Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A Real American Hero!

Oddly, growing up first in homes without the benefit of much watchable TV, and then overseas where we had a single English-language channel to watch, a lot of the cartoons of the early 80’s are kind of lost on me. The original incarnations of Dungeons & Dragons, Thundercats, He-Man, Voltron, and G.I. Joe were all, for one reason or another, unavailable to me at the times of their release (actually FEN got Voltron, but I never liked it). In recent years I have made some efforts to reconcile this, to little success.

Most of those original cartoons look like crap to me, now. The 2005 re-incarnation of He-Man is cool, though, and I own it on DVD. The one I always wanted to like, but still can’t get into, is G.I. Joe. I had some of the toys, and I played my own stories out. But, instead of leading me to the cartoon, they lead me to Mack Bolan, and so my military action fix was in the Executioner series, and some of the knock-offs.

Then Hollywood brought G.I. Joe to the big screen in live-action. And I liked it quite a bit. The first film was a little hokey maybe, and definitely aimed at the nostalgia crowd, but still a fun ride. Now, there is a second one coming out. And this one features Dwayne Johnson. For those who don’t know, I LOVE Dwayne Johnson. I think he is amazingly talented for what amounts to a jock-turned-actor. He has a terrific sense of comedic timing, an amazing screen-presence, and is just fun to watch.

So, when you put him in a G.I. Joe movie with a rather dark and sinister plot…well, this is just good action movie-making, in my opinion. In this, the first trailer for G.I. Joe: Retaliation, we are treated to some really good visuals, the promise of some superior action, and even a surprise star at the end. I got giddy when that part showed up…

Between this, Expendables 2, and The Avengers, I am excited about movies again.

And now I wish I could play a military action RPG…


Charles Gramlich said...

I never was a fan of GI JOes either. I didn't care that much for the first movie. Dwayne Johnson is "the Rock?" right. I've liked him in most of what he's done.

Paul R. McNamee said...

When I was playing with G.I. Joes, they were the 1970s vintage with their hippie beards (man, where was the discipline? ;) ) and they were 12" figures.

I was just about outgrowing all that when they switched to 3" metal figures. I was never really interested in the downsized revamp. So, when the cartoon came out, and was based on those, I never bothered.

I still might try the movie, though. Dwayne Johnson does have a great screen presence. He usually makes anything watchable, at least.

Tom Doolan said...

Yep, Dwayne is "The Rock". :)

My "action figure" phase started with Star Wars and The Adventure People. So, I was used to playing in that size (though I did own a 12" Steve Austin doll with a rocket ship when I was little).