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Review: 'G.I. Joe' is pure popcorn

Hollywood Wrap with George Pennacchio
August 7, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
"G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra" should do very well this weekend. A midnight showing in Hollywood was practically sold out. The film enters the box office with some bad buzz, based in part on the studio's decision not to screen it for critics. That's almost always a precursor to bad reviews, but maybe not this time.The star of the movie is not an actor, it's the action. The film is packed with an over-abundance of scenes that result in destruction, in one way or another. This is the kind of thing teenage boys are going to eat up.

The special effects offer a visually spectacular "wow" factor. But the film is rated PG-13, and while blood doesn't pour, there is plenty of carnage that may be too brutal for younger children.

The story, while one of good versus evil, is also a little complicated. Sometimes I had trouble differentiating who was who because of the costumes and the fast action.

The actors here are good. Channing Tatum as "Duke" delivers as an American hero. An unrecognizable Sienna Miller as "The Baroness" is fun playing evil. There's a great catfight between Miller and her co-star, Rachel Nichols.

The clips the studio handed out almost all focus on the big-budget eye candy. And that's really what you get with "G.I. Joe" -- it is pure popcorn.

If you're hungry for action, this is your movie. If you're looking for a relaxing evening out, don't even think about it.

After all the buzz, I expected this movie to be awful. It's not. It's just a big ride -- but the thrills and bumps last a lot longer than a two-minute rollercoaster. Just know that before you buckle up.

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