From comments yesterday:
I just thought I’d bring forth this little piece of horror:
“G.I. Joe is now a Brussels-based outfit that stands for Global Integrated Joint Operating Entity, an international co-ed force of operatives who use hi-tech equipment to battle Cobra, an evil organization headed by a double-crossing Scottish arms dealer. The property is closer in tone to X-Men and James Bond than a war film.”
Yeah, I’ve already seen some right-wing blogs complain about this, although it’s probably a bit exaggerated – my guess would be that the movie will feature an international-ish task force but not be headquartered in Brussels. (I mean, come on – it’s Brussels.)
But. Two things.
Firstly, prior to the Real American Hero rebranding in the early 1980s, G.I. Joe was marketed all over the world (most notably as Action Man in England), so the concept doesn’t necessarily have a purely American origin. (Granted, the Real American Hero version is what inspired the movie, but even so.)
Secondly, what the hell did people expect? The American military isn’t as popular as it was during the 1980s (when G.I. Joe as we know it was wildly popular among kids of many nations) and the international film market has been bigger than the American film market for quite a while now. G.I. Joe in straight-up Real American Hero mode might as well be titled “three-quarters of potential worldwide profit gone before the first trailer even airs” and save the accountants some time.
Welcome to the global marketplace. If Americans want to have an economy where all they export is cultural product (and I think that’s kind of a bad idea, really, but hey: it’s your economy), then part of that strategy involves producing cultural product the rest of the world will want to buy. And if that means toning down the jingoism, guess what – Hollywood is a business, and they like making money, and if not putting a flag on everything in sight makes them money, then maybe – just maybe – they will do that.