G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra is the overdone action packed live-action debut for Hasbro’s highly popular military toy line. I expect nothing less from a post-Transformers production. Which is why The Rise of Cobra is just as much a guilty pleasure as Revenge of the Fallen released the same year. Director Stephen Sommers is also known for dumb fun action flicks. Since I wasn’t a G.I. Joe expert at the time, my excitement for a movie wasn’t exactly like Transformers. Only my brother and I ended up going to the theater to see it, since it’s more catered to teenage boys. Retaining a lot of the constant explosions, on the nose dialogue, and hot women in skin tight outfits. Not that the men don’t get their fair share of shirtless scenes. But who cares when it feels so much like a toy box full of G.I. Joes come to life. Albeit one that botches a lot of iconic characters. The Rise of Cobra is inspired by the cartoon, comics, and toys. They sort of throw you into the action and never let up in its surprisingly short fast-paced runtime.
Channing Tatum was once a G.I. Joe fan, but he absolutely hated playing central Joe Duke. Due to contractual obligations, his performance seems very lazy. Unlike the cartoon, Duke is a new recruit alongside Ripcord. Someone I can’t really take seriously with Marlon Wayans in the role. Rachel Nichols is already on the team as sexy intelligence expert Scarlett. Alongside Heavy Duty, Breaker, Cover Girl, and Dennis Quaid as their superior Hawk. The Pit is full of levels for land, air, sea, and plenty of sci-fi technology. Including a camouflage suit and Iron Man inspired Excelerator suits. Cobra is mostly the M.A.R.S. company headed by Destro. Although he’s mostly a very lame Christopher Eccleston with a ridiculous Scottish accent. Not receiving his trademark metal face until the end. But the most botched characters are between Baroness and Cobra Commander.
Sienna Miller is seductive as the ruthless Baroness, but she’s given too much personal connection to Duke and no foreign accent. Joseph Gordon-Levitt seems to be Doctor Mindbender, until he’s later revealed to actually be the Commander. Complete with awful mask and no screechy voice. Sommers Mummy connection meant casting Brendan Fraser in a brief Stone cameo and Arnold Vosloo as an inaccurate whistling Zartan. Sure these characters are alright, but I’m really here for the awesome Snake Eyes and badass Storm Shadow. They were my childhood G.I. Joe toys afterall. Ray Park was perfect for the silent ninja and Byung-hun Lee brings a lot of charm to his archrival. Cobra’s evil plan is to launch deadly nanotech on the world. Several flashbacks fill in gaps between action set on all-terrain. Including a base attack, the destruction of Paris, a snowy base infiltration, and a poorly rendered CGI underwater battle. G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra is just the kind of over-the-top action that makes me scream “Yo Joe!”
Followed by: G.I. Joe: Retaliation