Exploding Is Half The Battle

I’m really glad we saw G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra at the drive in theater. Otherwise I dont think we would have been as free to yell at the screen, huff exhaust fumes or reorient our chairs to watch other movies. We were on the very last row of cars, sandwiched between a hotboxing minivan (Josh didn’t mind at all) and a pickup full of red necks so the screen was quite far away and difficult to make out at times. We tried to emulate real theater sound (to hear the movie you tune a radio to a certain station) using Eli’s boombox for high’s, Josh’s subwoofer for lows and our own bemused groans for mids.

It was my first drive in experience and all told a very pleasant one despite the movie’s best efforts. Oh, the movie? Right. It was unfathomably terrible. I expected it to be bad, but I also expected to have at least some idea of what was going on at any given time during the film. I’m almost positive there was some dialog between explosions, in the same way one assumes people are all basically good. There’s a lot of evidence to the contrary, but you still want to hold onto that belief.

I have a feeling the shooting script for G.I Joe went something like this:


Duke & Black Duke meet hologram Hawk/Adlib dialog/EXPLOSION




[Director’s Note: ok, the rest of the movie needs to take place underwater or on the north pole. Fuck it, let’s do both.]


Haggis MacCloud turns into Destro/Cobra Commander turns into Cobra Commander/EXPLODE

EXPLODE AGAIN/Set Up Sequel/Credits.

[Director’s Note: Make sure we use “Yo Joe!” “Knowing is half the battle” “Kung Fu Grip” “Gotta catch’em all!” and “ThunderCats Ho!”]

Bottom line: Don’t go see it anywhere that shouts of outrage and uproarious laughter wouldn’t be appreciated. Wait for DVD. Hell, do a triple feature of ultimate confusion and explosions with G.I. Joe and both Transformers films. Make a real night out of it.

UPDATE ON THE BOOK PRESALE! As of this posting there are only 5 Ultimate Fancy Editions left!


I was live Tweeting during the movie from the drive in theater in Ennis, TX. The fruits of that effort are listed below:

SPOILERS!!! [I guess]

  • 15 min into GI JOE at the drive in. Nothing makes sense and everything is exploding. They are all acting SO hard.7:56 PM Aug 8th
  • They just said “knowing is half the battle.” “Kung fu grip” was uttered in the first 10 min7:58 PM Aug 8th
  • Nano-MITE!8:01 PM Aug 8th
  • Brendan Frasier?! WTF are you doing in this training montage?8:11 PM Aug 8th
  • Shredders transport modules just burst into Joe cave base alpha. Where’s the technodrome?8:16 PM Aug 8th
  • Forklift murder count is at 18:18 PM Aug 8th
  • Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow are brothers. One more and we have a 3 Ninjas reunion.8:20 PM Aug 8th
  • No one else seems to realize this is a comedy.8:21 PM Aug 8th
  • Ninja flashback count is at 2 and holding.8:23 PM Aug 8th
  • Obvious Double Bubble product placement is at 2 and rising8:33 PM Aug 8th
  • All cars in France explode when you touch them.8:41 PM Aug 8th
  • The van next to us seen to be a hybrid that runs on pot.8:55 PM Aug 8th
  • Now they’re on Hoth. I stopped paying attention a while ago.9:04 PM Aug 8th
  • Dennis Quaid and I are going to have a serious talk about our relationship after this.9:08 PM Aug 8th
  • “maybe the plane responds to Keltic.”9:13 PM Aug 8th
  • They are outrunning the ocean now.9:22 PM Aug 8th
  • This movie either takes place in space or possibly the underwater Gungan city.9:23 PM Aug 8th
  • Moved our chairs so we could see the Orphan. GI Joe was joetarded.9:42 PM Aug 8th
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  1. Try seeing this as part of a Hasbro double-feature with Transformers 2. Transformers 2 makes GI Joe look positively Oscar-Worthy. Also, both movies appear to have preview footage for the upcoming Battleship movie.

    Other thoughts:
    – GI Joe had the explosions that couldn't make it in a Michael Bay film. (Sidenote: If Michael Bay could cast explosions instead of actors, he would.)
    – Too many Darth Maul references (thanks to Ray Park playing Snake Eyes). At least two of these references are within 5 minutes of eachother.
    – No GI Joe toy was left unseen.
    – Balance of red lasers to blue lasers was a little off.
    – I think GI Joe wanted to be Star Wars – Darth Maul, Gungan City [JonnyAce can tell you I was looking for Jar-Jar], and I swear Cobra Commander sounded more like Darth Vader than anything else.

    However, this movie was PERFECT summer drive-in fare.

  2. I dunno, I thought it was an enjoyable summer popcorn movie. Then again, I thought the cartoon was retarded so even though I played with the toys I don't really care whether the movie was true to the film.

    Yes, the flashbacks were dumb, but, the plot "twist" at the end of The Orphan wasn't dumb, too?

  3. Is it just me or is this the summer of "Really Horrible Movies do really well at the Box Office?" I guess from the numbers we can look forward to.
    1. Transformers 3: Rise of Micheal Bay's Pants
    2. GI Joe 2 : Don't ask don't tell

  4. "Brendan Frasier?! WTF are you doing in this training montage?8:11 PM Aug 8th"


    Director : Steven Sommers (SP?)
    Made all the mummy movies i think
    Hence u see 3 ppl from the mummy movies.

    Training Director
    Big black heavy accent guy
    The guy who becomes president

  5. It's a Stephen Sommers movie. They're almost always deliberately campy in some way. I couldn't enjoy "Van Helsing" the first time a saw it because I thought it was trying to take itself seriously. Once I saw it was one of his movies I was able watch it in the right mindframe.

    • We knew it was going to be terrible. Thats why we thought it would be great for a drive in. But I dont think any of us were prepared for how over the top ridiculous it was going to be.

  6. My favorite had to be

    Soldier: "Isn't he dead?"
    Magical Engineer: "By inserting these spikes, er…probes, into his brain we can see the last images he saw"

    Logical Result: "Yeah that didn't work."
    Less Logical Result: "Oh look it's an image of his face smashing through the windshield"
    Actual Result: "Hey look a jpg of the boss of his organization near his secret base!"

  7. You're too late JoeL! I saw it w/ my JOE-head buddies, we liked it, & are now recommending it to evryone we make eye-contact with. We went into that theater NOT expecting the same cartoon/comic from our increasingly-hazy childhoods (or is that just me?) and as we grew up, so did the franchise (speaking figuratively here) & we're eagerly awaiting the sequel by 2011. Just 3 words: "Scarlet-Baroness catfight"
    btw, how was the Orphan & what's THEIR big plot-twist? SHe's a Hitler-clone?

  8. I admit it, as a poor deprived Australian born geek I never experienced G.I. Joe. G.I. Joe wasn't even mentioned in the playground when I was a kid. We had Transformers, but somehow G.I. Joe couldn't even infiltrate Australian consciousness with Snake Eyes's help.

    That said, I probably felt more offended at the Transformers movies by Michael Bay than a G.I. Joe movie which is a revival of a franchise I know little if anything about.

  9. Haven't seen it yet, but there was a review in the paper the other day. Does anyone else think Sienna Miller looks like Sarah Palin in this? The photo they had of her in the paper was almost a spitting image!

  10. I agree with Joel that GI Joe sucked out loud. Scarlett and the Baroness *almost* made the laughable dialogue bearable. But, a leather catsuit only goes so far. I was with five of my friends and was the only one who hated it though.

    What's with Snake Eyes costume having a mouth? He doesn't talk!!!

    My final gripe (as was mentioned above) is that it cribs way too much from the entire Star Wars franchise.

  11. I knew they wouldn't stick to the comics with plot or character. I was okay with that. I knew the movie would blow. I was okay with that, too. I just went to watch Ray Park kick ass as Snakes. They ruined it for me with horrific fight editing, bad fight cinematography, and sculpted lips. When you have a martial artist of Ray's caliber playing a ninja in your movie, you DON'T chop the fight scenes up beyond all recognition.

    & I actually may hate the Snake Eyes lips worse than the Batman nipples… I haven't decided yet.

  12. My brother loves the cliched action movies. He loved Transformers 2 and genuinely thinks Megan Fox is a good actress.

    Even my brother didn't like GI Joe. That's how bad the movie is.

    I'm going to watch it just so I can review it. That's how much I love my watchers.

  13. I saw it. Didn't pay for it. Had fun. I didn't think about it; I just let my inner four-year-old have fun. I think this movie would have been a lot better fifteen years ago.

  14. but bubba! it wasn't weight. it was size. "anything bigger than a quarter". thus the fingertip walking *eyeroll*

  15. Movies like this are the reason why I've made it a habit to sneak in alcohol whenever I go to the theater; so that if the movie sucks I can still enjoy it (or at least the vomiting helps me put things into perpesctive and saves me from becoming depressed).

  16. I know this months late(I'm new to HE), but, I actually ended up going to a drive-in with a buddy and saw GI Joe AND Transformers 2 together. Very possibly the worst movie experience of my life. To see two favorite childhood franchises cinematicly raped like that was very depressing.

    Oh, and who the hell told Michael bay that Transformers 2 needed TWO jar-Jar Binks characters?(you know, the 'special ed' minis)

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