Monday, February 04, 2013

"G.I. Joe: Retaliation Goes Viral, Satirical

I love this.

You might recall that the first "G.I. Joe" movie was target of some trumped-up rage from the right-wing media for not being patriotic enough; because the team had gone international (it kinda always was, but don't tell them that) and were fighting made-up terrorists instead of Al Qaeda (also as-always, and also don't tell them that - "9/11 Changed EVERYTHING!" (TM) and it was apparently every action figure's duty to make paranoid assholes feel better about themselves by face-punching Muslim-looking people onscreen.)

Well, those guys should probably start their engines once again...

Anyway, you might also recall that the film ended with the bad guys more-or-less winning: While the Joe's were busy blowing up an ice fortress, Cobra Commander had not created... er, himself and Destro; he'd also managed to replace the President of the United States with master-of-diguise Zartan. Now, in the sequel, COBRA has effectively seized control of the American government (and military) and is using that position to threaten other nations. So... yeah, the premise of "G.I. Joe: Retaliation" is G.I. Joe - formerly America's Reagan-era Exceptionalism Super-Squad - having to rescue the rest of planet from a renagade, war-mongering American military.

However good or bad this movie turns out to be... that - as the premise of a big-budget summer movie franchise that comes (literally) wrapped in the American flag - is pretty goddamn ballsy.

Now, to drive the point home, this new viral ad has hit the web: A near-perfect imitation of current U.S. Military recruitment ads (complete with what sounds like Keith David voiceover - you'd think his contract with the Army itself would specifically forbid stuff like this) ...but for COBRA, one of the all-time notorious fictional terrorist organizations:



Look... I'm not exactly expecting this movie to be a "Starship Troopers"-level brutal satire or anything, but there's a certain amount of risk in this, and risk deserves praise in this medium.