Wow. What a difference a couple weeks makes. Recall, if you will dearest reader, a time when the world was enthusiastic and optimistic about the impending (Summer 2009) G.I. Joe film. Why, I myself posted a gushing entry about the recently released photos of Ray Park as Snake-Eyes. Sure, it was no Jonathan Pryce, but still... Well, as can happen in this age of internet-driven fandom, joy has quickly turned to bitter, bitter rage.
See, everyone was happy with Snake-Eyes. More than happy. Prancing across the meadows like a school girl on the first day of horse camp. "Dead on!" was the general consensus. Funny though, just as people were lowering their guards, pulling oft-derided director Stephen Sommers into the warm bosom of nostalgic afterglow, the marketing department released another photo. It was of Rachel Nichols as Scarlett. I didn't post it. All fanboy ecstasy silenced. There was a palpable feeling of "Huh. It looks just like Snake-Eyes costume... Black rubber with fake muscles... Like X-Men... Well, I hope they don't ALL look like that...” Well good folks, what can I say? Stephen Sommers never fails to not disappoint, and the massive amount of leaked photos today proves just that.
As you can see, by ignoring my chatter and just looking at the pretty pictures, every character looks almost exactly the same! Like they went to the Schumacher boutique and stocked up on clichés. These photos of Channing Tatum (Duke) (Right), Rachel Nichols (Top-Right) and Marlon Wayans (Ripcord) (Left) are all identical to the Snake-Eyes design. I suppose I shouldn't be surprised at Sommers' lack of creativity. Van Helsing was proof enough. But still, it’s hard not to be a tad crestfallen at the sheer lack of effort present.
But ignoring the bondage gear, what the hell is up with Dennis Quaid (Hawk) (Below Left)? Dude looks absolutely embarrassed. Jaws 3-D mortified. Is this the best we can offer to veterans of The Day After Tomorrow and Undercover Blues? Rather than spend his golden years in some respectable art films or playing supporting bits in classy Hollywood fare, Quaid is stuffed into a campy ill-fitting army suit. Can you feel his shame from looking at this photo? It's uncomfortable and makes me sad. He may lead the Joes, but he still looks like a man who decided to try on his High School Halloween costume. It’s such a trainwreck that I want you to just look at it for a second. Click on it for a full screen and see if it burns your retinas as bad as mine. You can practically see his soul dying! LOOK AT IT!!!
Hmmm, so anyways, the blonde chickaroo is apparently a Victoria's Secret model (whom Sommers' probably "auditioned") named Karolina Kurkova (Right). I have no idea who she's playing. IMDB claims that it’s a character named Courtney A. Kreiger. Seeing as how she's 16th billed, I don't think it really matters who she is. Still, her costume is the least painful as it is the most generic. Thank the lord for small mercies.
That just leaves the bad guys for last. Is there a less intimidating presence than Sienna Miller (Left with Lee) in Matrix-like black leather??? Girl's 5'5, built like a waif, and rocking a really bad wig. Couldn't they at least have cast someone even semi-threatening? Gina Gershon could've done wonders, but I guess she would have been far over the cast's general age of 26... (Not including Quaid. We all know he's the father figure here.). My guess is that the production company was so thrilled to get someone with semi-competent acting chops that they were more than willing to ignore the blatant miscasting. Funny how she and Rachel Nichols look like the Blandsie twins...
As well, we have Storm Shadow. At least I think that's who it is, as Storm Shadow wears a mask... Whatever, I'll just assume he'll put it on for fight scenes and such. I dunno, Byung-hun Lee looks like a fine choice but the outfit is, again, like a bad Matrix rip. Why overcomplicate things? Just put him in a white ninja-suit and people would be thrilled! Instead, we get a goofy leather get-up that looks too "designed". Whatever, I said I'd post Storm Shadow, here he is.
I was sorta looking forward to posting released photos as they appeared and geeking out over them along with the rest of you. Not gonna be the case now. I'll still post Cobra Commander and Destro when they are leaked, but it'll be in a sparse little blurb at the bottom of a story on something more worthy of my invaluable time. Like The Love Guru. Or Meet Dave.
I'm still kinda optimistic that G.I. Joe will be a fun nostalgia kick, but it’s hard to have much faith when the earliest releases are this bad. I hope you disagree with me, but I suspect you don't. Only one thing can turn this whole fiasco around: Jonathan Pryce as The President pics! You know what I'm talking about!
Later folks. I'll see about the possibility of a Forgetting Sarah Marshall review this week. As well, I'm pretty much locked for a review of the Hugh Jackman/Ewan McGregor "erotic thriller" (Oh dear...) Deception (Isn't that a great title?). See you soon and thanks for stopping by. I'll try to crank these soulless rants out quicker.