or those out there who absolutely hated “Tranformers 2,” I present to you the latest Dreamworks tentpole hopeful, “G.I. Joe: The Rise of the Cobra.”
This is the kind of action movie that makes “Transformers 2” look like “The Hurt Locker” - a loud and pointless experience that is nothing more than an exhausting exercise in overindulgent special effects.
“G.I. Joe” isn’t so much a film as it is just a series of explosions and chases. The plot, what there is of one, centers around Duke (Channing Tatum) and Ripcord (Marlon Wayans), two soldiers in charge of delivering newly created deadly warheads to safety.
When the mission is ambushed, the pair are recruited by an elite and secret military operation known as G.I. Joe to try and help get the weapons back before they are unleashed on the world.
Duke, Ripcord and the rest of the Joes set out to find the people responsible and soon discover that someone from Duke’s past (Sienna Miller) may be one of the key culprits.
Directed by Stephen Sommers (the man behind “The Mummy” franchise), this film has the same breakneck pace as his previous work - although this time it feels more like a film student trying to be Michael Bay.
I will admit the film is good for one or two neat effects, including the destruction of the Eiffel Tower, but for the most part it just comes across as noisy and ho-hum.
The effects do prove to be more interesting than the cast. Tatum and Miller are dreadfully bad. Wayans feels like he came in from the set of another movie and Dennis Quaid, as the G.I. Joe commander, looks about as disinterested with the whole affair as I was by the time the film ended.
Sadly, the opening weekend suggests there is more to come from “G.I. Joe.” Here’s hoping the second film gets a series overhaul, or else this could be the start of one of the most painful franchises since Lions Gate started mass-producing “Saw” films on an annual basis.
DVD dandy of the week
This week’s dandy is “Tyson” (A-) a fascinating documentary from director James Toback that paints an intriguing portrait of boxing icon Mike Tyson.
Toback intercuts archival footage and sound bites with an extensive interview with Tyson, creating a rare bio picture that is told from the subject’s point of view.
To Tyson’s credit it works because the former heavyweight champion is brutally honest about all aspects of his life - including his failed marriage to Robin Givens, his rape conviction and the infamous ear-biting incident during the second Evander Holyfield fight.
“Tyson” also delves deep into his past - showing the bond between a young Tyson and his mentor Cus D’Amato.
While some might be disappointed that certain topics don’t seem to get as much time as you would expect, I still found it to be quite intriguing - especially during a rather eerie final act where Tyson discusses his new found devotion to his children (the film was completed long before one of Tyson’s children died in a home accident earlier this year).
It’s a stripped down, rare insight into the mind of a man who I can’t decide if he’s a sane, rational person that is truly sorry for his past transgressions or just off his rocker crazy - or both.
“Tyson” is rated R for language, including sexual references, and will be available on DVD on Tuesday.
— When not avoiding pesky fire alarms, sportswriter/movie reviewer Micheal Compton is trying to give you the latest info on everything he sees. If you want his instant thoughts on “The Goods,” “District 9” and maybe even “Band Slam,” you can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/mcompton428. He’ll also accept the ancient communication known as e-mail. Just drop him a line at email@example.com.