I’m writing this review only a few hours after watching “The Story Of G.I. Joe” and I cannot remember who any of the characters were outside of the two leading roles, mostly due to the actors who played those roles, Burgess Meredith and Robert Mitchum.
As I scroll through the IMDB page for this film, I read about characters like Steve Warnicki or Private Dondaro, and all I can think of is “Who?” None of these characters made a single impression on me, in fact very few of them had any character traits whatsoever. In a tale about an infantry unit in World War II and the correspondent who chronicles their tales, they spoke more as a group of men that gave more sass than weaponry.
Which is really a shame, since “The Story Of G.I. Joe” clearly wants you care about these characters and whether they live or die. But anytime a death occurs within the group, I racked my brain to figure out the name, face and one defining characteristic of that character, and normally came up with nothing. I never felt like I got to know any of these men, only that they were soldiers that wanted to return home, which is every character in a war movie.
Both Meredith and Mitchum have some great scenes though, and Meredith’s narration throughout the film does add some spice to this otherwise bland war experience. He goes into flowery detail of what these men represent and their importance in a war, while Meredith speaks with a fiery passion about their sacrifice.
Overall, while “The Story Of G.I. Joe” had some good elements involving its two leading roles, there wasn’t enough reason to connect to this infantry unit for me to care about their struggles. Now, if they had been attacked by Cobra Commander instead of the Nazis, that would have been something.
Final Grade: C