Also known as: Dungeons & Dragons: The Movie (UK promotional title) Release Date: December 8th, 2000 Directed by: Courtney Solomon Written by: Carroll Cartwright, Topper Lilien Based on:Dungeons & Dragons by TSR Music by: Justin Caine Burnett Cast: Justin Whalin, Marlon Wayans, Thora Birch, Zoe McLellan, Kristen Wilson, Lee Arenberg, Bruce Payne, Jeremy Irons, Tom Baker
Silver Pictures, Sweetpea Entertainment, New Line Cinema, 107 Minutes
“I got a new name for “dumb”: “Ridley”! This is the Ridleyest thing I’ve ever heard!” – Snails
I never wanted to see this. When I saw the trailer over twenty years ago, I knew for a fact that this would bomb, be an embarrassment and that we’d possibly never get another Dungeons & Dragons film because of its shittiness.
Let me be clear, I wasn’t cheering for its failure because I’d definitely love a good D&D movie that features some of the most famous monsters and better represents the game but I knew this movie wasn’t that.
Granted, it does form a team of heroes that are all different with unique skills. So it at least tried to create a good party of diverse character types. However, other than that, it failed in just about every other way. Also, the party didn’t really get used in the story correctly or all that effectively.
The worst thing about this movie is the special effects. The CGI is some of the worst I’ve ever seen from this era. It’s worse than Sci-Fi Channel TV movies and considering that New Line Cinema, the same studio, released the first Lord of the Rings movie just a year later, makes this picture a complete embarrassment.
Even if smaller indie studios made this and New Line just distributed it, it’s still baffling to me. If their thought was to use this to whet the public’s palate for the upcoming Lord of the Rings trilogy, that was an awful decision.
Beyond the atrocious CGI, the acting in this is also terrible. There are fairly talented people in the movie but none of them really tried except for Jeremy Irons, who was the best thing in this movie, as far as acting goes.
Some of the sets were actually cool. I liked the labyrinth that Justin Whalin’s character had to try and survive. It was about the only enjoyable sequence in the entire film, though.
Dungeons & Dragons was just a fucking mess. It had annoying, unlikable characters. As well as, an overabundance of unnecessary silliness that helped make it miss its mark completely.
Rating: 2.75/10 Pairs well with: really bad video game film adaptations.
Also known as: Dark Sky: First Strike (fake working title), G.I. Joe (Czech Republic, Japan, Spain) Release Date: July 27th, 2009 (Tokyo premiere) Directed by: Stephen Sommers Written by: Stuart Beattie, David Elliot, Paul Lovett, Michael B. Gordon, Stephen Sommers Based on:G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero by Hasbro Music by: Alan Silvestri Cast: Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Christopher Eccleston, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Lee Byung-hun, Sienna Miller, Rachel Nichols, Ray Park, Jonathan Pryce, Said Taghmaoui, Channing Tatum, Arnold Vosloo, Marlon Wayans, Dennis Quaid, Karolína Kurková, Brendan Fraser, Kevin J. O’Connor, Gerald Okamura, Grégory Fitoussi
“Technically, G.I. Joe does not exist, but if it did, it’d be comprised of the top men and women from the top military units in the world, the alpha dogs. When all else fails, we don’t.” – General Hawk
*Let me preface this by saying this review will have a massive amount of profanity. You have been motherfucking warned.
Directed by Stephen Sommers, a man that shouldn’t be allowed to touch a camera after The Mummy Returns and Van Helsing, this movie is a massive piece of shit and a huge disappointment to any fans of G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero, whether in cartoon or comic book form.
I don’t know where to start, as everything about this is bad but I have to point out the biggest issue with it and that’s the fact that it has no idea what G.I. Joe is, who these characters are or why any of this is awesome and really hard to fuck up. That is, unless you’re just someone that doesn’t give a flying fuck about the property your adapting and just see it as nothing more than a cash cow with a massive amount of built-in merchandise already attached to it.
Frankly, Hasbro needs to respect their own properties more and stop whoring them out to anyone willing to write stories and make movies and shows based on them. They’ve forgotten what their core brands represent and why they resonate with people. Between this film and the live action Transformers movies and that awful Jem film, Hasbro needs to get their shit together.
Anyway, they couldn’t have chosen a worse director than Stephen Sommers. Okay, they could’ve gotten Uwe Boll, but his film probably would’ve at least been fun and ridiculous for the right reasons.
What I hate the most about this is that none of the characters apart from the ninjas, are even close to who they are in the cartoon series or the comics. For fuck’s sake, Larry Hama wrote amazing comic stories that all could have translated well to screen. The cartoons even had some great epics mixed in that could have been adapted. Stephen Sommers and his staff of a half dozen writers couldn’t come up with a single scene in a two hour film’s script that represented anything close to what was great about the source material.
One of my favorite characters, the Baroness, wasn’t even close to what her character is. She is an incredible character with a great backstory and is really, the most vicious member of Cobra. Here, she is just a brainwashed American girl that can’t be the badass she should be because she’s got a hard on for Channing Tatum the whole picture and turns back into a good guy and helps defeat Cobra. What in the holy fuck?! This is the goddamned Baroness we’re talking about!
It’s not just her though, Cobra Commander was a joke, Destro was boring, Duke was lame, Ripcord was annoying and Scarlett was so terribly uncharacteristic that she should have just been named Ginger Brainy Girl.
In one of the biggest action sequences in the film, we get Duke and Ripcord running around Paris in generic Iron Man suits. Why? Those suits never existed once in any G.I. Joe continuity that I’ve ever seen and I’ve read and seen everything. This was a poor attempt at trying to piggy back off of the success of Iron Man a year earlier. But, Sommers, this isn’t a Marvel film, it’s G.I.-fucking-Joe!
Also, in the big finale, Cobra Commander tries to destroy the Joes by blowing up the ice shelf above them. What does ice do in water people? It fucking floats! So how in the hell does the ice come crashing down like boulders in the goddamned ocean? How?!
But there’s still so much more wrong with this motion picture.
Why does Snake Eyes have fucking lips?! He’s a ninja in a ninja mask. He doesn’t need rubber lips. His head looks like it was ripped from a full size sex doll.
Why does Duke have to be restrained from punching a hologram? It’s a fucking hologram!
How does Ripcord’s jet plane go from Moscow to Washington in just a few minutes? How?!
I mean, there are a lot of other stupid things in this film too but you probably get the point by now.
G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra was an expensive movie, given to a four year-old, mentally challenged kid, that just wants to play with his G.I. Joe toys in the bathtub. I’m talking about Stephen Sommers, for the record. And while that may sound harsh, it’s not as harsh as Sommers was to this beloved franchise. Fuck this guy, he’s one of the worst directors of the last two decades.
I never wanted to see this film again but I suffered through it just to review it. The sequel to this was actually better but still far from great. Hasbro needs to stop whoring out their properties unless they can learn how to vet these filmmakers better. Seriously, Hasbro, G.I. Joe is a franchise deserving of a great motion picture. Hell, I’ll make it. I can certainly do better than this film and I know these characters because I’ve spent over 35 years with them.
Seriously, Hasbro. Call me.
Rating: 2.75/10 Pairs well with: It’s sequel, as well as the crappy live action Transformers movies.
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