Movie Review: G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra (2009)


After 100 rewrites and multiple directors, it was impossible to not think the absolute worst of G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra. Not screening for critics didn’t help the cause either. The reason for our occlusion became abundantly clear after viewing — those rewrites and reshoots added up to nothing more than expensive mediocrity; high octane, explosive mediocrity.

But what should one come to expect from Hasbro, the same toy manufacturing company with creative filmmaking control that was responsible for the bombastic Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen? Exactly — a storyline that was not weak on substance or covered up with more CGI and rigged explosions to offset that fact would have been the surprise (I think that made sense).

Anyways, back to the film itself. For those who aren’t aware, the G.I. Joe team is the elite of the armed forces, trained to excel in the worst conditions and overcome any and all adversaries. They — Scarlett (Rachel Nichols), Snake Eyes (Ray Park), Breaker (Said Taghmaoui) and Heavy Duty (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje) — find themselves called to action when four nanotech warheads capable of razing a city to nothingness in seconds are nearly stolen. Tagging along, since it was their patrol that was decimated by a leather clad woman known as the Baroness (Sienna Miller), is Duke (Channing Tatum) and Ripcord (Marlon Wayans).

For whatever reason, perhaps because that Transformer flick took place there, a third of G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra takes place underground in Egypt. It is here, under the watchful eyes of the entire Joe team and their awe-inspiring weaponry, that the forces of Cobra — Stormshadow (Byung-hun Lee), Zartan (Arnold Vosloo) and once again Baroness — take control of the prized weapons. Yeah, three people waltz into the headquarters of the most advanced fighting unit and walk out unscathed . . .

Director, Stephen Sommers, then transports us to location two: Paris. Our heroes now comically chase the bad guys in exoskeleton suits up and down the famed Avenue des Champs-à‰lysées laying waste to everything in their wake. Sadly, the CGI is so poorly conceived and rendered that I found it quite distracting. The banter headed up by Ripcord was equally, if not more, annoying.

Not to be outdone on shoddiness, the final act of the film takes place in the Arctic, under the polar ice caps in the headquarters of Cobra Command. It’s equally outrageous in the action with the personalized submarine warfare but the real slap in the face is the contrived story arc put forth. I’m not going to give it away, but it is just so damn obvious so little attention went into actually writing this. I’m stunned some of the folks who signed on for this decided to stay on-board.

In the end, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra needed at least one more rewrite — one with something more to offer than the point and click nature offered up here. And someone please explain to Hollywood that exploding and flipping cars, exploding and crashing aircraft, and exploding and sinking watercraft can’t make up for a good story. The only reason I’m not giving this film a worse rating is because Sienna Miller and Rachel Nichols look great in their tight, form fitting outfits. Okay, that is two reasons . . .

Critical Movie Critic Rating:
2 Star Rating: Bad

2

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The Critical Movie Critics

I'm an old, miserable fart set in his ways. Some of the things that bring a smile to my face are (in no particular order): Teenage back acne, the rain on my face, long walks on the beach and redneck women named Francis. Oh yeah, I like to watch and criticize movies.


'Movie Review: G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra (2009)' have 9 comments

  1. The Critical Movie Critics

    August 9, 2009 @ 10:10 am Cas

    “And someone please explain to Hollywood that exploding and flipping cars, exploding and crashing aircraft, and exploding and sinking watercraft can’t make up for a good story.”

    Yeh but it gets asses in the seats!

    Reply

  2. The Critical Movie Critics

    August 10, 2009 @ 5:06 pm Cindy Tworek

    I thought this was a better investment than tickets to GI Joe (maybe I’ll see it as a matinee):

    bit.ly/atnv5

    Reply

  3. The Critical Movie Critics

    August 12, 2009 @ 8:20 pm Nicholas

    (I write a message for you here ’cause I coudn’t find any contact email adress)

    I was surfing on web and I was hit by your movie reviews. A few days ago, me and a friend had an idea about a blog with short movie reviews straight to the point. I was wondering if you make any link-exchange or you can just read a bit of your posts to give us your opinion.

    Thanx and I’m waiting forward for an answer.

    Reply

  4. The Critical Movie Critics

    August 13, 2009 @ 9:52 pm Curt

    I suppose Hollywood thinks that exploding and flipping cars, exploding and crashing aircraft, and exploding and sinking watercraft could compensate for a bad story. Thing is that the above factors can get people watching. There are quality films, with real good stories that were not really bought out, simply because the film does not have those exploding, flipping, crashing scenes.

    Reply

  5. The Critical Movie Critics

    August 17, 2009 @ 1:12 pm Tomas

    First time I saw the teaser trailer I was quite intrigued but then the theatrical trailer with Den Quaid’s voice over killed it: “Where everybody else fails we don’t”. Never mind the fact that it’s based on toys but either it’s visually bombastic or you just do it like Thunderbirds-Team America.

    Reply

  6. The Critical Movie Critics

    August 17, 2009 @ 11:46 pm Jerry

    A very interesting and exciting movie. Lot’s of effects that can make the movie more exciting to watch. On the other hand, the movie doesn’t share enough moral lesson to their audience.

    Reply

  7. The Critical Movie Critics

    August 19, 2009 @ 3:00 am john

    I went and saw it last night. What trash… Could have been soooo much better. The CGI (not that good) over shadows everything. The characters are truly unrealistic… The storyline/plot is extremely shallow guessed the whole movie in 20 mins. Overall a true waste of time… If I paid for the movie would be looking to get my money back (I have an unlimited cinema ticket)…..

    Reply

  8. The Critical Movie Critics

    March 28, 2016 @ 2:01 pm Paul Davidsung

    Helpful article , I learned a lot from the insight .

    Reply

  9. The Critical Movie Critics

    April 23, 2016 @ 6:49 am Chris Brown

    I love GI JOE! Why is it taking so long for the next?

    Reply


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