The G.I. Joe novelization is out, bringing a description of the Mission Impossible-style Joes and their hyper-tech world where nano-mites can do everything, the Baroness is Canadian and Neo-Vipers do things that make me frown. Spoilers (and new posters) ahead.
The G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra movie novelization, by Max Allan Collins, is coming out, and one fan at General's Joes was lucky enough to snag an early copy (at Target no less). We rounded up the most important spoilers and reveals, which we can generally assume will be in the movie, as these books are usually a translation of the script itself.
First up everything is shiny and new. We live in an international world after all. No more dirty Vietnam War-esque Joes: these Joes are from around the world, which explains why Heavy Duty is British, Cover Girl is Czech, Breaker is Moroccan and the Pit is in Egypt. And since it's set in a hype modern "We Are The World" future, that means more room for gadgetry, says the fan reviewer:
It has a bunch of sci-fi gadgets in it like holograms, accelerator suits, jetpacks, invisibility suits, pulse rifles, nano-mites, brain downloading, robotic "spy fish", mind control, and lasers.
That's a lot of tech stuff, but more on the nano-mites later...
So what was good about GI Joe? Not surprisingly, the fan loved Destro, who is being played by Christopher Eccleston, so let's go ahead and assume that this part is in the bag. Destro and MARS are the big villains, and COBRA only shows up at the end, to make it seem more menacing and awesome. And instead of the Cobra Commander, we get a new character, Rex aka the Doctor, who is described in the novel as "Lord Byron as mad scientist." (???). He eventually becomes the Commander, and at the end of the book, the Commander sticks it to McCullen aka Destro, turning him into the villain we all know and love.
The reviewer goes on to describe General Hawk as "pretty awesome," which is how I would picture him, I guess. But just how awesome is he? Star Wars Prequels "awesome"? Because that's how nervous I am right now about this film.
Other good things? In the book (and probably in the script), the Joes poke fun at their accelerator suits calling them, "hi-tech football pads or Japanese robots," and this was probably written BEFORE they saw the CG horror that are these suits on screen. So the film-makers set out to make them look like hell? This kind of self-awareness is not a good thing.
The book is supposedly rife with a few sad puns and bad jokes. Like Marlon Wayans talking about "kung-fu grip." The Joes regularly shout "Yo Joe!" and in one scene, "Go Joe!" But this is an action movie after all, and those moments are actually important, so I don't see that as a negative. They insist that the shape shifting Zartan is to be taken seriously — and he actually takes the place of a big character in the end, thus setting up an even bigger role for him in the sequel. We're guessing it has something to do with the next big reveal... which is the death of a "code name" Joe during the big action sequence at The Pit. (Apparently it's someone who will only get one action figure.)
There are four big action sequences: a convoy attack at the start of the movie, an attack on The Pit, the Paris sequence with the nano-mites attacking the Eiffel Tower, and the final battle at the underwater MARS facility.)
Now for the really bad, according to the review. The Nano-mites, which you've seen eating up the Eiffel Tower in past trailers can do anything, "mind control, eating metal, shapchanging, Destro's mask, super soldiers, you name it…they can do it!" Which sounds like the world's laziest writing tool ever.
Also my beloved foot-soldier Neo-Vipers are all a bunch of mindless drones that can apparently DISSOLVE? No, that's just not okay. I can understand just making them robot-y nothings, but giving them the ability to dissolve? Yechh, no.
This really sounds like a jumble of bad with light helpings of good on the side. Let's hope Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Eccleston can pull it off, because it sounds like there is a lot going on.
GI Joe The Rise of Cobra will be in theaters August 7th.