There’s been a lot of punditry in the last few weeks - in my opinion, utterly pointless punditry, and counterproductive at that - taking umbrage at the idea that the version of G.I. Joe being depicted in this movie is an international force, and not the all-American team they remember from their youths. One of the conservative commentators leading the charge on this (Who shall remain nameless not so much because I don’t want to insult anyone, but because I’ve already forgotten his name, and I’m too lazy to look it up) was decrying the fact that the Joe team in this movie was not the Joe team he remembered from his days as a kid during the Vietnam war. He seemed completely - and rather hilariously - unaware of the Joe’s revival in the 1980s as an anti-terrorist special mission force based around little Star Wars Figure-sized toys, and a very popular cartoon. He’s not the only one I’ve come across who seems to feel the need to reflexively complain about the corruption of our nations’ youth by pop culture figures that he’s clearly never heard of and is too lazy to look up. At a certain point it becomes apparent that some of these people are just complaining for the sake of complaining, or, worse yet, deliberately complaining about non-issues so they can get a little notoriety for themselves, get a soundbite on the news, and get a rep as the new up-and-coming bastion of common sense against all that is evil and unholy out in Hollywoodland.
Oh come on. Seriously, just come on, and think about it objectively for a minute: That’s just stupid. Honestly. It’s not true, and *even if it was,* what does it matter? If the Joe Team were depicted as working for the Chinese Communist Party (Not unlike Al Gore in the ‘02 Election), or if Tinky Winky from the Telletubbies really is gay, who gives a damn? You’re talking about a movie that’s based on a CGI cartoon that’s based on a cartoon that was based on a comic book that was based on a line of toys that was itself based on another line of toys that was ultimately based on the idea that little boys should have some equivalent of Barbie Dolls to play with. As much as I love the 80s GI Joe (And trust me, I have an obsession with it that is of only questionable sanity), I’ll be the first one to admit that it just doesn’t matter. And if you think it does - if you think that this version of G.I.Joe is somehow too politically correct, and will contribute to the depravity and ruin of America’s ‘Tweens and thereby the downfall of our republic, trust me friend, you already have problems far beyond those that a simple movie could cause or cure. It seems odd to me that someone would take it upon themselves to go on broadcast television to decry this movie - which is pro-American and pro-democracy in every way - and yet a film set in a futuristic One-World-Government Maoist Utopia like Star Trek comes and goes without any outcry whatsoever.
This movie is yet another reboot of the ridiculously long-running GI Joe franchise. As such, and as with all reboots including the recent “Trek” movie, most of the major characters are there in some capacity, but they don’t share much, or in some cases any, of the backstory with their previous iterations. This disturbs a lot of people, but, as with the X-Men movies, we’re looking at an incredibly complex fictional history that spans thirty years. One can’t hope to reasonably depict all that on the big screen in two hours, so a lot of compression and conflation and outright simplification is required. In fact, to my surprise, they did a much better job of this than I’d anticipated. In fact, I’d expected this movie to be out-and-out terrible, but to my pleasant surprise, it’s not that bad. I mean, it’s undeniably stupid as hell, but it’s a fun kind of stupid.
I don’t want to give too many spoilers because it is a currently-running movie, and though most fans and neophytes will be able to figure things out pretty quickly, and actually spotting the difference between this version and previous iterations was one of the unexpectedly fun bits. Though the story is never anything but large-scale silliness, it’s no worse than a Roger Moore-era