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

I didn’t have high expectations for G.I. Joe, yet I was still disappointed. Unlike the fan boys who will see this film, I went in with little-to-no knowledge of the G.I. Joe universe. Thus, don't ask me whether the script follows the world created by the cartoon show; I wouldn’t know. But what I do know is that this film was not up to Stephen Sommers standards, and probably shouldn’t have even been attempted by the director of The Mummy series and Van Helsing.

G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra is an origin story. Keep that in mind. This film works as a prequel so do not expect to the roster of your favorite G.I. Joe characters to be the same as in the show. The film has numerous plotlines, following both the specialist G.I. Joe team and their villainous counterparts. There are storylines for new recruit Duke, the deadly Baroness and Storm Shadow, silent Snake Eyes, villainous McCullen, and several more. To put it simply, however, the main story is about the villains’ attempts to obtain these new nanobyte warheads as a stepping stone on the way to the ultimate goal of world domination.

There aren’t too many plot holes in Stuart Beattie, David Elliot, and Paul Lovett’s script; none that will jump out at you directly as you are “enjoying” the film, anyway. Also, G.I. Joe does pull through on its promise for action. Unlike some action movies, there are plenty of fight sequences. However, most of them appear like a Roland Emmerich film (Day After Tomorrow, 2012) where there is action for action's sake, with unnecessary destruction and civilian deaths.

Even though I hate Michael Bay, he should have directed this film for it would have had better CGI. Sommers is good at creating a CGI army of similar looking creatures, or a trio of menacing monsters, but not whole worlds, and there is an apparent difference in quality when compared to Transformers 2.

As for the acting, it’s hard to say whether the lack of good expression was the fault of the actors or the writers.  Most of the characters are one-dimensional, and unlike many of the characters Sommers has created in the past that have rounded personalities and complex relationships, these people are flat and only talk in one-liners. Not that all the one-liners are bad; Marlon Wayans as Ripcord is incredibly funny and pulls off a character, that is simply added for comedic relief, extremely well. Arnold Vosloo, who you may know as The Mummy, again plays a perfect villain as Zartan. Other than that, there are no real standouts except, from time to time, Sienna Miller who probably has the strongest written role.

Overall, G.I. Joe is a pretty basic action movie that has set itself up for a franchise of sequels. Even though many lines were quoted directly from the T.V. Series, the chosen prequel route for the movie prevented the appearance of many fans' favorite character: Cobra.. I also would advise those who read this review and still want to see the film not to go on to, for even the list of actors spoils the twists in the film.

Ratings for G.I. Joe
Rating (out of 10 )
Overall Score
Below Average


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