Bad news is an unfortunate inevitability sometimes. I’m an anxious person by nature but when my life is hit with bad news, it’s ramped up to new heights. Last week, bad news arrived and it’s been tough. First you do your best to find peace in acceptance. Then you search for any and all positives to make you feel better. I think about quotes like:
“Why do we fall? So that we can learn to pick ourselves up.” (Batman Begins)
It gets easier with time but this was a rough one. Nearly a week later, I was still doing anything I could to avoid silent moments deep in thought. I wrote blog posts. I created some new graphics. I tweaked my latest screenplay. I watched movies.
Yesterday, the start of my shift was much later than usual so I had a lot of free time. After a few restless hours I decided to go to the movies. My choice?
G.I JOE: RETALIATION
There were tons of new releases out there to choose from but I wanted action. Just a few simple hours to distract myself. In that way, G.I Joe delivered exactly what I needed. An escape. Eventually, I forgot about everything and focused on Cobra Commander’s master plan… He’s kind of an idiot.
I know G.I Joe succeeded in distracting me because I spent the majority of the movie enjoying the action and questioning the story. I was immersed no matter how many plot holes they glazed over. You really don’t find out what Cobra’s plan is until the final few minutes. Actually Cobra is barely in the movie. It was unfortunate to waste such an iconic bad guy.
A large chunk of the movie is spent looking for Storm Shadow. While the search gave us a ninja fight suspended on mountain tops, Storm Shadow’s story was unexpectedly dumb. Why fight at all when you’re going to jump ship immediately?
I love good villains with well thought out plans. But Cobra is better than this isn’t he? Secretly building satellites of mass destruction in order to rule the world is more Dr. Evil than Cobra isn’t it? How could that many satellites go unnoticed by the worlds leaders? When they gather together, it takes about two minutes to convince them all to launch dozens of Nuclear warheads. It takes 30 seconds to convince them all to abort. Two minutes later, London is destroyed anyways…
I’ve never liked sequences like that. A city is destroyed. Millions of lives are lost and it’s never mentioned again?
Within 10 minutes our heroes arrive, throw a few punches and it’s over. Good action but no showdown with Cobra? He just leaves. It’s ironic that I went to see a simple action movie and spent most of my time demanding more from the story.
Regardless of my complaints, I felt better once the credits rolled. I went home, ate some dinner with my wife and went to work in a better mood. Any other day I may have loathed G.I Joe: Retaliation but that’s the beauty of going to the movies. Sometimes, a movie you normally wouldn’t like is an unexpected surprise. It’s the escape you hoped it would be.
As time goes by, I’ll feel better. Until then, all I can do is surround myself with people I love and things I’m passionate about. To me, when I’m alone with my thoughts, a well chosen movie is like a good friend.
Overall, I didn’t like G.I Joe 2 but I loved the distraction it provided. For that, Retaliation is another good friend of mine.