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

G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra is the latest attempt by Hasbro and Paramount to capitalize on the success and popularity of 80s cartoons. With the resounding (and surprising) success of Transformers back in 2007, Hasbro has definitely been having a resurgence as of late. Honestly, I'm not very familiar with the whole G.I. Joe canon, but I will say that this film was quite exciting and actually decent. The movie featured all the main characters that fans of G.I. Joe have come to know and love. Hawk, Duke, Scarlett, Cobra, Destro and Baroness, just to name a few. The whole idea of the story is that Destro is back to his weapon-dealing ways, selling weapons to Americans as well as enemies. Essentially, Destro decides to keep some of his nanomites for his own devious purposes, staging an attack to make it look like NATO lost the new weapons to terrorists. What follows is a non-stop chase from Kurzykstan to Egypt to Paris to the Arctic. Spoilers are ahead, so read on at your own risk. G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra starts with Duke and Ripcord as non-members of the Joes. Tasked with being part of the NATO escort for four nanomite warheads, the pair is attacked by a team led by Baroness, who we're shown has a past with Duke. I'm not sure if that's ever been referenced in G.I. Joe mythos, but I'll bite. The theft is foiled, and Duke and Ripcord are escorted (with the nanomite warheads) to The Pit. A first bit of irony in my mind is that The Pit is actually under the Sahara in Egypt. Funny that the real American heroes are based in Egypt. In all fairness though, the movie does reference that the Joes are comprised of the greatest throughout the world from all services, so free pass there. Zartan and crew make an appearance at The Pit, as Baroness and Storm Shadow assault everyone with Zartan stabbing Hawk and bringing him close to death. I'm also pretty sure that Zartan killed Cover Girl, although she was never officially referred to as that so I'm making a leap of faith here. Regardless, after some intense fighting and another Duke/Baroness moment, Baroness narrowly escapes with Storm Shadow on a jetpack. Awesome. Now that the warheads are back in the hands of Cobra, all hell is about to break loose. The warheads are weaponized in Paris, courtesy of Baroness' scientist husband, who is then promptly dispatched for his services. The Joes are always one step behind, however what follows is an epic chase scene through the streets of Paris. Duke and Ripcord are in super-suits, Scarlett is rocking a bike, and Snake Eyes is riding on the freaking SUV that is rapidly escaping. This whole scene is a good 7-10 minutes and is one of the better chase scenes I've seen in a movie. The Eiffel Tower is destroyed, and Duke is captured by Cobra et al. The final act takes place under the sea. More specifically, the Arctic Sea, and Cobra and Destro have built an epic underwater base. Minor aside about Cobra. Joseph Gordon-Levitt did an awesome job as Cobra Commander. What we're shown is a man who was severely injured in a bombing raid while serving alongside Duke. Oh yeah, Cobra is also the Baroness' brother. So there's that. The Joes infiltrate the base, and what ensues is an all-out battle for three missiles that are being aimed at Moscow, Beijing and Washington, DC. Ripcord flexes his pilot muscle and hops in a badass jet to take down the missiles. What follows is an intense chase of the missiles to shoot them down. Of course, the luck of a kiss from Scarlett helps improve his aim. After the destruction of the base, Destro has his face mangled (marred?) by flame, leading Cobra to inject him with nanomites that then transform his face into the silver head we all know and love. This of course leads to Cobra changing masks and indicating that Destro works for him now, and it is now the rise of Cobra. I haven't mentioned Zartan since the beginning, and that's because he had his face transformed into that of the President of the United States. The movie ends with the perfect setup for the sequel with Zartan in the Oval Office. I'm sure the next film will feature the Dreadnaughts. I was happy with this film. Honestly, it was pleasantly surprising how good it was. I mean, it's not some great treatise on life or anything, but Stephen Sommers did a great job making fans happy. The casting was pretty spot on, and even the character development was there. There also weren't really any plot holes in this film at all, which is something I would expect from a film like this honestly. The action was pretty awesome, and the entire movie just kept going at a breakneck pace. I'm happy to say that the movie was pretty worth it if you're a fan of action movies or G.I. Joe. I'm really looking forward to a sequel, and I really think this could be a franchise in the making. Minor gripe though. The way the Joes operate, you wouldn't exactly feel safe unless you were a Joe. For example, during the Paris chase scene the Joes (while chasing Baroness) pretty much wreck Paris. I'd say about 100 cars were destroyed, a couple of buildings greatly damaged and probably some civilian injuries (there would have been deaths, but this is a PG-13 movie). For a supposedly clandestine organization of super-skilled soldiers, they're not very quiet or adept at minimizing collateral damage. This was the only case where the public was really at risk, but it seems the modus operandi for G.I. Joe in general is blow up stuff and ask questions later. Here's the key thing you need to remember when you go into this movie. It's awesome, but not Best Picture awesome. I'm sure this movie will be savaged by the critics (much the same way Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen was but here's the thing. LOOK AT THE SOURCE MATERIAL!!!! The cartoon and comics that the movie is based on are pretty fantastical to begin with. So why would anyone think that a film adaptation could be some epic movie that rivals Ben Hur in quality? Seriously, if you were born in the 80s, go see this movie. There's enough nostalgia and greatness here that you'll thoroughly enjoy this film. Overall score: 65 out of 100


  1. wherwe do girls go when they get nanomites?


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