"G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra"
Directed by Stephen Sommers.
Written by Stuart Beattie, David Elliot and Paul Lovett.
Starring Channing Tatum, Sienna Miller, Marlon Wayans and Dennis
Release Year: 2009
Review Date: 8/7/09
Blart: Mall Cop" or even
Furious" earlier in the year, the new "G.I. Joe: The Rise of
Cobra" isn't God-awful...it's just not very good. Credit is
due in certain areas, but what brings it all together--and, all
together DOWN--is some of the worst written dialogue you will ever
hear in a major motion picture.
This origins film sets up the "G.I. Joe"
movie franchise (based on the Hasbro toy line from the 60s, then
again in the 80s, then in the form of a TV cartoon) with all the
familiar faces, especially to fans of the toys in the 80s--Joe, an
international organization of best-of-the-best good guys, goes
against COBRA, an international organization of best-of-the-best bad
guys bent on world domination. In this first film, the good
guys are mainly represented by Duke (Channing Tatum), Ripcord
(Marlon Wayans), Scarlett (Rachel Nichols) and Snake Eyes (Ray Park,
aka Darth Maul, aka Toad from
bad guys? The Baroness (Sienna Miller), Storm Shadow (Byung-hun
Lee), Zartan (Arnold Vosloo) and Destro (Christopher Eccleston).
This movie's plot covers Joe's attempts to take out nanotech-fueled
warheads set to be launched on some of the world's major cities.
A few of us caught a midnight show last
night; all of us agreed that the movie dialogue was fucking
atrocious. Sitting next to Dave Bell (still famous for his
"sellout" rants during "Batman & Robin" many moons ago), both of us
could hardly contain ourselves any time Dennis Quaid--playing Joe
top-dog Hawk--opened his mouth. "We've still got Joes in
there!" will live on in infamy for the both of us, but between
Scarlett's lament over losing her first fight ("My dad taught me to
WIN!") and any time evil arms dealer Destro comes along with a thick
Scottish accent--this is a factor late in the film--you'll have good
opportunity to laugh at the terrible character interactions.
But, as bad as the movie's trailer was, and
frankly, as bad as I really wanted this movie to be, "G.I. Joe: The
Rise of Cobra" is not terrible. Its action is fast-paced and
they squeeze a ton of dead people into its two-hour running time.
As a fan of the toys, I was upset with how some issues--Sgt.
Slaughter, COBRA's troops, silly mechanized suits, the inclusion of
Heavy Duty instead of Roadblock--were handled, but it was still cool
to see Snake Eyes doing stuff, or Scarlett with her crossbow, or
Zartan go through the camouflage procedure that will be used in
later films. Also, like
there was an opportunity to remind us of the old cool theme songs,
but no one ponied up to include that in this "G.I. Joe" movie.
Like that last
"Transformers" movie, you'll find yourself asking hundreds of
logistical questions concerning the sheer ridiculosity of some of
the story points; why are Duke and Ripcord used as front-line
operatives when you have a base full of literally thousands of Joes
with more experience? Why does it seem like The Baroness is
carrying the most powerful handgun of all time, but no one else is?
If COBRA is so well-funded, why does it seem like they only have
about a hundred troops? Why does the head of a 5,000-person
military organization have no security and an office that sits close
to your hidden base's interior perimeter? With the ability to
send in a strike force of hundreds, would you really send in just
four to save the world? If you had a supersonic jet with
stealth capabilities, why wouldn't you use THAT to fire missiles at
I shouldn't overthink this stuff. This
first film wasn't very good, but as Chuck said last night...it
coulda been a LOT worse. Hopefully, someone other than Stephen
Sommers (who gave us, ahem, both of the first two "Mummy" films AND
King") will get the chance to direct the inevitable sequel
coming in a year or two.
Comments? Drop me a line at
Bellview Rating System:
"Opening Weekend": This is
the highest rating a movie can receive. Reserved for movies that
exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development,
setting...or Salma Hayek. Not necessarily in that order.
"$X.XX Show": This price
changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently,
it is the $9.50 Show. While not technically perfect, this is a
movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.
"Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca",
but you'll have a great time watching. The $9.50 Show won't win any
Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see
"Matinee": An average movie
that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.
Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about
yourself. A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave
the theater saying "That wasn't too bad...man, did you see that
Lakers game last night?"
"Rental": This rating
indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your
friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one." Mostly forgettable, you
couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to
watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the
video store was out of copies of "Ronin." If you can, see this
movie for free. This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a
"Hard Vice": This rating is
the bottom of the barrel. A movie that only six other human beings
have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen. A Shannon
Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every
one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a
movie. Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or
"Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this
movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!
(Warning: strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard