G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra ★½

In addition to being formulaic from start to finish, the film is ridiculous in an annoying rather than entertaining way, and it is full of loud, seldom engaging action sequences that feature tiring fights, chases, and explosions. During an unusually silent moment, I realized just how noisy this movie really is.

The characters are two-dimensional at best, which makes it difficult to connect with and care about any of them, and their cheesy dialogue is sometimes unintentionally funny, making the viewer laugh at it instead of with it.

Fairly good but unremarkable special effects. If director Stephen Sommers and the rest of the filmmakers had spent less of their budget and creative energy on visual effects and more on character and plot development, "G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra" would likely have fared better.

The well-chosen soundtrack fits nicely with the content and tone of the picture, although it often has to compete with the sound effects for the viewer’s attention.

Channing Tatum (Duke), Marlon Wayans (Ripcord), Sienna Miller (Ana), Rachel Nichols (Scarlett), Ray Park (Snake Eyes), Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (Heavy Duty), Byung-hun Lee (Storm Shadow), and Saïd Taghmaoui (Breaker) all look appropriately tough and cool, and they get the job done—nothing more, nothing less. Dennis Quaid seems out of place in the role of General Hawk; however, he does not appear to be taking things as seriously as the other cast members do, which might be the best way to approach the material. The Doctor, played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt (my first thought when I saw him was, "Isn’t that Keanu Reeves?"), is more menacing a character than is Christopher Eccleston’s McCullen, the main villain.