G.I. Joe vs. Transformers 2: Popcorn Movie Showdown!

Published 6 years ago by , Updated August 14th, 2013 at 4:31 pm,

joe vs transformers G.I. Joe vs. Transformers 2: Popcorn Movie Showdown!

Summer is winding down and two of the blockbuster season’s biggest entries, Transformers: Revenge of The Fallen and G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra have both debuted in theaters to mixed opinion amongst audiences, total lambasting by critics, bale fulls of money made at the box office for Paramount and even more bale fulls made in merchandising by Hasbro, the company whose toys were the inspiration for both films.

But which film was better (read: not as bad as the other)? Even the critics who tore apart both Transformers 2 and G.I. Joe would be hard-pressed to argue that both films are equally as bad. And among you, the fans (or haters), that debate is even more polarized, if our comment sections have been any indication.

So now, for your consideration, Screen Rant is proud to present our first Popcorn Movie Showdown: Transformers 2 vs G.I. Joe!



transformers 2 optimus prime swords G.I. Joe vs. Transformers 2: Popcorn Movie Showdown!

OK, so Transformers: Revenge of The Fallen had some of the best-rendered CGI ever to appear on film, hands down. Expect the film to get some kind of (Academy?) award nod for its technical work. And if you’ve seen Transformers 2 in IMAX, you already know that the “true IMAX” sequences of robot-on-robot action are gorgeous enough to make you almost believe that transforming alien robots do exist. Amazing stuff.

G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra had some cool f/x moments (most people seemed to enjoy the accelerator suit sequence), but nothing even CLOSE to the level of Transformers 2. The two films are not even on the same plane in that respect. Clearly, the win for best f/x goes to Michael Bay and his team of tech wizards (aka Industrial Light and Magic)…

…But not so fast – the term “eye candy” means more than who had the smoothest CGI. What about the ladies? G.I. Joe had red-hot Rachel Nichols making a big-screen splash, and god bless Sienna Miller for always wearing something tight and revealing in every scene (even when her character was standing in the frozen Artic tundra). Now that’s dedication! However, Transformers 2 had the lovely Isabel Lucas and, of course, queen-gorgeous herself, Megan Fox. Even that little toy truck robot wanted to hump her leg; the G.I. Joe ladies got no such love. But hell, in this case, isn’t a visual aid better? Decide for yourself:

The Ladies of G.I. Joe:

baroness G.I. Joe vs. Transformers 2: Popcorn Movie Showdown!

Sienna Miller

scarlett gi joe G.I. Joe vs. Transformers 2: Popcorn Movie Showdown!

Rachel Nichols

The Ladies of Transformers 2:

Winner: In every sense, Transformers 2 was the prettiest belle at the ball.



So let’s just come clean: Both so-called scripts for these movies were half-baked hams that couldn’t even pass for coherent if they were reviewed by the blind and deaf. And that’s putting it mildly. It was a shame, too, because both scripts were written by some of the industry’s best and brightest talent: Transformers 2 was scribed by (two of my favorites) Robert Orci and Alex Kurtzman (Fringe, Star Trek), while G.I. Joe was written by Stuart Beattie (Pirates of the Caribbean, 30 Days of Night).

So what went so wrong that we ended up suffering the go-stop-go pace of Transformers 2 and the make-you-cringe dialogue of G.I. Joe? Or worse yet, The Twins? No doubt the pain we’re feeling now rippled out from the WGA Strike of 2007, when studios pushed their writers to finish the job quick-fast in order to get all scripts possible into production (in whatever half-cooked state they were in) before the impending strike left the studios without any tentpoles for Summer ’09. I like to think I’m a pretty good writer myself and I can tell you: It doesn’t matter if you’re freaking Shakespeare – if you aren’t allowed sufficient time and space to write a story right, it isn’t going to turn out right.

Now we know. And knowing is half the battle. Hollywood: Pay those writers what they’re owed. We’ve all been officially reminded why good writing matters (don’t let those big box office receipts fool you).

Winner: G.I. Joe at least kept things moving lightly and quickly enough for (most of us) to forget that we were watching a half-cooked story – so long as nobody was talking. At least the plot was easy to follow: Tug-of-war over destructive warheads between good guys and bad guys. Simple. Transformers 2 had me scratching my head so hard, so often, my scalp started to bleed (what was the point of having The Fallen in there? Anybody?).

Keep reading to find out who wins the G.I. Joe vs. Transformers 2 Showdown!

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  1. Nicely spoken Kofi. One a side note, was it just me or did the two kids playing Snake Eyes and Stormshadow kick some major ass? Their fight scenes could very well have been the best of the summer.

  2. I agree with everything in this article (G I Joe is the best bad movie of the summer!) except for Kofi’s preference for the Transformers girls. I much, much prefer the lovely misses Nichols and (especially) Miller to those two fake-tanned, breathy “sex symbols.”

  3. JJ

    Sienna was hard to deny, but Nichols didn’t make me sweat enough. Not like some of her photo shoot pics…

  4. Ill give it to joe for one reason and one reason only. IT set up the sequel freaking perfectly,

    while transformers will need ANOTHER hour long intro to a character thats probably stupid as hell lol

    i did like that movie though.

  5. Great article, Kofi. Gi Joe seemed to turn its bad buzz around to decent buzz. I may see it this weekend, or wait for the Blu-ray rental.


  6. G.I.Joe was one of those movies you wanted to avoid, but is just fun to watch. You should have compared the villians between the two, cobra commander really didnt get anything from the updated look they gave him… reminds me of a batman/superman villian.

  7. I agree that Joe wins, but like you said, TF2 had the best effects of any movie this year; TF2 also had the best action scene with Optimus in the forest. Joe wins for me because I felt it had a better story and better acting; that tells you just how bad the story and acting was for TF2.

  8. I would pick Transformers over Gi Joe b/c I’m more interested in giant robots than soldiers, but one thing is for sure Transformers NEEDS to get a better story(Thank the lord original writers aren’t coming back), and needs to get rid of the juvenile “humor”.

  9. you guys must really love attacking each other.

  10. Transformers had amazing SFX so I’m assuming the at TF2 had just as good if not better. At some points in GI Joe the effects were just lousy. Some times I was watching GI Joe and I actually cringed at the bad SFX. I also cringed at the bad acting in Joe. Transformers has talent Shia Labuff is actually a very good actor and while Megan Fox isn’t great she is bearable and certainly more attractive than all the Joe girls. I thought GI Joe was absolutely horrible the SFX and bad acting alone kept me from ever once getting in to the movie. The SFX were not bad all the time, but at certain points it was almost like “Oh they started running out of money or something?”

  11. @Daniel F

    I’m seeing GI Joe tonight so i’ll save my comments on the two until tomorrow.

  12. GI Joe wins hands down. It has sumthin to do with going in with low expectations and it also was an authentic summer popcorn movie. TF2 was just absolutely horrible, there was no point to anything in that movie. And some of the other summer films actually tried to have artistic integrity but couldnt hack it. GI Joe was as simple and fun as a summer movie should be. Sometimes the acting and CGI was bad, but it had a good pace and was entertaining

  13. I still don’t get what’s up with all the hate on Transformers 2. Michael Bay delivered a popcorn movie that met or exceeded my expectations with it, I was already a big fan of the first movie, man it was a lot of fun, and I thought that this one either had parts of it that were better than it or that it was at least on the same level as the first movie. Sure that included more juvenile humor that it could have done without, but I thought the awesomeness of the robot battles and the epicness of the story made it easy to overlook all those details. I mean people complained in the first movie that it was too much about the humans and not the big robots. Bay gives us more big robots and less on the humans and what do you know, people still found something to complain about. Who knows, maybe when he makes the third movie he’ll have perfected delivering a popcorn summer movie that everybody agrees with. To me, even with the not needed cheesy humor and not well thought out stories, purely for the action and thrills, both Transformers movies rate a A-.

    GI Joe on the other hand is just a fun, fast paced B movie. How anybody could think of it as anything else is beyond me. For me it’s like the Fantastic Four movies. Their could be a better version of the story that has potential for the big screen, but what they already gave us with the first movie is good enough. It’s brainless fun with decent enough action and thrills to make me overlook the bad dialogue or story. Again like I said, just a fun, fast paced B movie, their’s no way it’s something more than that or better than both Transformers movies.

  14. i saw both in the cinema and yeah joe wins hand’s down no contest revenge of the fallen really did suck in every way

  15. /agree with dudeman totally

  16. In my opinion what hurt G.I.Joe was the trailers and previews that came out months before it opened. Yes the script wasn’t great. But the movie was a lot better than what I expected and I was one of the people who had already buried it. I’m glad some positive reviews came out right before it opened because it was worth seeing.

  17. Of all the times I thought I would cringe during GI JOE, I only did during some of the BAD CGI scenes. For those who saw the movie, I’m sure they know what I’m talking about, but regardless I found it to be much more enjoyable and entertaining as a whole. And I totally agree with the fact that expectations were very low for this movie so it actually helped when people saw it and told there friends that hey this movie was pretty good.

  18. I agree on pretty much every point… but I have to say… if you are going to watch a crappy movie… watch the crappiest movie… Transformers:ROFL … you’ll leave GI Joe feeling like it was a lame movie, but when you leave transformers you’re mind will be warped by how bad it is… and don’t we all just want a little mind warp?

  19. I haven’t any interest in the G.I.joe thing, but I will say that I saw transformers ROTF and it was and oxymoron…sorta like Jumbo shrimp. At times one of the most beautiful looking pieces of crap I’ve ever seen…

  20. Cookie Garris I say the terrible trailers helped it. They lowered the expectations so much that when it actually came out people could say “That was better than I thought it would be.” I think if the trailers actually made it look decent no one would of been happy with what they saw. Sometimes having very low expectations is a good thing because then even a crappy film looks decent when you expected it to be the worst movie ever.

  21. What sold us on GI Joe was Vic’s review. The trailers did not represent the movie well at all. Thus the point we decided to pass until Vic “talked” us into it. Joe wins hand down. We left the theatre after T2 dissapointed, not with the effects, but the film overall. With Joe we were suprised and felt we had just had a great Summer movie experience. My youngest Son said it best. “Gi Joe was what Transformers 2 wanted to be, but fell short”. Stra Trek set the bar, and with all that has come out this year, Joe is in the Top 3. “Knowing is half the battle”!

  22. They both suck. What’s the point of this article?

  23. Hey Kofi,

    Maybe you should let JM apporve of the articles before posting them from now on(please note sarcasm).

  24. @Matt.

    Your comment is not approved. :D

  25. @JM

    The point was to get you to comment.

    Mission accomplished. :-P


  26. Journalism to get people to comment? Is that why you guys write?

  27. @Vic

    I must admit that was a good one. :D

  28. @Critic – I write to annoy you. Seems to be working so to quote Bush “Job Accomplished” :)

  29. Who is Paul young and who’s annoyed? lol work on your reading before you get to writing.