The Corner

GI Joe: ‘Not Some Yankee Soldier’

In the new GI Joe movie, Hollywood appears to have transformed an American hero into an A-Team for the United Nations. That’s because “GI Joe” is now an acronym for “Globally Integrated Joint Operating Entity” (or something like that). But the film’s marketers aren’t exactly trumpeting this fact, at least not in the United States:

Paramount Pictures gave the movie its homeland premiere at the base for Air Force One, flying out its stars Channing Tatum, Sienna Miller and Marlon Wayans for a helicopter tour, meetings with the base commander and airmen, and a red carpet replete with paparazzi and billowing American flags. … The subtext is none too subtle: Critics are likely to roast the film, and fanboys of the original toy line and comic book may be indifferent, but if you’re a flag-waving, Nascar-loving American, it’s practically your patriotic duty to see this movie. …

European marketing, rather, focuses on action sequences set in Paris — where the Eiffel Tower collapses — Egypt and Tokyo, and emphasizes that G.I. Joe is an international team of crack operatives and not some Yankee soldier.

When it comes to selling “G.I. Joe” outside the U.S., the message is “this is not a George Bush movie — it’s an Obama world,” director Stephen Sommers said. “Right from the writing stage we said to ourselves, this can’t be about beefy guys on steroids who all met each other in the Vietnam War, but an elite organization that’s made up of the best of the best from around the world.”

Hat tip: Big Hollywood.

John J. Miller, the national correspondent for National Review and host of its Great Books podcast, is the director of the Dow Journalism Program at Hillsdale College. He is the author of A Gift of Freedom: How the John M. Olin Foundation Changed America.

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