I've figured out what it is about Stephen Sommers' movies that I absolutely despise. It's the fact that at no point in any of his films do I feel like any of what I'm watching is real. And it's not the mummies and the vampires and Sienna Miller's cleavage that make me think that -- it's the way the actors talk to each other, the way the music never stops, and the way that at no point does any character close his mouth. Every last moment is filled with dialogue, which isn't how the world works, and the constant music fills in any scenes they accidentally forgot to record dialogue for. At least Michael Bay had one or two scenes in Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen with no music or no dialogue, and it seemed to be entirely on purpose. Meanwhile, Sommers has actually made a movie that may be worse than Van Helsing, which is saying something. Specifically, it's saying that there is no slam-dunk movie idea that Sommers cannot ruin, or at least make enjoyable only by slightly dim children.
Here at MWoP, we've been taking a "wait-and-see-but-don't-hold-your-breath" approach to the G.I. Joe live-action movie. Early on, the visual disparities from the cartoon were pretty jarring, but then, so were the X-Men movie costumes, and that worked out okay. (I'll leave the Transformers movie designs aside, since A. I still don't like them and B. the movies were successful in spite of them, making my opinion moot.) But when the commercials and action scenes started showing up -- including performance-enhancing accelerator suits, which were never part of the G.I. Joe mythos until very recently -- we started to worry a bit more. And now they've declined to screen the movie for the press. But given the fact that negative buzz got so bad at one point that director Stephen Sommers (Van Helsing) was rumored to have been fired, that may be a wise choice. Regardless, it seems there may be nothing to worry about.
While all of the attention is on Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen right now, this August will see another 1980s toy property come to the big screen: G.I. Joe. Sadly, you may not recognize anything but the name, because visually it seems to have very little in common with the most popular version of its mythos, and unsubstantiated rumors have been circulating that the director, Stephen Sommers, has been pulled from editing the film. How did this happen? How did G.I. Joe, one of the most basic, straightforward concepts in 1980s children's television, become such a nightmare?
You've seen the costumes. You've heard the nerd complaints. You may have even seen The Mummy 3. But now we've all seen the trailer for G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, directed by Mummy helmer Stephen Sommers, and... it doesn't look half-bad! Sure, the Joes all wear black instead of green camo and sailor suits, and Destro doesn't seem to have a mask yet, but Snake Eyes looks pretty damn cool, and the Baroness is hot in a Sienna Millerish kinda way. The Gallaga brothers thought it looked pretty neat, too, and they're hardcore G.I. Joe fans -- check out their latest episode of Trailers Without Pity, in which they break down the Joe trailer for newbies and fans alike. Watch it after the jump!