One of the biggest factors in how these two movies were received undoubtedly has to do with the kind of expectations people had about them beforehand. Transformers 2 had MONSTER expectations facing it – people had been chomping at the bit ever since the first trailers and clips started dropping. We here at Screen Rant know firsthand how crazy TF2 mania was: the amount of site traffic the movie generated was nuts. People couldn’t wait to see Transformers 2; and then they did see it. And down went (most of) their hopes and expectations, quicker than the Dow Jones last January. Suddenly we were reminded of a time honored phrase: “Beauty is only skin deep, but ugly…”
Then there was good ol’ G.I. Joe. Everybody thought you were an automatic shoe-in for the 2009 Razzie, even BEFORE your first trailer dropped. From the moment certain names started being connected to the film – Channing Tatum, Marlon Wayans – people (unfairly or not) started writing it off as D.O.A. Not even the awesomeness of actors like Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ray Park, or Christopher Eccleston could redeem you; not even Sienna Miller, displayed everywhere in skin tight leather.
And then people saw G.I. Joe – and they said to themselves, “Wow! Not nearly as terrible as I thought it would be!” And lucky for Paramount/Hasbro, in this era of dashed hopes and total satisfaction with mediocrity, not being terrible has become just about as good as actually being good. Pat yourselves on the back, guys.
Winner: G.I. Joe won this round for sure. It’s better to start at rock bottom and move up, rather than start high and fall fast.
THE FUN FACTOR
Finally, we must ask ourselves, “Which of these movies was the most fun?”
Now this is where subjectivity is going to lead to a lot of debate (read: argument), so I might was well just go ahead and give you Our “Fun Factor” Winner:
While Transformers 2 had some really spectacular sequences, the agonizingly bad script and low return on high expectations were just too painful to get past. Add to the that The Twins (who were annoying at best, offensive at worst); the uneven pace and tone of the film (is it supposed to be action-packed or dramatic or funny? For adults or kids or rap-saturated teens?); the nearly 3-hour runtime (1 hour of which is Shia LaBeouf sitting around, waiting to do something) and it’s easy to see why G.I. Joe was a much more harmless and enjoyable popcorn movie, with its trimmer runtime and non-stop action-packed pace.
Besides, when it’s a question of killer robots who look the same vs. killer ninjas who look the same, ninjas win out every time in my book.
So, the Winner of the Screen Rant Popcorn Movie Showdown: G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra.
But that’s just what we think. How about you? G.I. Joe or Transformers 2? [Editor's Note: Buckets of popcorn were consumed while writing this post]