G.I. Joe: The Rise Of Cobra - Online Review

'your regular or garden excuse to launch some pyrotechnics into the stratosphere'

In a lot of ways it's a shame that G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra chooses to up its violence to a level that saw it get a 12A rating in the UK. A slight drawing-in of some of the harsher elements (head shots, some evidence of blood, a stabbing or two) would have done much for its potential to be seen by its target audience, which looks very much like it was always intended to be the 9-14 year old age bracket. The film is a riot of all of the things kids that age enjoy on the screen; large explosions, colourful characters, an easy to follow plot and a nice, largely safe, introduction to the action genre. Recommending to parents that only 12+s be allowed to see it without parental accompaniment seems like a large miss-step on the film-makers part from the get-go.

Like anything successful (and, in a way, The Rise Of Cobra is successful), Stephen Sommers' film places a large emphasis on character and doesn't let it waver as Stuart Beattie, David Elliot and Paul Lovett's script moves from unbelievable scenario to unbelievable scenario. Loosely, Channing Tatum and Marlon Wayans' grunts are the focus but everywhere you look some character-lead subplot is vying for your attention. Darth Maul himself (Ray Parks) is somewhere under a mask fighting his spiritual brother. Sienna Miller may or may not have feelings for Christopher Eccleston. Joseph Gordon-Levitt pops up in military grab. The film even has bleeding Jonathan Pryce as the U.S. President for God's sake. The Rise Of Cobra is not a film in need of either talent or additional characters.

After a certain amount of time, watching it starts to feel like you're watching an extended session on Mortal Kombat. Each character feels like they are participating in the main narrative - and individual mini-fights - to get to their own individual boss and wipe him out. In a way this is distracting but you can't argue that the variety isn't welcome and on lots of occasions Sommers' film is frantic fun. A chase through the Parisian streets is probably the highlight even if it is one of many occasions when the sub-par CGI starts to look a little out of place.

The film also features about as much depth as a children's paddling pool. Sure there's the aforementioned level of characterisation but beyond that there's nothing here that doesn't mark this out as your regular or garden excuse to launch some pyrotechnics into the stratosphere. It's cheesy, the dialogue is awful and the love arcs are crow-barred in without pause for foreplay. Kids of appropriate age will love it.

G.I. Joe: The Rise Of Cobra is currently available to watch on Sky Anytime and Sky Go for users with an appropriate subscription.

Look further...

'choppy dialogue of a "here to there" sort, no character development, lame word gags' - Movies And Other Things


  1. '..Depth of a padling pool'..hahahaha! Love it! I very, very rarely walk out on a movie but this tested me. It just was straight out god awful. I recall it being one of the worst if not worst movies of that year.
    I think it come out the same year of Prince of Persia which I though worse than this cheese. In all honesty I can't find anything positive about. It is just another huge budgeted movie that is just pure crap. What is so annoying is while crap like this has an almost obscene budget, better film makers, independant of big studios, struggle for funds and yet produce the quality films. Something wrong with that isn't there?!

  2. I hated PRINCE OF PERSIA but I have to admit I found a lot to like here. It's unpretentious, doesn't forget its sense of fun and mainly aims straight for its target market. There are obvious problems and I can see why people don't like it but it did enough for me. I was entertained.