both of whom have silly back-stories to explain why they are so nasty. And there's also Sienna Miller playing the evil leather clad Baroness.
None of this matters in the least. Plot and character are inconsequential here.
Director Stephen Sommers, who earlier gave us the Mummy movies, uses his actors merely as fillers. GI Joe is driven by gratingly loud, back-to-back, totally incomprehensible computer- generated action sequences.
Most of the time, you're watching explosions without actually following who is doing what to whom. The dialogue is an after-thought. After several minutes of crushing noise, a character will drop a brain-dead line like: Science requires sacrifice or I'm going to make you very unhappy.
The film made good on that promise. When it finished, I was unhappy and exhausted. GI Joe is the cinematic equivalent of a hold-up in a dark alley. It knocks you senseless. And the film ends with the villain promising that this has only just begun. I'm going with one out of five stars and recommending that you enjoy a quiet evening at home instead.