This movie was supposed to suck.
Wooden performances, a complete lack of characterization, unintelligible action sequences, nonsensical plot elements, it was supposed to be the "Mansquito" of our day.
Well, I've got to say, it absolutely doesn't suck. It was quite enjoyable.
The special effects and action sequences were, as might be assumed, impeccable. Planes, missiles, armor, subs, huge honkin' underwater cities... wow. Rendered beautifully.
There were a lot of nods to the old cartoon show. I won't put in lots of spoilers, but there were references to the old 12" action figures, G.I. Joe: The Movie opening credits, and of course the staples of the show itself like Zartan. Listen to the names; you'll hear lots that's familiar. And the vehicles. And the balloons. I can't help but think the balloons were deliberate.
There was also the pacing and setting. I don't think there were six consecutive minutes where someone wasn't being shot, blown up, pushed through a window, chased, or something. It felt like the cartoon; action-action-action. I liked that. I especially liked the nod to the MASS Device and Weather Dominator multi-part stories. Each featured distinct environments, and the movie doesn't disapp0int. There's mountains, glaciers, underwater, etc. Just like I would have expected to see in a big cartoon episode. Well done.
All in all, a well done film. I'd rate it better than Star Trek, which I also liked. Don't expect Olivier, but it's not the crap-fest that some seem to be portraying it as. It's all action, and has suitable nods to the original. I just hope in the sequel they change Cobra Commander's helmet (which was sucktactular), and give the Cobra troops a blue uniform. Then I would be in hog heaven.
EDIT: For Lance, who asked the question in the comments, I give you: