Retro Review: G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra

Okay, what kind of movie do you expect from a toyline that promotes the glamour of making things go boom!

You couldn’t be expecting Mozart or an Oscar winner. So what did you think you would get when you have characters called Ripcord, Destro, Storm Shadow and The Baroness.

If you were a fan of the cartoon, like I was, than the G.I. Joe back stories were legendary. But the cartoons were also very one-dimensional because they were more about pushing a next action figure than entertaining. It wasn’t until we got a comicbook on G.I. Joe that all the stories started to make more sense. Like the Snake Eyes & Storm Shadow feud was explained that they were brothers at one time when their sensei took Snake off the streets.

There were also more romances behind the scenes as well. (Duke, Snake & Scarlett triangle, for example)

The film has all the characters here but their origins have been tweaked to correspond to the flow of the film. They have the Ripcord, Scarlett & Snake triangle and Duke having had an affair with The Baroness. Plus there are new origins of Cobra Commander and Destro. But they make sense in the context of the film. And when it comes down to it. What you want to see is brainless fun, many explosions, ricocheting bullets to enhance your summer movie amusement park ride. And it delivers in spades.

I really liked the film’s pace and how each moment was one giant set piece after another. It was just like the cartoon in that respect and very reminiscent of a rookie spy being dumped into James Bond’s world. I also really enjoyed all the cheeky performances from all the leads especially Sienna Miller’s Baroness and Marlon Wayans’s Ripcord. They knew why they were there and they had oodles of fun with it. Wayans is hilarious against all the straight-arrow Joes.

And okay, it does helps that I had a huge crush on The Baroness growing up but still Sienna’s performance was perfect and her character is the best thing about this film. Her character has the biggest growth arch of anyone in the film. C’mon she rocks!

I also really enjoyed the giant underwater battle which was like Star Wars underwater and oodles and oodles of fun! It was like Thunderball on crack!

The only downside I found was Snake Eyes. In the comic, he is the coolest Joe there is. Here he is just boring and well the flashbacks to his origin story bored me to tears. They could have been cooler if they occured when Snake was teenager instead of a boy of 10.

It was also very hard for the film to have a mute character. In the comics and cartoon, they dealt with that issue a lot better but here he is just lost.

For the most part, GI Joe is a roller coaster ride that is just lots of fun. For all you G.I. Joe fans out there, stop being a fanboy and enjoy the friggin’ movie! Because knowing is only half the battle!

3.5 out of 5

So Says the Soothsayer

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