After nearly two decades in various stages of development, [movie id="363653"]"G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra"[/movie] is finally here. But will the adaptation fly like "Transformers" or fizzle like "Thunderbirds"?
Before you head to the theater to make up your own mind, don't forget to read over our cheat sheet — tracking the past, present and future of the franchise while giving some titular shout-outs to a few of our all-time favorite Joes.
Does anybody even remember Ripcord enough to know that he wasn't African-American? What's with Breaker's new Robocop monocle? For these and other laughs, check out [url id="http://moviesblog.mtv.com/2009/08/04/gi-joe-the-rise-of-cobra-and-eliza-dushku-around-the-blogosphere/"]this piece comparing the '80s "Joe" characters[/url] to their counterparts in the new film.
All the stars of "G. I. Joe" claim they were fans of the cartoon as kids — except Sienna Miller, who admits she didn't have much knowledge of it growing up in Britain. Instead, she considered Action Man as her hero.
Way back in 2006, producer Don Murphy broke some news (and a lot of fanboy hearts) by making it sound like there would never be a live-action "Joe" movie after Sony had passed on it for fear of post-Iraq hostilities toward the U.S. military. Two years later, a movie was on the way — and executive producer and Hasbro COO Brian Goldner was revealing some big news about the tie-in toys.
A lifelong "Joe" fan, [url id="http://moviesblog.mtv.com/2009/04/06/gi-joe-star-channing-tatum-wanted-snake-eyes-role-says-film-is-75-vfx/"]Channing Tatum originally wanted to play Snake Eyes[/url], but settled for Duke knowing the fans would be keeping a close eye on the film's authenticity and committed so fully to the flick that he even put his honeymoon on hold to promote it. Speaking about how hard-core all the boys were about playing their former toys, Joseph Gordon-Levitt [url id="http://moviesblog.mtv.com/2009/05/07/joseph-gordon-levitts-cobra-commander-voice-is-respectfully-inspired-by-the-cartoon/"]based his Cobra Commander on the cartoon series[/url].
Ever since the '60s, "G. I. Joe" has been about selling all those wonderful toys. It's no surprise, then, that the new film gives us such cool new props as [url id="http://moviesblog.mtv.com/2009/07/09/our-first-look-at-destro-and-his-mask-in-gi-joe-the-rise-of-cobra/"]Destro's mask[/url] and [url id="http://moviesblog.mtv.com/2009/08/03/gi-joe-the-rise-of-cobra-cuts-like-a-katana-in-todays-ebay-prop-watch/"]Snake Eyes' sword[/url].
When we visited the set a little while back, we watched "G.I. Joe" filming — but saw little that was reminiscent of the "Real American Hero" incarnation from the '80s.
The whole cast underwent extensive training, and it shows in such action scenes as the big [url id="http://www.mtv.com/videos/movies/423488/paris-is-burning.jhtml#movieId=1584120"]Eiffel Tower attack[/url] and the [url id="http://www.mtv.com/videos/movies/423486/coming-through.jhtml#movieId=1584120"]"Wanted"-esque scene[/url] in which the rookie Joes experience their accelerator suits firsthand for the first time.
"The Rise of Cobra" has encountered many obstacles during its production that have so far kept it from rising very high. Among these was a [url id="http://www.mtv.com/videos/movie-trailers/337560/gi-joe-rise-of-cobra.jhtml#movieId=1584120"]Super Bowl ad[/url] that proved underwhelming (check out our shot-by-shot analysis of the ad), fear over the casting of [url id="http://moviesblog.mtv.com/2009/04/27/marlon-wayans-promises-sleek-suits-stunts-and-no-goofiness-in-gi-joe-movie/"]funnyman Marlon Wayans[/url] and a disastrous response to the leaked images of a [url id="http://moviesblog.mtv.com/2009/03/25/gi-joe-movies-cobra-commander-revealed-in-new-toy-images/"]bondage-club-looking Cobra Commander[/url]. Oh, and those [url id="http://moviesblog.mtv.com/2009/06/12/joseph-gordon-levitt-chimes-in-on-gi-joe-the-rise-of-cobra-and-sommers-rumored-firing/"]rumors about director Stephen Sommers' getting fired[/url] didn't exactly help matters. Ultimately, however, the reviews seem to be [url id="http://moviesblog.mtv.com/2009/08/03/gi-joe-the-rise-of-cobra-reviewed-in-the-uk-and-a-district-9-interview-in-todays-dailies-8309/"]more positive than expected[/url], and one of our resident experts has been [url id="http://moviesblog.mtv.com/2009/02/03/mtv-staffer-and-gi-joe-fanatic-remains-convinced-rise-of-cobra-is-headed-in-right-direction/"]liking what he's seen[/url].
One of the film's highlights is sure to be a girl-on-girl throw-down between Miller as an accent-less Baroness and Rachel Nichols as Scarlett. Who says "G.I. Joe" is only for boys?
Rock 'n' Roll
It all began with the likes of Dennis Quaid and Channing Tatum, and the "Joe" role call grew from there. Although the look of Duke, Ripcord, Heavy Duty and the rest had a decidedly [url id="http://moviesblog.mtv.com/2008/05/07/exclusive-first-gi-joe-photo-of-channing-tatum-unveils-his-kung-fu-grip/"]"Matrix"-like appearance[/url] to them, some fans (and leather enthusiasts) have seen their outfits as more appropriate than those of the cartoon show.
From the [url id="http://www.mtv.com/videos/movies/423481/whats-it-accelerate.jhtml#movieId=1584120"]accelerator suits[/url] to the [url id="http://www.mtv.com/videos/movies/423484/snake-eyes-swings-into-action.jhtml#movieId=1584120"]heightened-reality stunts[/url] to the suits, gadgets, and high-tech action, this "Joe" never set out to be realistic — but then again, who knows what the military is secretly up to? Let's just hope that if there really is a Cobra Commander out there, his time is as occupied as [url id="http://moviesblog.mtv.com/2008/09/10/gi-joe-star-joseph-gordon-levitt-undergoes-transformation-for-cobra-commander-role"]Joseph Gordon-Levitt's was getting into costume[/url] every day.
If "Joe" is a hit, the spirit seems sure to live on. Sienna Miller and Rachel Nichols are in for a sequel, as is Marlon Wayans — as long as it's not a parody. Producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura, meanwhile, promises that the [url id="http://moviesblog.mtv.com/2008/10/29/gi-joe-producer-gives-scene-details-promises-films-looking-really-good/"]first film will leave us wanting more[/url].
The film has been thundering all over the world as it built buzz in [url id="http://moviesblog.mtv.com/2009/07/28/gi-joe-the-rise-of-cobra-premieres-in-tokyo/"]Tokyo[/url] and [url id="http://moviesblog.mtv.com/2009/07/22/gi-joe-the-rise-of-cobra-cast-gathers-in-london-for-a-photo-shoot/"]London[/url], but according to [url id="http://moviesblog.mtv.com/2009/08/03/gi-joe-the-rise-of-cobra-headlines-this-weeks-box-office-poll/"]our weekend poll[/url], the movie might have trouble outselling ... "Paper Heart"?
The most popular character in the "G.I. Joe" universe has always been Snake-Eyes, so it's no surprise that [url id="http://www.mtv.com/videos/movies/424262/ray-parks-stayed-in-character-as-snake-eyes-the-whole-time.jhtml#id=1617546"]genre favorite/ martial-arts expert Ray Park[/url] became a fan favorite for the role — and after landing it, he was determined to keep the black-clad badass tough, tender and silent.
Why was [url id="http://www.mtv.com/videos/movies/251392/joseph-gordon-levitt-cant-control-his-excitement-for-gi-joe.jhtml"]Joseph Gordon-Levitt so terrifyingly excited[/url] about "G.I. Joe" being "AWESOME"? Why did Gordon-Levitt and di Bonaventura [url id="http://moviesblog.mtv.com/2008/09/04/gi-joe-movie-will-reveal-twisted-cobra-commander-mask-and-menacing-voice-included/"]compare Cobra Commander to Heath Ledger's Joker[/url]? Did [url id="http://moviesblog.mtv.com/2008/06/25/brendan-fraser-reveals-all-on-gi-joe-it-exists/"]Brendan Fraser dress up in a camouflage vest[/url] and put a tattoo on his chest? The answers to all this and more can be found at your local movie theater — and knowing is half the battle.
Check out everything we've got on "G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra."
For breaking news, celebrity columns, humor and more — updated around the clock — visit [url id="http://moviesblog.mtv.com/"]MTVMoviesBlog.com[/url].