Reviews

G.I Joe: The Rise Of Cobra

3

This year's other '80s toy movie bucks the bad buzz.

The original G.I. Joe was a boys’ toy, so why shouldn’t the movie follow suit?

What’s funny about The Rise Of Cobra is how closely it resembles an actual 12-year-old: never standing still, constantly getting into fights, infatuated with gadgets, loud bangs and fantasy girls who know kung fu and dress like hookers.

Stephen Sommers marshals the mayhem with the same hectic enthusiasm as his previous live-action cartoons (The Mummy 1 and 2, Van Helsing).

Laughably, this one’s pitched closer to reality – a notion shot down the second a katana-flashing ninja bungee-jumps out of a moving plane onto the field of battle.

Still, for a modern explode-a-thon the plot’s passably coherent: G.I. Joe is a unit (not a bloke) composed of extra-special operatives whose mission impossible is to take out megalomaniac arms dealer Destro (Christopher Eccleston, slicing the ham thick).

Alas, Sommers and subtlety remain strangers. Whenever he takes a breather from the woodpecker pace, you wish he hadn’t; toes will curl when goodies Scarlett (Rachel Nichols) and Ripcord (Marlon Wayans) share a would-be tender moment.

Riffing on reams of comic-book/TV ‘toon backstory, efforts are made to flesh out the characters – old grudges, family connections, romantic tangles… But without a zingy script or mounting sense of jeopardy, they remain plastic figures.

Yet when all else fails, the second unit doesn’t. Ironically, the set-piece most reminiscent of Team America – the Paris orgy of destruction – is also the best, breaking out Sommers’ coolest plaything: accelerator suits that turn wearers into a combination of Road Runner, Spider-Man and Jason Statham.

A sneak attack on the Joes’ HQ is also a rush (mega-drills, jet-packs, catfight). Together with a genuinely strange performance from mad doc Joseph Gordon-Levitt – creeping round the set like an old Universal monster – the first-half action banks enough goodwill to let Sommers off the hook for turning his climactic Thunderball tribute into an Xbox demo.

Verdict:

Sommers bucks the bad buzz with a throwaway blast of solid, stupid fun. You laugh at it rather than with it, but a sequel would be worth it just for more of Gordon-Levitt’s one-eyed dramatics.

Film Details

User Reviews

    • bont91

      Aug 4th 2009, 16:56

      this was four star before.....

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    • mrsmiawallace

      Aug 7th 2009, 8:01

      I'll say it right now... if they do bring back the joker for the Batman franchise, it better f*****g be Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

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    • sdx800

      Aug 7th 2009, 17:40

      5

      This has to one of the best summer films ever made. awesome action, loads cool characters, brilliant story, the perfect summer film. amazing effects, the cast was brilliant, snake eyes was cool, and ecllston was an awesome baddie, its left wide open for a sequal and you know their going to do it cos you dont leave a film like this. worth 10 stars, brilliant.

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    • srwtopbloke

      Aug 8th 2009, 14:20

      5

      I agree with SDX800. Having read all the negative reviews, I went with my family expecting the worst. Yes, the film was stupid without question, but for a summer block buster, isn't that expected. If you want big explosions, fast action and rubbish dialogue and a well over the top story line, then this is for you - Even my wife enjoyed it - excellent

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    • chaosdefined

      Aug 13th 2009, 13:51

      2

      Terrible film. CG was shonky for most parts, the acting was plastic as the figures, the script was cringeworthy and for the most part it was just stupid. Ice doesn't sink when it's blown up, you can't calculate someone's global position using a picture of their shadow and Celtic is not the nation language of Scotland.

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    • vanillasky

      Aug 29th 2009, 13:34

      2

      Wasn't a great film. I agree with the above comment, the acting was terrible especially Channing Tatum who I have just seen in Fighting and is just as bad in that. The best scenes were the power suits they were wearing and whenever Sienna Miller was on screen.

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    • johnmoorefan

      Aug 30th 2009, 17:49

      4

      Well shot action and fun performances help make up for a luckluster story. Stephen Sommers really is a better popcorn filmmaker than he's given credit for and Sienna Miller looks good in leather ;)

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    • thedarkknight

      Sep 2nd 2009, 13:30

      1

      Would have given it a 2 star but hopefully this will even out the average after the couple of 5 star morons.

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    • hendrixisgod777

      Sep 7th 2009, 15:14

      1

      Well said, darkknight. I'm also going to give this a 1 star review for the reason you've given. The real crime about this film is that it actually could of been pretty good if they actually looked at the original source material. I always found the comicbook's depiction of the relationship between Snake Eyes, Stormshadow and Scarlet compelling stuff, especially given the target audience, however this was p****d on in favour of a by-the-numbers shoot-em-up most likely written by some film student on their dinner break. Horses for courses, I suppose. This film will thrill anyone under twelve; serious moviegoers and old GI Joe fans, give this a miss.

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    • hendrixisgod777

      Sep 7th 2009, 15:15

      1

      Well said, darkknight. I'm also going to give this a 1 star review for the reason you've given. The real crime about this film is that it could of been pretty good if they actually looked at the original source material. I always found the comicbook's depiction of the relationship between Snake Eyes, Stormshadow and Scarlet compelling stuff, especially given the target audience, however this was p****d on in favour of a by-the-numbers shoot-em-up most likely written by some film student on their dinner break. Horses for courses, I suppose. This film will thrill anyone under twelve; serious moviegoers and old GI Joe fans, give this a miss.

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    • hendrixisgod777

      Sep 7th 2009, 15:15

      1

      Well said, darkknight. I'm also going to give this a 1 star review for the reason you've given. The real crime about this film is that it could of been pretty good if they actually looked at the original source material. I always found the comicbook's depiction of the relationship between Snake Eyes, Stormshadow and Scarlet compelling stuff, especially given the target audience, however this was p****d on in favour of a by-the-numbers shoot-em-up most likely written by some film student on their dinner break. Horses for courses, I suppose. This film will thrill anyone under twelve; serious moviegoers and old GI Joe fans, give this a miss.

      Alert a moderator

    • hendrixisgod777

      Sep 7th 2009, 15:18

      1

      Well said, darkknight. I'm also going to give this a 1 star review for the reason you've given. The real crime about this film is that it could of been pretty good if they actually looked at the original source material. I always found the comicbook's depiction of the relationship between Snake Eyes, Stormshadow and Scarlet compelling stuff, especially given the target audience, however this was p****d on in favour of a by-the-numbers shoot-em-up most likely written by some film student on their dinner break. Horses for courses, I suppose. This film will thrill anyone under twelve; serious moviegoers and old GI Joe fans, give this a miss.

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    • captainchod

      Jan 12th 2010, 13:37

      3

      Very fun summer film. Don't take it seriously and you'll enjoy it. Apart from Channing Tatum - he is truly awful!

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    • district9

      Aug 25th 2010, 16:43

      1

      one of the worst films ever

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    • district9

      Aug 25th 2010, 16:43

      1

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    • district9

      Aug 25th 2010, 16:44

      1

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    • district9

      Aug 25th 2010, 16:44

      1

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    • district9

      Aug 25th 2010, 16:44

      1

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    • district9

      Aug 25th 2010, 16:44

      1

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    • district9

      Aug 25th 2010, 16:45

      1

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    • district9

      Aug 25th 2010, 16:45

      1

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    • district9

      Aug 25th 2010, 16:45

      1

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    • district9

      Aug 25th 2010, 16:45

      1

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    • district9

      Aug 25th 2010, 16:45

      1

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    • district9

      Aug 25th 2010, 16:46

      1

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    • district9

      Aug 25th 2010, 16:46

      1

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    • district9

      Aug 25th 2010, 16:46

      1

      how could anyone give this junk more than 2 stars?

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    • district9

      Aug 25th 2010, 16:47

      1

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    • district9

      Aug 25th 2010, 16:47

      1

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    • district9

      Aug 25th 2010, 16:48

      1

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    • district9

      Aug 25th 2010, 16:48

      1

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    • district9

      Aug 25th 2010, 16:48

      1

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    • district9

      Aug 25th 2010, 16:49

      1

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