All throughout this week I kept thinking about the double feature of Transformers and G.I. Joe the movie that I attended last weekend. Seeing them both back to back, I’d have to say that the G.I. Joe movie was better. I know, crazy! Cause a new DVD copy of the Transformers movie can fetch over $100, while the Joe movie you can still get for about retail.
I realize that the Transformers as a franchise is a lot more lucrative and popular, but seeing both animated movies in one sitting really brought a couple of things in to light. It helped that time had passed since I devoted my full attention to both films, and that it was shown on the big screen (the way they were meant to be).
The Joe movie is much more consistent with the animation quality. They probably used different animation houses to complete both movies, but it’s not as noticeable as it is with the Transformers movie. The Transformers movie also has too much going on, it’s just a busy movie with a lot of debris and particles everywhere. Why leap forward in time that much? Why does Spike look like David Hasselhoff? With G.I. Joe it’s a bit more conceivable.
Everyone looks really good in the Joe movie, I enjoy this particular character design/model of the Joes, something about the way they do the noses, it’s as if the A-Team (animation) did the whole movie. It’s clearly evident with the opening sequence.
The soundtrack is also, well, a soundtrack. Don’t get me wrong, I love and own the Transformers soundtrack, but it’s got songs with lyrics, where the G.I. Joe movie has scores that aren’t songs. It just feels more like a theatrical movie. I wish they’d release this music.
The biggest thing for me though are the comical beats. Granted the Transformers movie has a better/darker plot, the Joe movie just hits the right notes on the jokes. It balances the war nature of the show and the levity very nicely. It also helped that I saw it in a packed theatre, everyone was laughing at the correct spots, where the Transformers movie had longer periods before a comical beat appeared.
A great example is during the climax of the movie where Sgt. Slaughter digs right into Nemesis Enforcer. That scene still sticks out and manages to evoke the simple patriotism in pummeling an enemy.
Learning what the original intentions of both movies were makes me wonder what could have been, especially with the Joe movie, cause they got the green light to actually kill characters in order to make way for the new wave of toys coming out. Totally makes sense, cause the cartoon got a lot of flak for being a war cartoon but not having any death.
With the age group skewing older for G.I. Joe they should’ve gone ahead and killed characters, but Transformers beat them to it by killing Optimus Prime, which turned out negatively for them. The Transformers age group skewed younger, but they didn’t realize that.
There was a bit of grumbling and rumbling in the theatre about how many people would actually stay for the screening of the Joe movie, those that ducked out really missed on the better portion of the night.
Despite the whole introduction to Cobra-La and Cobra Commanders “origin,” I really enjoyed seeing G.I. Joe: The Movie more than I thought I would. Hindsight is 20/20 right? And knowing that is half the battle.
And yes, Duke died in the movie, and should’ve remained dead.