Movie Review: G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra

Hi all…

I’m starting to get the idea that Stephen Sommers is going senile. Maybe that’s a bit harsh. Maybe. But when you look at his recent string of movies, things have gone downhill since The Mummy ten years ago (yes, it was that long ago). Unfortunately, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra doesn’t stop the slide for me.


Let’s look at the ingredients for this movie:

1) Outdated toy line from Hasbro. [Check]
2) Director and writer without a big hit since 1999. [Check]
3) Group of so-so actors and big names who needed a paycheck. [Check]

So did the movie bomb? No… It actually has been estimated that it earned more than $55 million in its opening weekend. Will it continue to do well next weekend? I think it’ll get smashed by Ponyo from Miyazaki and District 9 this coming weekend. I think it will drop quickly and be hard pressed to recoup its estimated $170 million budget. But that’s just me. Watch the public prove me wrong.

Did the movie stink? Honestly no. But it wasn’t good. I enjoyed 2007’s Transformers movie from Michael Bay more than this one. Evidently in my mind big robots beat soldier action figures. I have a ton of respect for the men and women in our military, but I don’t think this was as good a PR project as some other films have been for the U.S. military.

What worked? Skarlett and Ripcord. Rachel Nichols played Skarlett. I know I’ve seen her before, but can’t place where. Marlon Wayans played Ripcord. And honestly that was about it for me.

Dennis Quaid as General Hawk could have been done by anybody. I’m not knocking Quaid, but he just didn’t do it for me in this role. Arnold Vosloo was wasted as Zartan. Brendan Fraser was in it for maybe 10 seconds. And the rest of the cast didn’t really leave a mark.

Special effects were just so-so. I was laughing out loud when I saw the G.I. Joe transport plane flying near the beginning of the film. It was badly done CGI. The night battle at the beginning worked because you couldn’t get a good look at the enemy aircraft. But beyond that and a wee bit of the undersea battle, I was not impressed. (Even my 4 year old daughter thought the fish used for reconnaissance were pretty funny looking.) The only bright spot for me was the chase through Paris. Though way too long, I thought it was fun.

And the script? Well, after reflecting on it for a day, I have to say that it worked. There were relationships there that built upon one another to form a cohesive whole. Unfortunately I think it should have been animated instead of live action. I probably would have enjoyed it more.

It didn’t blow chunks. But it certainly didn’t blow me out of the water. I can only give it 2 out of 4 stars. If you really want to see it, wait a few months and watch it on DVD or Blu-ray. You won’t miss much.

The scary part is that I heard rumors they’re already working on a sequel…


p.s. I recommend you take a look at the 1980s cartoon series for G.I. Joe and wait for this movie to come out on video. 🙂

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  1. Hahaha! Glad to have read this.. My girlfriend wanted to go to the cinema and watch this, which set me off on a rant about the drought of ideas in hollywood forcing them to resort to draw their influences from 80s Satuday morning cartoons..

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