Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Jason (finally) reviews GI Joe : The Rise of Cobra

It took a long time for me to see this movie, and for many good reasons. First, I was at Chicago Comic-Con the weekend it came out. Then I was kind of broke for a little while (mainly due to Chicago Comic-Con). Then I started hearing horrific reviews about people's eyes bleeding and brains exploding as they watched the movie. And last but not least....I abso-freaking-lutely loved the GI Joe cartoon as a kid, so I was protecting my own childhood memories by procrastinating.

So, how was it? Not that bad. Spoilers ahead.

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Since I planned on being around the house for a few hours today taking care of some things, I picked it up on Pay Per View. That way, if it’s horrible, I’ve only wasted like 5 bucks.

The movie starts out with the action pretty much right away and keeps it up for the most part. Cartoon references begin quickly and we meet the Baroness, James McCullen (pre-metal mask and big medallion), Hawk and Ripcord. Some nice touches include having the sound effects from the cartoon guns laced into the real firing sounds.

Baroness holds a special place in my heart and drove me to seek out dominant, Germanic hotties who wear glasses. Anyone who knows my wife will see how deep this fascination ran. The other regulars fall in and really, at no time, was I really disappointed in any of the main characters.

Action sequences are extremely over the top but guess’s supposed to be! If you can turn on your action movie brain, which is essentially a mode of your brain that operates at minimal thinking capacity in order to process shooting, explosions and hot women (aka MBM or Michael Bay Mode) it’s an enjoyable action film that references many things that I remember loving from my childhood.

The rest of the review I’ll break down into some Pros and Cons, just easier that way. By the way, my eyes did not bleed nor did my brain explode. That’s why you activate MBM, so you don’t constantly scream “Oh come on!!!!” at the screen.


The little backstory involving James McCullen I in 1641 France was a nice touch to give Destro some weight and lineage.

Storm Shadow, always one of my favorites, was portrayed well by Byung-hun Lee and the martial arts fight scenes were pretty sweet.

I actually enjoyed the progression of Cobra Commander in the film. Although I would have liked to have seen something sticking closer to the Cobra : Reborn origin, it was a decent background.

Baroness (up until the end) was handled nicely by Sienna Miller (though I felt there were some script issues regarding her part of the movie, the performance was decent). There is a scene where she forces a woman out of an elevator at gunpoint, then comments “Nice shoes”. To me, this is something the character would do, even in the middle of running from Joes, she can appreciate the finer things. Miss the Eastern European accent though. Oh well.

The weaponry is all high tech but not TOO high tech. These are clearly advanced troops but the equipment they use seems possible in the near future.

Scarlett. Awesome. That is all.

For as much as people bitched about the Accelerator Suits, they were used well in a very exciting action sequence. I think people expected them to be used through the whole movie.

Brendan Fraser is in it. I mean, who doesn’t love a cameo by Brendan Fraser?

Snake Eyes was impressive, except for one...little...thing...


...why does Snake Eyes’ costume have a mouth in it????? His costume was so cool and the mouth ruins it. It honestly makes him look like some sort of android.

The Duke / Baroness backstory was pretty unnecessary and leads to a painful series of scenes toward the end that cause you to think “Which writer thought this was a good idea and why did no one stop them with deadly force?”

The whole injecting Destro with nanites that cause him to have a metal face conceit was a bit much. I guess I understand that a man in a static metal mask doesn’t translate as well into film, but I think it could work. The ending effect here just looks cheesy.


So that’s about it. I’ll definitely be picking it up on BluRay and I’d recommend it to those that can appreciate a good action flick. For those that look for Oscar nominations in every movie, you won’t find any here so skip it. What you will find is lots of fun and over the top action.

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