As an '80s kid's cartoon, 'G.I. Joe' didn't have the same impact on this side of the world as the likes of 'Transformers', and although I have vague memories of watching it in the mid-80s on the now defunct Super Channel, the details are pretty hazy.
Which in some ways is a shame because if there's one thing that Stephen Sommers' film does right above all else, it's to capture the spirit of a Saturday morning kid's cartoon. It's loud, it's garish, it's not very deep, but it is a huge amount of fun.
The plot, which is secondary to the on-screen action, is set in the near future where soldiers Duke (Tatum) and Ripcord (Wayans) join a secret, multi-national special forces team which is tasked with saving the world from Cobra, a shadowy terrorist group intent on world domination. Former 'Doctor Who' star Christopher Eccleston plays arch-baddie James McCullen, and is just the right side of pantomime villain.
Character motivations rarely go beyond the fact that the character in question is either a good guy or a bad guy and while there are some twists and revelations along the way, 'G.I. Joe' never has pretensions to be anything more than it is - a high octane, fantasy action film with the emphasis on action.
And the action really is unrelenting, from an impressive opening scene where Duke and Ripcord's battalion are ambushed in a forest to a stunning high-speed chase through Paris to a brilliantly realised climactic underwater battle, there's enough action here for five summer blockbusters, but it all fits in with the tone of the film and rarely are things confusing or unclear in the heat of a battle.
'G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra' is the perfect antidote to a dull cinematic summer that has seen films like 'Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen' take themselves far too seriously. Anyone who has ever woken at 6am on a Saturday morning to race downstairs and grab a bowl of sugary cereal before sitting down in front of the television for their favourite cartoons will love it.