Monday, August 10, 2009

GI Joe: Kiddie Flick...

...who knew? Well, the studio, for starters. Only they didn't give the rest of us fanboys (yes, I'm a chick, but 'fanpeople' sounds like some made-up alien race from a Star Wars spoof) a heads up. And as we can all attest: knowing is half the battle.

No, they led us on w/carefully edited trailers that enticed us with their promise of a worthy 'Joe' on the big screen - finally(!). We believed them, maybe because we really, really wanted to. And then there it was, the 1st blatant sign of a private, 1st class SNAFU: no advanced screenings for critics. NOOOOoooooo!!!!

So, like any good soldier, we bucked up and lowered our expectations. Drastically. One-quarter of the way thru we knew it wasn't nearly drastic enough. We radioed ahead to warn approaching units (i.e. we tweeted & updated our Facebook status via cell). But it was apparently too late as 'Joe' managed to take the box office lead despite the new intelligence we'd provided.

Gotta say I was surprised to learn, post-viewing, that this flick was rated PG-13. For... what, exactly?

Let's see:

  • Sex/Nudity? A resounding 'no'. Daringly dressed tight-bodied ninja chicks, sure -but we've seen more skin, & leather, on WWE commercials.
  • Language? Not really. I'm pretty sure the 'F' word was AWOL, as were most other 'adult' swear words; unless you count 'hell' or 'damn'. But from my recollection even 'swear words: lite' were in short supply.
  • Violence? Well, technically this would be a 'yes'. But it was all glitzy, glammed up, somewhat subpar CGI style violence and mostly involving machines/weapons/suits. In other words, LOTS of bang!, zoom!, wow!, crunch!, crash! - but no attempt at gritty reality a la "Saving Private Ryan", or even on the order of most prime time TV shows. Neither can I recall any blood on screen for more than a few nano-seconds, or any graphic injuries whatsoever (unless you count a burned up face/neck/torso that shows up late in the game supposedly minutes old, that looks days old... yet still has nothing on Anakin Skywalker/soon-to-be Darth Vader in SW3: Revenge of the Sith).
  • Adult situations? Um... kinda? And by 'kinda' I mean, if you are a 6-11 year old boy who is into GI Joe then yes, you would be convinced this film is full of 'adult situations'. If you're an actual adult, not-so-much. Unless saving the world from diabolical, cliched, borderline PowerRanger-quality villains is your idea of an 'adult situation'. And if that's the case, I hope you're enjoying your 'cool bachelor pad' in your folks' basement.

So, yes, I think I've covered the main contributory ratings areas, and provided sufficient evidence for a re-count.

Don't get me wrong, if you're one of the aforementioned 6-11 year old boys whose really into 'Joe' (or happen to be the parent/aunt/uncle who takes one along), you will think this movie is ultra-realistic, smart, and highly entertaining.

It's the rest of us grown-ups that wish the P.R. folks would've let us in on their 'Joe' spin, so we could've known what to expect - and thus been better able to plan our viewing partners (and screen size/location) accordingly.