G.I. Letdown

In non-game related news, a new G.I. Joe Movie has been announced, and the specifics of the plot and setting changes have created one of the largest letdowns in classic Americana history.   The “Real American Hero” is actually going to be changed to appeal to a broader international audience, and instead, the initials GI JOE will stand for Global Integrated Joint Operating Entity.

I couldn’t make this crap up even if I tried

While some remember the character from its gung-ho fighting man ’60s incarnation, he’s evolved. G.I. Joe is now a Brussels-based outfit that stands for Global Integrated Joint Operating Entity, an international co-ed force of operatives who use hi-tech equipment to battle Cobra, an evil organization headed by a double-crossing Scottish arms dealer. The property is closer in tone to “X-Men” and James Bond than a war film.

Set to enter production this year and debut in the summer of 2009, GI Joe will be directed by Stephen Summers, who is best known for his production “The Mummy” in 1999, “The Mummy Returns” in 2001, and “Van Helsing” in 2004.  Not exactly a powerhouse director, coupled with a bullshit twist on a classic element of American Toy history, minus the involvement of the COBRA organization as we have known it with COBRA Commander at the helm, spells a highly possible flop of explosive diarrhea with a bigger marketing budget than production value.

 I hope I am wrong about this one….

~Cyndre 

20 thoughts on “G.I. Letdown”

  1. While I’d say the loss of COBRA is dissapointing, that was an 80’s era addition to the story, so it’s not quite as bad as the other changes. The change in meaning of “G.I. Joe” on the other hand is not just a let down, but an unpardonable insult to the WW2 through Vietnam era General Infantrymen tha Joe was meant to represent and honor.
    I not only expect, but sincerely hope for, this movie to bomb like a nuke were in the theatre.

  2. Pingback: G.I. Joke?
  3. I thought GI was General Issue…

    Anyway, I’m really annoyed about this. Where are the petitions and the boycotts?

  4. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GI_(military)

    As it turns out, it actually originates from Galvanized Iron.

    As a non-American, I think the reason they’re watering down and “internationalizing” the image is because frankly, the rest of the world isn’t so receptive to the idea of an all-American action hero soldier going around the world, kicking ass and taking names right now. They’re being PC in order to cast the movie as a fun action film, not to cause major international backlash and controversy.

    If the strategy succeeds, or if this pussyfooting around will cause a bigger controversy, remains to be seen.

  5. “They’re being PC in order to cast the movie as a fun action film, not to cause major international backlash and controversy.”

    If there’s any international backlash and controversy over a cartoon movie because it features cartoon American soldiers fighting a bad guy who wears a funny uniform with his silver-faced sidekick Destro…the world is broken and needs a serious kick in the nuts.

    “Global Integrated Joint Operating Entity”. What unimaginative shithead thought of this name? I’m guessing the same guys who think this is a good idea:

    “WMA is also helping Hasbro with possible movies based on such properties as the board games “Monopoly” and “Battleship.”

    This movie has flop and bomb written all over it.

  6. […As a non-American, I think the reason they’re watering down and “internationalizing” the image is because frankly, the rest of the world isn’t so receptive to the idea of an all-American action hero soldier going around the world, kicking ass and taking names right now. They’re being PC in order to cast the movie as a fun action film, not to cause major international backlash and controversy….]

    Please don’t take this the wrong way, but as an American, who grew up with GI Joe, I really couldn’t care less what non–American’s think about my childhood toys and how the image they portray is viewed internationally…

    If making the “All American Hero” is going to piss people off right now, then DON’T MAKE IT, but don’t water down the brand, pervert the franchise and disregard the IP to the point where it dienfranchises every person who made the brand popular.

    I don’t like what the American military has done globally, and I dislike how the current leaders have squandered our social status in the international viewpoint, but that doesn’t mean we should be ashamed of our cultural icons and shy away from them, or water them down.

    “Real American Hero” is the damn theme of the entire group… what is it going to be now “The Real Multi-National Co-Ed Hero!” Give me a break…

  7. So I guess we should take folk stories of French and other national heroes, real or imaginary, and change them all to be “international”, so we don’t take a chance and offend somebody? Hell no. People should be allowed to celebrate their own heritage. Who gives a damn what someone on another continent thinks? Should they? No.

    Why does not offending people only count when it’s American? It has nothing to do with any current administration, this has been going on since the late 80s.

  8. From a different point of view, my dad was in World War 2, and i never got the love people had for GI Joe. The cartoon was a joke really, badly animated with people always jumping out of planes before they got shot. Outrage over this to me is like if people got upset that an adaption of He-Man made him not a leather man.

  9. Clarification: I’m not saying I think this is a good idea. Just rationalizing why the film’s producers might think it’s a good idea.

    I don’t know if you’ve noticed but Hollywood hasn’t been especially fond of gambling lately, especially not with IPs. They’d rather buy a brand, twist and pervert it until it’s a shadow of its former self, then sell it based on the name than risk making a film that’s “edgy” or “controversial”.

    Gahd, check out Constantine – that was a slap in the face if ever I saw one. John Constantine as a deep-down-nice-but-kinda-rude guy fighting demons in a cosmology more or less identical to a medieval Catholic world view? Come on. I just finished reading “Empathy is the Enemy”. The premise is that our friend, who is by anyone’s definition a cynical, hardened asshole with no attachments to humanity whatsoever, starts having some inkling of feelings for others (gasp!). I had to put the book down several times because of the sheer f***ing intensity of emotions and horrors of everyday life. Constantine (the movie) is a popcorn film with neat special effects. Come on. Come ON.

    Only reason I mentioned me being a non-American is because in my experience, it’s rare for people who live inside the US to fully grasp their nation’s international image. Maybe that’s due to the incestuous media coverage, maybe it’s a fact of living in the country around which the world revolves (not being sarcastic). I agree with Cyndre, the better thing to do would be to hold off on making the film at all. This is hard what with long production pipelines (who the hell knows what the world will think of US soldiers in 2010?), time-limited brand licenses and ginormous budgets to be spent, though.

  10. 1) “Cobra- an evil organization headed by a double-crossing Scottish arms dealer.” For those that missed it… they haven’t changed Cobra Commander’s origin. Destro’s a Scottish arms dealer who’s double-crossed Cobra Commander more than once and taken control of Cobra. Seems they just set the movie in that era.

    2) G.I. Joe… yes, it should be as american as Apple Pie. GI has, to my knowledge, always been a US term referring to US soldiers. I’d much prefer if they kept it that way and had them teamed with similarly-named national organizations (fleshed out in the fiction already) for international cooperative operations.

    Trying to somehow make “G.I.” international… I don’t like. As an Army veteran, I should probably be more offended by the internationalization of the ‘Joes. I’m not.

    If they kept the story as Joe vs Cobra (a domestically-founded terrorist group) then they probably could have, but going international (and many of the joe / cobra characters have an international flavor to them) … The international “umbrella” organization should have been a different name. Just like the US Army can operate under a UN banner, the ‘Joes could be the US membership in the international organization. The joes could still make up the bulk of the force, after all…

    3) Some people take offense to how the rest of the country perceives US unilateral action. Don’t. As I said, I’ve served and seen action. When we figt, we’re overseas- facing the enemy with our backs to the locals… who we’re told we’re defending.

    It is MUCH easier for us to do our jobs when the locals trust us, see our intrusion as temporary and our intentions somewhat noble. That’s a VERY difficult image to cultivate, but it pays out HUGE dividends to the fighting men on the ground. It’s also very EASY to tarnish, as our leadership has so masterfully shown over the last several years.

    A ‘Joe movie that appeared to mimic the cavailier “cowboy diplomacy” that the world so loathes would only erode things farther at this point, and make the job tougher for the boys on the ground.

    If making GI Joe appear to be a responsible member of the International community will… well, it won’t lessen the stigma, but if it dosn’t make things on the ground worse for our boys… I’ll take it.

  11. I am so glad I didn’t watch most of these iconic shows only to see them ruined later in life. I laughed at the crushed looks on the faces of my friends when I exposed them to ‘He-Man Does Four Non Blondes’, and I’d do the same here, if it was funny, but this just reminds me of Uwe’s work.

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