It would be nice to report that this movie, based on the Hasbro toy soldier line, was amiably daft or engagingly silly.
But actually it's dull and aggressive, steroidally humourless with a semi-coherent plot detour taking us among the ninjas of the misty/mystic Orient – all presumably to target Asian markets. There's also some pretty serious National Rifle Association porn effectively aimed at the same youngsters pestering their mums and dads for the action figures.
British audiences may be disconcerted at the fact that our humble capital city suffers in the course of the action, though this doesn't in the end seem to disturb anyone much. The good guys unlock their weapon stash with the code 1-7-7-6, incidentally. (Could it be that gun-control limey Piers Morgan is making anti-Brit rhetoric fashionable?) Dwayne Johnson and Channing Tatum play Roadblock and Duke, two grizzled alpha-canine veterans of America's elite GI Joe military force, joshing robustly with each other on their downtime, when they're not battling super badguy Zartan (Arnold Vosloo).
But the president himself, played by Jonathan Pryce, is behaving strangely, and there are sinister forces ranged against the noble Joes, both abroad and at home. Adoringly and affectionately, Duke tells Roadblock he fights "ugly". That's certainly the adjective.
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