Early Summer Movie Follow Up



       OK, I know the majority of the world might not agree with me, as evidenced by the ridiculous amount of money hauled in by GI Joe and Iron-Man 3. The loot combined could easily pay to feed the entire continent of Africa for a few years. So why and how this happened is a conundrum in and of itself. As much as I am a writer, I am not biased in the least. I am not a movie hater by any means. I love them, as long as the story is good. I think it is less the question of why the other two movies were mediocre at best and more as to why I can give Tom Cruise hearty thumbs up for his flick. In a movie, I have to find a soul. There has to be a living and breathing plot line  in which the main character has a clear intention of accomplishing a goal and bend heaven and earth, against all odds to succeed. A slathering of special effects (although I admit that I am and CGI fool myself and sound “Whore”) is just not enough to merit an approving score. Let me break the three movies into three categories and let you be the judge. 1) Flaws, 2) Characters, 3) Continuity of plot. Spoilers are abound, please be careful with reading further.


  1. GI JOE- unlimited flaws. Never explained why Cobra Commander elected to leave Destro behind; didn’t explain how Storm-Shadow survived; Why did we have to kill off Duke and the others again; Why does Cobra allow Storm-Shadow to return unquestioned; and what happens to all the nuclear fallout from the last scene; Why is the Riza in this movie?
  2. Iron-Man 3- multiple issues. Why is that little boy in so much of the movie; How come we see so much less of Iron-Man and so much of Tony Stark; where are the other Avengers; Remote controlled Iron-Men Army— really: and wow, the Mandarin is a British geek, now I’m done.
  3. Oblivion – one. The world is full of Tom Cruises at the end.


1.   GI JOE- Roadblock- out of nowhere, inserted into the movie, no past, no plot line and no explanation of where he was in the first flick. Storm-Shadow is alive! – ‘nuff said. I would have appreciated a little more Parkour of Flint in the story if that is what they had to go with. The Riza – I’m done. Jinx – as stale as week old bread (no substance). And no they didn’t put Bruce Willis in this flick, just to grab the some Die Hard holdovers.

2.   Iron-Man 3- The Mandarin- weakest super-hero villain of all time. Iron-Man – too much Stark and not enough Iron-Man. Note to Hollywood- If a superhero has a mask or helmet, please let him or her keep it on. I don’t want to see their faces all the time. There’s no magical bond that is being created by seeing them. I know you paid a lot of money to have them in it, but too bad. What was Iron-Man trying to accomplish in the outset of the movie anyway?

3.   Oblivion- Jack (Tom Cruise). Out to find answers about his Earth’s demise, along with identity. He does both by the end of the film, with all lose ends tied up. Thank you Tom and the director for a sense of completion and urgency.

3. Continuity of Plot:

  1. GI JOE- Um, the enemy escapes, kills off a bunch of good guys, the enemy helps the good guys, the enemy goes back to the enemy, and then there’s a really cheesy last fight scene, people blow up and the President returns. Any questions? Sound good to you? – On a side note, the ninja scene in the middle of the movie was exceptional.
  2. Iron-Man 3- OK. Iron-Man is cool, Tony Stark is created a bunch of suits, he is attacked by a crazy terrorists, loses his home, flies to TN and meets a little boy who stays in the movie way too long, Tony becomes a master builder, turns super spy, hunts down the enemy, gets back his suit, lame last fight scene ensues where he isn’t in any particular suit at one time and them Pepper becomes a super hero and saves the day. Right?
  3. Oblivion- Man has been killed off by an alien threat that has destroyed the Moon, escapes to the Moon of Jupiter (Titan) to restart, Tom Cruise is surveying the planet for a major corporation in space (head-quarters) and finishing up his last 2 week rotation with pretty red-head, begins to ask questions, is captured by Scavengers that turn out to be humans in disguise, reveal the truth about the corporation, Tom seeks for truth, finds it along with his wife, corporation finds out, tries to kill him and humans, Tom flies to space with nuke, kills aliens, and his clone re-unities with wife and child at the end. Well written, pacing was fabulous and special effects were phenomenal.

Please don’t take my reviews to heart. But the over indulgence of special effects and reliance of big budget actors to carry films is getting a bit much at this point. I’m happy with good special effects and stories that real people can relate to, even in worlds that don’t exist and are far off from now. Oblivion, in my humble opinion, got it right. At least more right than these other two.