G.I. Joe: Retaliation, otherwise known as G.I. Joe: Forget About The Rise of Cobra, recently came out on DVD, Blu-Ray, possibly VHS in some Eastern European countries, and On Demand. After demanding it and then re-watching if for the second time after seeing it in theaters earlier this summer, I remembered that MAN its a fun movie. But two things were consistently nagging at me throughout the experience. Two things that I probably only noticed on a subconcious level the first time around, which I believe may have held it back from being not just a fun movie, but a great movie.
Before we continue, spoilers ahead.
Still here? Thanks, I appreciate it. Okay here are the two things.
1. What happened to Tim from Jurassic Park?
2. WHO THE HECK IS FLINT AND WHY DOES HE STILL GET TO BE IN THE MOVIE INSTEAD OF TIM FROM JURASSIC PARK?
Joseph Mazzello, more commonly recognized as Tim from Jurassic Park, plays Mouse, the wet behind the ears G.I. Joe sniper. In the 15-20 minutes that Mouse is in the movie, he gets arguably more character development than most of the other characters in the movie. Hes young, hes the new guy, hes freakishly good at his job of shooting people in the face from extraordinary distances, and unlike most of the other Joes, him just a little guy. Hence the callsign Mouse.
From the first moment he comes on screen hes instantly one of the most interesting characters. And yet for some reason, after Cobra lays down a suprise desert smackdown on the Joes moments after they return from a successful mission, Mouse does not survive. I guess? We never actually see him die. We just dont see him for the rest of the movie. When I saw it in theaters I was hoping that at some point later in the film a .50 caliber sniper round was going to come out of nowhere to save the Rock's life and he'd pop his head out of a clock tower and be like Hey you guys! You thought I was dead but I made it! My flight out of Marrakech just got delayed for a few days because a herd of goats was blocking the runway.
Its a shame that Mouse isnt one of the remaining three Joes. But what makes it an even bigger shame, is that Mouse doesnt survive, and Flint does. Flint is just sort of... there. As I've said, in the 15-20 minutes we get to know Mouse, hes one of the most well-rounded and relatable characters in the movie. Flint gets the entire 110 minute running time and his only distinguishing character traits are parkour and stubble.
Ive been dancing around a point here for some time now. And my point is this. If Mouse had survived instead of Flint, G.I. Joe: Retaliation could have been a great movie.
Having Mouse around throughout the duration of the movie would have given nerds like me someone on screen to relate to. Sure, Roadblock is the hero of the movie, and hes totally awesome, but I cant relate to the Rock. You could fit three of me inside one of the Rocks tightest Under Armour shirts after its gone through the dryer and shrunk a little. Also, and no offense to Mr. Mazzello, but he kind of looks like a nerd, or at the very least a suitable everyman.
But Im not just talking about being physically relatable. Since Mouse is the new guy on the team, he becomes a device to help explain things that are going on in the story that the audience needs to know, without it feeling awkwardly wedged in for our benefit. The newcomer acts as the audiences proxy. Other characters can explain stuff to him that he, and the audience, need to know so that the story makes sense. He can ask stuff like Uh guys, Im new here, can you fill me in on this Cobra dude you cats keep rapping about?
Mouse being a smaller guy would have made for pretty fun close-quarters combat scenes too. As weve already covered, hes the little guy, and hes used to doing his fighting from a distance. So it would have been awesome to see him take on some Goliath Cobra soldier hand-to-hand, resulting in a some great physical comedy as he scrappily works to defeat the much larger, presumably much dumber foe. Hed probably be quipping funny lines throughout the whole thing, and of course the scene would end with a memorable coup-de-gras one-liner along the lines of Whos squeakin now, beeyotch? Just spitballing here.
Mouse would also have made for a WAY more interesting romance sublot. I guess, and this is a stretch, that if one were so inclined, one could argue that there was the slightest infinitesimal fraction of romantic tension between Flint and Lady Jaye, portrayed by smokeshow and one-time Wonder Woman Adrianne Palicki. If Mouse had survived instead of Flint, this could have turned into a really entertaining side-story. In the beginning of the movie, we establish that the two have a rapport, being the two most experienced sharpshooters on the Joe team, so theres already that connection of Hey, we both like cool bullets and stuff! Later in the movie, theres a scene where Jaye is changing her clothes for some reason and strips down to her intimates, and shes all Dont look to Flint, but he sees her anyway in a beautifully shot reflection of a convex screen on an old TV. With Flint, it comes off a little creepy. With Mouse, it would have been a great scene. Shed catch him looking and make fun of him and hed be like What? No, I wasnt looking at your the caramel skin on your impeccably toned body! So anyway we need to pick up a few hundred bras of .50 cal ammo, I mean a few hundred round butts of... oh geez... your hair is pretty! It would have been the classic trope of nerdy guy goes after girl who is way out of his league, with maybe even a "just-in-case-we-die smooch in the middle of a battle.
Finally, Mouse would have just rounded out the cast better. With the current film, youve got Roadblock, the hero with a heart of gold, and a t-shirt of some sort of synthetic material; Youve got Lady Jaye, the clever sexy sleuth; Snake Eyes, the sweetest Ninja to never have a face; Bruce Willis, the wise old general who was in Die Hard, and then youve got... that other guy. Hes... has stubble? Let me put it this way. I had to LOOK UP HIS CHARACTERS NAME before I started writing this article to properly make a point because he was so utterly forgettable. I dont have to go all the way through all the archetypes again to point out why Mouse would have rounded out the cast better, because at this point, it's academic.
So, good job, Tim from Jurassic Park. Heres hoping that Mouse gets to return in the threequel. Maybe those goats were blocking the runway in Marrakech for a very, very long time.