Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Recap: "G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra" Part 1: Collect Them All!

Today is July 4th. This is the day we as a nation come together to honor the ideals our country stands for.

 “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights; that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.”

And since July 4th is usually celebrated by watching stuff blow up, it only seems right to talk about a movie where a lot stuff blows up in the name of America.

It was either this or Team America: World Police. I picked the one that isn't self-aware parody.
This modern adaptation of a classic American '80s franchise based on the original "action figures" developed in 1963 begins... in France. In 1641. Okay, movie, I'll freely admit that I didn't see that one coming. Bold choice.

Today, the French are processing a prisoner named James McCullen, played by David Murray. Apparently, Ol’ McCullen here is under arrest for being too clever for his own good. He's an arms dealer, and he just got caught selling his goods to both sides of the same conflict. But McCullen has his reasons for selling weapons to the other side, too.

The "other side" is simply referred to by the warden as "the enemies of our Lord, King Louis XIII," making me wonder exactly what conflict McCullen was providing weapons for. The logical guess would be the Franco-Spanish War…

I can only assume this is an accurate representation.
…But I choose to believe that James McCullen was supplying guns to the Iroquois during the Beaver Wars, because that's one of the few things I remember from my 4th grade Michigan History class.

Either way, McCullen has some choice words for his captors.

McCullen: "Your king is a vile bag of filth who murders his own allies."

Ah. Taking a few swipes at 17th Century France. Probably because taking swipes at modern day France would be the job of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen that same year.

McCullen: "I should have charged him double!"

Or... you could have simply not sold weapons to the French, if you disliked them so much. But you got greedy and tried to be all clever. Look where that got you.

Where that got James McCullen is a French torture room, strapped down as the warden (let's call him Javert) accuses him of conspiring to overthrow the French Crown. I don't know if this is part of his weapons-dealing-related charges, or if they're exaggerating his crime, or if McCullen was involved in several anti-France schemes. And honestly, it doesn't really matter, since this is just a prologue to the real story. Remember, this is G.I. Joe, not The Man in the Iron Mask. Or M.A.S.K.

So McCullen gets to foreshadow later events.

McCullen: "Unlike your simpleton king, his enemies know that it is the true McCullen destiny not to simply supply arms, but to run the wars!"
Javert: "Do you have anything else to say before the sentence is carried out?"
McCullen: "Yes, I do. Clan McCullen is far greater and more powerful than any of you could ever imagine. My sons will continue to rise long after I am gone, as will their sons, and, God willing, their sons."

Got some disappointing news for you, buddy. This movie ain't called "The Rise of Clan McCullen."

McCullen: "It shall not end with my death!"

Well, good, because this would be a very short movie, were that the case.

Javert: "We are not going to kill you, McCullen. We are going to make an example of you!"

And so, they reveal his punishment. For the rest of his days, he's going to be forced to wear… an iron mask. Huh.

The French really seem to like that particular punishment, I guess.
Also, frying McCullen's face off is probably going to kill him.

Sure, it's just red-hot iron as opposed to molten gold, but I'm fairly certain that this is just as much of a death sentence.
I mean, I fried pork chops the other day using metal that isn't nearly as hot as the glowing mask they just attached to his head.

But even if we ignore the sautéed cerveaux they might be cooking inside that skull, 17th Century France doesn't really have the medical know-how to fix the horrifying infections he's going to get from all those blisters ripping through his facial flesh. And even if they can treat him, I don't think they're going to want to give this traitor the best medical care. And even if they did have the medical knowledge and were willing to administer it, they still have the problem of there being a metal mask in the way. After all, the whole point of that mask is that it's never coming off. Not even for Neosporin.

But it's okay, because the film then fast forwards to a point in time where his eventual death is a foregone conclusion, with text informing us that this story takes place in "the not too distant future." 

Obligatory Joke: Next Sunday, AD.

Although I bet it won't be at all distracting how much "the future" looks like 2009.

In this not-too-distant future, James McCullen's direct descendant gives a speech to the assembled representatives of NATO. The present day not-too-distant future McCullen is played by...

Oh, Christopher Eccleston. You poor soul.
Just... let me ask you something, Eccleston.

What did you honestly think this experience would be like when you took this role?

I mean, I get it. I know you don't like the pressure, complications, and schedules of TV in general, and some bad experiences with directors and BBC executives on Doctor Who left you with a bad taste in your mouth. And I understand that biting the bullet and playing a villain in some toy movie would make you a quick buck.

I get it. I totally do.

I mean, Eccleston has my sympathy, because it seems like every time he tries to take a major role, karma starts peeing on him. He played the titular role on Doctor Who during a troubled time in the show's history, he's a villain in this not-very-good movie, and then he was villain in a not-very-good movie made during a troubled time in the MCU's history.

I've read a few articles that suggest that Christopher Eccleston is a little difficult to work with... and yet when you look at the ways that the film and TV industries have bitten him on his rear, I'm not actually too surprised. Or maybe Christopher Eccleston is simply a jerk. I don't know, I've never met the man and I'm merely going by what I've read. All I know is that the film and TV industries have keep crapping on him.

Anyway, James McCullen XXIV, played by Doctor Who IX, is giving a speech.

McCullen: "For nearly four centuries, my ancestor have been the greatest creators of weaponry in the world."

Really. Now, define "creators," since there are a great number of military advances that have nothing to do with Clan McCullen. The atom bomb, the AK-47, the peacemaker, and many more. Are you actually talking about developing weapons or simply manufacturing them?

McCullen: "But perhaps in this century, I'll outdo them all."

Okay, I guess that will make my point moot. How?

McCullen: "Nanomites!"

Ah, I see.

He's going to make an unstoppable army of Empty People.
McCullen: "Perfect little soldiers originally developed to isolate and kill cancer cells. But at MARS industries, and with the help of a little NATO funding, we discovered how to program them to do almost anything."

Wait, did you just gloss over the cure for cancer? And weaponize it? Could your villainy be any more transparent? Weaponizing the cure for cancer is almost as evil as weaponizing cancer itself. Actually, no, on second thought, it's more evil.

McCullen demonstrates the capabilities of the little guys, most notably, the fact that they cat "eat" metal, turning an M1-Abrams into some green mist. And that wasn't even all that a single one of these warheads could do.

So, there's a sci-fi scenario called "grey goo," which refers to the idea that self-replicating nanomites without any sort of shut-down command could simply swarm over the world and turn all available resources into more of themselves until all your left with is, you guessed it, grey goo. And that's what McCullen's bragging about. Controlled "grey goo" that will never stop until you activate the kill switch, unmaking everything from a tank to a whole city. Everything becomes naught but grey goo.

Well, green goo, anyway.
He never says that they're self-replicating, but it's definitely implied when he says that they could take out a whole city. If the number of nanomites remains constant, then the destruction speed would get slower as the destruction radius gets wider, which is not what his simulation seems to show.

McCullen: "Once unleashed, the nanomite will not stop. Ever. Once the target has been destroyed, the launcher triggers a kill switch unique to each warhead that short-circuits the nanomites, preventing any unwanted destruction."

Speaking of "warheads," let's talk nukes.

Ironically, nuclear weapons are most useful when they're never used. If I may grossly oversimplify decades of foreign policy, nobody wants nukes dropped on them, so nobody drops nukes on others, lest they risk swift retaliation. Especially if the initial nuke gets shot down by anti-nuclear missile defenses. And what James McCullen XXIV has just announced to the world is a weapon more dangerous than a nuke, easier to use, and harder to stop. You can shoot down a nuclear missile, you can't shoot down grey goo.

Though nobody in this film's universe will ever think of this tactic, this is now a world where a nanomite suicide vest could conceivably level an entire city. Heck, why not a small country? Or even a large one. I'm pretty sure that the U.N. would have some genuine concerns over this. No wonder the Dennis Quaid in the audience looks uneasy.

McCullen: "Gentlemen, I'm pleased to announce that tomorrow morning, your first order of nanotech warheads ships from my factory in Kyrgyzstan."

So... this guy's Scottish company creates nanomites capable of leveling a city... and he produces the darn things in Asia... and sells them to NATO? I get that you probably don't want to make your weapons close to where you live, but there's kind of a warzone between the most powerful weapons in the world and the people who want them. If he weren't an obvious villain scheming to steal his own weapons for nefarious purposes, I would have words to say about that logistical failure.

It's like... you have to ask, "Are you asking for somebody to intercept the convoy and try to steal the warheads?" Except the answer is actually "Yes."

Anyway, the nanomite lava lamps are soon loaded up into a briefcase. And this is when we get to see the True American Hero (TM) in charge of guarding it, Conrad "Duke" Hauser, played by a pre-fame Channing Tatum.

No doubt confusing many theatregoers who simply thought Johnny Storm's face was just a bit swollen by a bee sting.
Duke gives a little speech to the assembled troops regarding all the military hardware they have protecting the package before signing for it. To assist him in his mission to deliver the package, Duke has been assigned standard-issue African American comic relief in the form of his best buddy Ripcord (Marlon Wayans).

Ripcord: "Not gonna explode, is it?"
Technician: "They're not weaponized yet, and the kill switches are inside. All the same, I'd avoid potholes if I were you."

Okay, I get that the warheads aren't weaponized yet... but I still think it's a bad idea to keep the only off-button to the destroy-everything-warheads in the same case as the destroy-everything-warheads.

And so, they move out. It's hard to look at this military convoy and not imagine that Tony Stark is in one of them, about to get attacked. Which is probably why Duke and Ripcord start having themselves a little chat.

Ripcord: "I've been thinking about where we should transfer to."
Duke: "Don't say the Air Force."
Ripcord: "The Air Force!"

What's wrong with the Air Force? My dad was in the Air Force.

As an aside, you know what really bugs me? The Air Force doesn't actually have a specific one-word term for its branch of service. Army, Navy, Air Force. One of these things is not like the other. I say we should start using the term "Aily," which would be derived from the Old French word for "wing," similar to how the words "Army" and "Navy" came about.

You might be thinking that my ramblings here have nothing to do with the movie I'm recapping. Well, you'd be right. I'm not invested in these two characters or their interpersonal issues. Ripcord wants to join the Air Force, but Duke doesn't want to. Ripcord wants to fly planes, but Duke doesn't want to. This is only a conflict because these two bros want to keep working with each other.

You know, if I wanted to see Channing Tatum spend the beginning of a film making chit-chat in a car, I'd watch Magic Mike. And once was enough.

Ripcord: "Gimme one good reason why not."
Duke: "'Cause I want to be on the ground, in the fight, not flying over it."

...Way to diss the Air Force, I guess?

We then cut to later in the journey, where the film decides to continue its apparent dislike against military pilots by having some kind of sci-fi craft come out of nowhere to blast the Apache helicopters out of the air with some kind of concussive blast.

Pilot: "Pioneer One, you've been hit."

Yeah, I think he figured that out, thanks.
The other Apache quickly goes down as well, so the troops below scramble as the sci-fi craft starts picking off soldiers and vehicles like nobody's business. Duke's vehicle ends up flipped shortly before the sci-fi craft lands, dropping off some armored troops and a woman that G.I. Joe fans will no doubt recognize as the Baroness (Siena Miller).

The Baroness has decided to wear a low neckline into a combat zone. I guess in films, breasts can also function as armor plating.
That would explain why Angelina Jolie’s often an action hero, huh?
The fight doesn't go well for our boys, since the enemy shock troops are completely bullet-resistant. And they fire concussive pulse beams of light that are a huge step up from the dinky pew-pew lasers they fired in the cartoon.

Speaking of the cartoon, the original G.I. Joe TV show had a famously (infamously?) low body count, despite all the people trying to kill each other. You're actually more likely to see somebody die in an episode of Goosebumps, despite the two shows actually sharing the same TV-Y7 rating. If I wanted to give this movie the benefit of the doubt, I'd hazard a guess that might explain why this fight scene began with a helicopter getting decimated in slow motion. No ejecting to safety, no parachutes. People are going to get hurt, people are going to die, and the movie is making sure we understand that.

In fact, Ripcord is injured already. Duke gets him out of the fight, allowing the Baroness to grab the warheads. As she does, she can't help but notice that Duke looks a little familiar.... The fight continues as Duke gets a gun to his head, only for the Baroness to make the troop lower his rifle.

Baroness: "Hello, Duke."
Duke: "Ana?"

She responds with a kick to the face. I paused this bit to check whether or not the Baroness is wearing heels into combat, because with that war zone cleavage, I wouldn't be surprised. Thanks goodness, she isn't, although pausing it does make it obvious that she whiffed her kick by a mile.

Baroness: "Now you have to admit, you had that coming."

I guess she wasn't a fan of Step Up 2: The Streets.

But that's when another aircraft enters the fray, dropping its ninja payload (Ray Park). This is soon followed up by the arrival of what appears to be the time-displaced daughter of Black Widow and Hawkeye (Rachel Nichols), who takes out some baddies with her crossbow. She even gets to save her own skin, thanks to the auto-lock feature on one of the crossbow bolts, which makes it zoom back to hit her assailant in the eye. I don't know why she's even bothering with aiming her crossbow when she fires auto-targeting micro missiles, but whatever.

This is how I expect redheads to fire Micro Missiles.
Duke chases the Baroness across the grassy battlefield and gets close enough to tackle her, making her drop the warheads. She tries to retrieve them, but shortly a man with a Gatling gun (Adawale Akinnuoye-Agbaje) pops out of the good-guy aircraft to open fire at her.

Guy: "Don't make me shoot a woman."

...Why? I mean, I don't violence against women (or anybody in general, really), but if you find yourself in a situation where your options are...
  1. Shoot someone who wants to steal a weapon that can destroy the world. Or...
  2. Don't shoot someone who wants to steal a weapon that can destroy the world
...then I don't think their gender should be the thing that influences your decision more than the "destroy the world" part.

Or maybe her breasts do function as armor plating, and this guy doesn't want to risk 50mm shrapnel flying back and hitting him in the face, in which case her gender would be something to consider.

But the Baroness ends up making an aerial getaway, sans warheads, leaving Duke to wonder just what the heck is going on, especially when he finds himself surrounded by a ragtag team of international heroes.

Black Widow Prototype, Moroccan Punisher, Big Guy Carrying Impractical Gun.
They want the case with the warheads, but Duke isn't just about to hand it over to anyone. Ripcord enters the movie again to demand what unit these guys belong to, but BWP says that info's classified. So Moroccan Punisher (Saïd Taghmaoui) sets something up that might convince Duke.

"I'll give you a hologram of Dennis Quaid if you let us have the warheads!"
The Holo-Quaid demands Duke's name and rank, but Duke seems to be a Lawful Stupid character. He ain't telling no one nothing since he was never told about any backup for this mission.
This is when Ripcord gets a katana-to-the-throat by... um...

Gimp Suit Ninja?
Holo-Quaid: "Easy, Ripcord."
"How do you know me?"
Holo-Quaid: "Expert marksman, second in your battalion. Weapons specialist, jet qualified."

What, are you reading that off the card that came with his action figure?

Holo-Quaid: "My name is General Clayton Abernathy. Perhaps you've heard of me, Duke."
Duke: "General Hawk. Afghanistan, NATO forward command."
Holo-Quaid: "Yeah, that was my last job. I'm in a whole new outfit now."

Moroccan Punisher deactivates the tracking beacon on Duke's case, and Holo-Quaid tells Duke to hand it over so they can put the warheads someplace safe.

Duke: "No way. I signed for them. It's my mission, my package. I carry them, I deliver them."

This is a weird remake of Cast Away.

Holo-Quaid offers some transportation to Duke, allowing him to accompany the package to General Hawk's location.

Duke: "And where exactly are you, sir?"
Holo-Quaid: "Come see for yourself."

And we immediately get to see for ourselves that Holo-Quaid's HQ is relatively close to the Giza pyramids, which seems like a terrible idea. I mean, even apart from the huge robot battle that took place that same year, you'd think the people of Giza are going to wonder why all the high-tech aircraft are flying by on a regular basis. And since the pyramids at Giza are probably a fairly popular location to look at on Google Earth, that certainly won't help anything.

Ripcord gets medical attention inside the team's aircraft, with Black Widow Prototype Scarlett making fun of his reaction to a painkiller injection.

Scarlett: "I thought all you Special Ops guys were tough."
Ripcord: "We are tough. But we're also sensitive."

The painkillers work shockingly fast, getting Ripcord high enough to quote the old G.I. Joe selling points.

Ripcord: "Hey, bro, you got some real lifelike hair over there."

Big Guy Carrying Impractical Gun Heavy Duty responds by grabbing Ripcord's hand away from his head.

Ripcord: "And a kung fu grip!"

Fun Fact: G.I. Joe's famous "kung fu grip" simply referred to the soft rubber the hands were molded out of, allowing the toys to hold their weapons better... until the soft rubber cracked and broke off.

Duke notices that there's a lot of weird accents flying around, meaning that this team isn't entirely made up of Real American Heroes, including Moroccan Punisher Breaker.

Duke: "What are you, French North African?"
Breaker: "Morocco. Where were you born?"
Ripcord: "Duke wasn't born. He was government-issued."

Yes, we get it, G.I. Joe slogans. You think you're being cute, writers.

Duke asks what the deal with Gimp Suit Ninja Snake Eyes (Ray Park) is, only to be told that Snake Eyes doesn't talk, despite the mouth sculpted on his mask

I'd ask why he has a mouth, but from what I've seen online, the classic version of the toy actually had a molded mouth.
Still looks silly, though.
Ripcord: "Why?"
"He doesn't say."

Apparently, these guys (Team Alpha) aren't allowed to drop the name of their larger unit, but whatever it is, Duke wants to join up.

The aircraft lands in a hangar that opens up from below an innocuous sand dune. And I get the feeling that the aircraft's landing is supposed to be more awe-inspiring and majestic than the descent of Santa's sleigh to the North Pole in The Santa Clause, but I'm afraid Tim Allen has this scene soundly beaten in that regard.

The troops disembark, and Duke is welcomed to "The Pit." And if General Hawk had had his way sooner, Duke would already have made his way here long ago. Apparently, Duke turned them down a few years back.

Ripcord: "About four years ago, my boy had issues. I mean, his issues had issues."

They descend to the depths in the elevator...

...briefly passing the soundstage for the filming of Battleship....
...and Duke admits that he's never seen any operation on this scale before.

General Hawk: "Technically, G.I. Joe does not exist. But if it did, it'd be comprised of the top men and women from the best military units in the world. The alpha dogs. When all else fails, we don't."

So they took G.I. Joe... and they turned it into UNIT from Doctor Who. And not even the cool Barry Letts Era UNIT, or the Steven Moffat Era UNIT. It's the bland Russell T. Davies Era UNIT.

General Hawk brags that 23 nations have joined up so far as the film shows a Joe training with an invisibility suit, setting the technology up for later.

Scarlett: "It photographs everything behind you and puts it in front of you."

Which is something scientists have been working on, although I'd imagine the writers saw the car from Die Another Day and tried to one-up it.

The Joes emerge in the control room, where McCullen is patched in using "TelePresence." Googling the term revealed it to be a Cisco brand set up involving, like, multiple giant monitors and lighting... stuff. I didn't really understand some of it, but the gist of it seems to be aimed at making it less obvious that you're just talking to somebody on a screen.

And since they use blatantly-obvious Cisco devices...

Very blatantly-obvious.
...to beam in a hologram of James McCullen, then I can only presume that Cisco paid this movie to advertise TelePresence by showing it doing things it can't actually do.

Before McCullen shows up, though, General Hawk tells his team to dig up information on their mysterious attackers.

General Hawk: "Knowing is half the battle."

Yes, we get it. G.I. Joe slogans. What are we supposed to do? Groan? Cheer? Giggle? What reaction are these references supposed to elicit?

Is this what you want the audience to do for an hour and a half?
Anyway, McCullen's hologram beams in, awaiting the nature of the technical emergency.

McCullen: "General, clearly, you were the security option I should have chosen."

Duke is a bit upset by this comment, since his team only failed because they suddenly found themselves in Independence Day when they were expecting Stop-Loss.

Duke: "That mission was classified, so clearly someone sold us out."
McCullen: "I spent 10 years and 13 billion euros creating these four warheads. Your job, Captain, was to protect them. And if it wasn't for General Hawk, you'd have failed."

General Hawk commends Duke's performance nonetheless, but McCullen gets down to business. There's a tracking beacon in the case. They'll need to disable it to make sure that the bad guys can't follow the signal and nab the warheads.

Breaker says that he already did just that, but McCullen still needs to look the warheads over to see if they've been damaged. Breaker's scan confirms that they're fine, but McCullen demands that he open the case. He'd do it himself, but his hologram has no physical form, so he recites the code to open it.

Once open, McCullen's hologram passes his hands over the devices, summoning pop-up schematics. With everything looking good, he asks to be informed of any progress in tracking down the attackers and holograms away. Breaker tells the others that his voice analyzer detected that McCullen is hiding something, and we cut to see exactly what it is.

McCullen, as I spoiled earlier, is the bad guy. He's currently in some kind of big evil underwater vehicle, yelling at his subordinates for not successfully stealing the warheads. The Baroness snaps back that SHE wanted to attack the MARS factory in the first place, even though that would have lost NATO's trust in MARS security.

McCullen: "It had to be NATO's fault!"

Man, she's about a hair-styling appointment away from turning into Bayonetta.
McCullen: "Did you hesitate when you saw him?"
"This had nothing to do with him."
McCullen: "Forgive my jealousy."

He walks through the Baroness's hologram before explaining that the code he gave when he checked over the warheads actually reactivated the homing beacon that the Joes deactivated. So now they can storm the Joes' base.

Speaking of storming, when the Baroness's hologram disappears, a ninja named Storm Shadow (Lee Byung-hun) says that if he had been sent in during the raid, they'd already have the warheads.

I didn’t know they made fidget spinners shaped like shuriken.
So McCullen sends in Storm Shadow to raid the Pit, making Storm Shadow very happy... before he disappears.

Sweet Unicron, are any of you actually there?
I'm half expecting everyone else to disappear, leaving behind an empty vehicle.
The only other baddie actually there is Zartan (Arnold Vosloo), reading a bunch of books about American government, for some reason.

Zartan: "American politics, governors, senators, congressmen. No wonder nothing ever gets done."

Well, the American governmental system is founded on checks and balances, which helps prevent abuse of power at the expense of efficiency.

McCullen: "That's what we're going to fix, Mr. Zartan."

Zartan whistles a "For He's a Jolly Good Fellow," setting up a character trait that will no doubt become important later. As he whistles, he and McCullen are shown to be inside a submarine, heading to the MARS Arctic Missile Command Headquarters Playset.

Once docked, Christopher Eccleston has his meeting with "the Doctor." Which is sadly the closest Eccleston will ever come to being part of a Doctor Who crossover event.

The Doctor has a demonstration planned involving a Cobra, which may or may not rise at some point. He goes on and on about the magnificence of the King Cobra before showing off 19 of the 20 "Neo-Viper" soldiers he's whipped up.

McCullen: "Is it working?"
Doctor: "We injected 1000 cc of the nanomite solution into each subject. When they finally stopped screaming, brain scans showed a complete inactivity of the self-preservation region of the cortex."
McCullen: "English, Doctor?"

Yeah, Doctor, spell it out for the morons the writers think we are.

Doctor: "They feel no fear."

He demonstrates this by making one reach his hand into the cobra cage to get bitten.

Doctor: "They feel no pain."

This allows him to show off the other thing the nanomites do. Heal. The nanomites grab all the poison particles and push it back out the bite wound.

Doctor: "Concepts of morality are disengaged. They feel no regrets, no remorse."

Not only that, but these guys'll obey any order without question.

Doctor: "So, you tell me, is it working?"

Is that supposed to sound like the Doctor's asking McCullen if this technology is giving him an erection? Because that's exactly what it sounds like.

"Know what I mean? Know what I mean? Nudge nudge, say no more!"
McCullen orders a squadron to assist the Baroness and Storm Shadow infiltrate the Joes' base.

Doctor: "Consider it done. The Joes will never know what hit them."

And that's the line that should make it clear what kind of movie this is. A shame, then, that this movie tries to take itself so seriously.

The Doctor informs McCullen that the 20th Neo-Viper is in D.C., awaiting the go signal.

McCullen: "You've done well. You've thrown the caber clear out of the yard."

Because that's a thing Scottish people say, right? We can just reword baseball metaphors to be a about caber tossing, right?

Doctor: "Construction of the Presidential bunker has also been completed. Now, if we sold one warhead on the black market, I could continue my research."
McCullen: "I appreciate your thirst for knowledge, Doctor, but this world is messy enough. No. What it needs is unification. Leadership. It has to be taken out of chaos by someone with complete control."

Yeah, yeah, hail HYDRA.

McCullen claims that when his nanomite-tipped missiles demolish cities across the world, the world will turn to the most powerful man on the planet... which... well, we'll see.

Coming up in Part 2! The schmoes join the Joes and landmarks blow. Up.

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