Have you ever had to listen to someone speak of something they know nothing about? Or had to listen to someone explain something they know nothing about to other people? If you answered "no," your answer will change if you are unfortunate enough to end up at a screening of G.I. Joke: The Return of Sigma 6.
The movie takes place in the "not-so-distant future." What does that mean? To put it simply, it means that they can introduce crap that neither makes sense nor is plausible in the Joe-verse for the sake of it: things like "pulse" energy weapons, active camo pyjamas, solid hologram projectors, vehicles/weapons/armour that belong in a bad sci-fi B-movie, and, of course, the "nanomites." This is the sort of crap you'd expect from that godawful '80s GI. Joe cartoon, which is even worse than this Hollywood attempt at G.I. Joe.
If you asked, "What are 'nanomites'?" I'll be more than glad to answer your question. In this generic action movie, "nanomites" are tiny little robots that can pretty much do anything because of the lazy writing. These silver plot-devices somehow turn green and can be used as weapon and/or medicine and/or brain controlling device. Open palm, insert face.
Haven't you heard? This is the TECHNOFUTURE where crap doesn't have to make sense!
And what terrible Hollywood movie would be complete without unlikeable characters? First, there's "Duke," who looks and sounds even more like a douchebag than the Duke we already know and loathe. His black comic-relief sidekick is a Wayans brother. I don't think I need to say anthing else.
But I will. There is little to no characterization for most of the important characters, besides for the occasional "oh gnoes, I has emotions" moments. There is not much to say about the acting, since there's hardly are there. I have literally "seen better actin' in fast-actin' Tenactin."
The characters are very underdeveloped. You meet them, they fight, stuff blows up, hurray. But you know nothing about them, and honestly, you don't have any reason to care about them. "Okay, she has a crossbow. That guy talks funny. That guy doesn't talk. Hurm. Is that it?" And as for the characters that DO have backstories which they bother to reveal, whoo boy. All of the storytelling is done by flashbacks which either feel very over-the-top and excessively dramatic, or not serious at all. So kids fight, and some douchebags want to get married. Who cares?
And speaking of the characters, the writers really went out of their way to make it feel like a soap opera. It seems like every character somehow knows each other from something they did in the distant past -- CUE FLASHBACK SEQUENCE!
The characters have been "internationalized." Rather than Fort Wadsworth's motor pool housing America's finest, this new international Pit has people from all over the world. G.I. Joe is once again Action Force, this time an Action Force made by the combined power of multiple governments. Probably easier to market the flick internationally this way.
Yet, despite the "internationalization" of the characters, the one they mess up the worse is the one best known for BEING from a foreign land. How ironic that this new reimagined Baroness is simply some American broad with badly dyed hair. That's it. No accent. Just some random white girl in a slutty costume. Hooray for plot devices. Way to go, Hollywood! Other characters just look really, really stupid - take for example "The Doctor" or the "Vipers" with ugly helmets with huge eyes and metal grins. These characters look like badly-designed comic-book villains. Unfortunately, the comic book they're from is NOT G.I. Joe.
Despite the movie taking place in the "not-so-distant future," the civilian ground vehicles are from the present day. Wait, what? How can there be airships and VTOL carriers out of Star Trek or Ghost In The Shell, but the ground vehicles remain the same? Did the governments of the world decide to ban new cars and instead invest that money into developing shuttlecrafts and bizarre submarines? Nah, it's just product placement. They can call it a "Steel Crusher APV" if they want, but it's just a lame-ass Hummer.
And speaking of "not-so-distant future," let's briefly talk about the Joes' equipment, shall we? Crossbows with self-navigating shells? Arm-mounted hologram projectors? Fancy suits of mechanical armour? What the crap? Does G.I. Joe buy gear from Stark Industries? If not, Tony should sue them for blatantly ripping off his armour. That shot of the ankles sealing up was more than just an "homage."
Honestly, though, "Delta-6 Accelerator Suit"? Come the hell on. Here I was thinking S.N.A.K.E. Armour was lame, and then they pull THIS out of their ass. Of all of the Joe eras to include in the flick, Sigma 6? WHY? If you don't believe that they intentionally tipped their hats to Sigma 6, stay 'til the end of the movie. If you can.
Like most recent generic Hollywood action flicks, this one features gimmickry such as shakycam, too much slow-motion, and plenty of sparks/explosions to get in the way of seeing whatever is supposed to be on the screen. The fight scenes aren't that entertaining and the chase scenes aren't much better. Stuff's moving, camera's shaking, can't see what's happening, some sort of explosion, a flip or two, some slow-motion, repeat. Again. And again. And again. Truly groundbreaking filmmaking.
There is some good among this sea of mediocrity. Dr. Who plays Destro and they did a good job with his character. They also explained a bit about one of his ancestors in what was probably the best scene of the movie - not that that's saying much. The new take on Zartan is fantastic. Much more plausible than the shape-shifting hologram-using ab-revealing Aussie biker gang leader.
There are several references which older Joe fans will pick up on. Don't be fooled by a few lines, an alternate costume, something to chew on, or a red helmet. Just because you might have chuckled at a line doesn't mean you didn't facepalm a few scenes back, and in no way begins to make up for the flick's numerous flaws.
The story is terrible, the acting is just awful, the music is generic, the gags aren't funny, the action is uninteresting, and the plot twists are foreseeable. Do yourself a favour - buy some Joe comics or a figure instead.