Cobra - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Cobra Reviews

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½ August 5, 2017
Allegedly Stallone was in the running to play Axel Foley in Beverly Hills Cop but declined because he didn't like the script and wasn't allowed to change it. Apparently this messy and stupid film was his answer to Beverly Hills Cop.
July 24, 2017
Cobra has its moments throughout, a rather spectacular car chase and character moments coming from the titular character played by Stallone, who in turn does a decent job of conveying a harsh and unconventional detective. Yet, unfortunately it takes no real liberties regarding story and incredibly safe in every execution of its storytelling and ultimately rather bland.
½ July 19, 2017
A brutal movie with one of the best and most original deaths of a villain.
The film does not have much going for it both from the story or characters but it still manages to be a great 80's action.
It is by no means Stallone's best work, however, the dark tone is surprisingly fresh when you consider that Lethal weapon, Robocop and Beverly hills cop, were released a year later.
There's just something about this movie that is so good that one can only understand once you've watched it.
A must see for any Stallone fan, as I feel this one is a truly unique action film.
½ July 17, 2017
A really bad movie about a (supposed to be) bad ass cop played by Stallone. This is like Rocky meets Rambo who becomes a cop to stop a crazy serial killer group. It's a bit over the top and dumb.
June 29, 2017
Not a good movie at all but it was fun enough to be worth the price of admission.
June 1, 2017
So first of all, and I did not realize this, but the movie is called Cobra because the titular character is named Marion Cobretti. I thought it was kind of a far-fetched name, but when I googled it, I found a facebook profile of a real guy with that name who likes intellectual techno. That has nothing to do with the movie.

Cobra starts a little slow, and begins looking something like a Dirty Harry movie with detictive work and a stake out. However, the movie is basically all-out action with very few pauses. The one-liners are a bit uninspired but they serve the purpose of ending the scenes with the hero on top and maybe giving the viewer a chucklle. At the heart is superior action direction with camera angles that seem to be inspired by the Adam West Batman show, and Alfred Hitchcock. The kills are not always creative, but when they are they are pretty stunning, and a lot of people get set on fire. If you are a fan of stunt work, practical effects like actual people in asbeostos suits getting lit on fire, and car crashes, this movie should deliver quite a lot. It also clocks in at 87 minutes which is such a beautiful time for a movie as it adds tremendous re-watch value, and adds to overal watchability when there is limited time to watch a movie.
½ May 18, 2017
Amazing from start to finish
May 11, 2017
An armed gunman causes a hostage situation at a Los Angeles grocery store. When negotiations between him and law enforcement fail, Lieutenant Marion Cobretti (Sylvester Stallone), codenamed as "Cobra", a member of an elite division of the Los Angeles Police Department known as the "Zombie Squad", is summoned to the scene. Cobretti infiltrates the store, locates, and negotiates with him. During the negotiation, the gunman speaks of the unknown "New Order", a group of social darwinist radicals that despise modern society and believe in killing the weak, leaving only the strongest and smartest to rule the world. Cobretti then kills the gunman by throwing a knife at his abdomen and firing shots at him. As the bodies are removed from the store, Cobretti is admonished by Detective Monte (Andrew Robinson) for his seeming disregard for police procedures and protocols. Harassed by reporters, Cobretti admonishes them for failing to prioritize the safety of potential victims. Little does everyone realize at the time is that the supermarket hostage crisis is only one of a string of recent and seemingly unconnected acts of violence and murder that have broken loose in Los Angeles, perpetrated by the same supremacist group the grocery store gunman mentioned. After witnessing several individuals going on a spree killing, including the New Order leader, only identified as 'The Night Slasher' (Brian Thompson), model and businesswoman Ingrid Knudsen (Brigitte Nielsen) becomes the group's main target due to her being the only living witness to their crimes. After a failed attempt on her by the group, she is placed under the protective custody of Cobretti and his partner, Sergeant Tony Gonzales (Reni Santoni). Several more attempts are made on their lives by various people connected to the Order. Cobretti theorizes that there is an entire army of killers operating with the same modus operandi rather than a lone serial killer with some associates, but his suggestion is rebuffed by his superiors. However, the LAPD agrees with Cobretti that it will be safest if he and Knudsen relocate from the city. Cobretti becomes romantically involved with Ingrid shortly after venturing out into the countryside, but Nancy Stalk (Lee Garlington), the Order's second leader disguised as a police officer escorting the Cobretti party, reveals the location of their whereabouts. Despite Cobretti's suspicions and mistrust of Nancy, he does nothing and stays the night in a motel. The Order moves in at dawn and besieges the small town...

"Cobra" was loosely based on the novel Fair Game by Paula Gosling, which was later filmed under that title in 1995. However, Stallone's screenplay was originally conceived from ideas he had during pre-production of Beverly Hills Cop, whose screenplay he heavily revised. He had wanted to make Beverly Hills Cop a less comedic and more action-oriented film, which the studio rejected as being far too expensive. When he left that project, Eddie Murphy was brought in to play the lead role. The film received negative reviews, with much criticism focused on the overuse of genre tropes, yet it debuted at the number one spot on the U.S. box office and became a financial success and is now considered a cult classic.

The TV Guide stated that "Stallone's character is an empty hulk...the few attempts to provide us with little insights into his character are downright laughable." The New York Times opined that the film "pretends to be against the wanton violence of a disintegrating society, but it's really the apotheosis of that violence....[it] shows such contempt for the most basic American values". Cobra was nominated for six Razzie Awards, including Worst Picture, Worst Actor (Sylvester Stallone), Worst Actress (Brigitte Nielsen), Worst Supporting Actor and Worst New Star (both for Brian Thompson) and Worst Screenplay. Director Nicolas Winding Refn is a huge fan of Cobra. In Refn's cult movie Drive the main character has a toothpick in his mouth in some scenes; this is Refn's homage to the opening scene of Cobra where Stallone has a matchstick in his mouth. Main star of the movie Ryan Gosling also said in interview that he is a fan of Stallone and Cobra which is why he "borrowed" his character's toothpick habit from Cobra.

The first rough cut was over two hours long (the closest estimated original running time is 130 minutes). It was then shortened to a roughly two-hour director's cut which was intended to be released in theaters. However, after Top Gun became a smash hit, Stallone and Warner Bros. were worried that Cobra - which would premiere the following week - would be overshadowed, so in order to ensure at least one extra screening each day the movie was heavily re-edited. Stallone removed much of the plot and scenes involving characters other than his own. Warner Bros. also demanded that the more graphic scenes be cut down or removed entirely because they were "too intense," and that some action scenes be cut for pacing. When first submitted to the MPAA the film received an X rating, necessitating even more cuts. Some of the cuts made to avoid an X-rating include: the first murder victim having her hands severed; an extended autopsy scene, including lingering shots of naked and mutilated bodies; a longer death for Ingrid's photographer Dan, including a shot of him slipping on his own blood while trying to escape; more deaths of the townspeople during the climax, including a person getting hit in the face with an ax. Eventually, the movie received an R rating and was released in theaters with a running time of 84 minutes, approximately 50 minutes shorter than the first assembly cut and 30 to 40 minutes shorter than the director's cut. Much of David Rasche's role was cut. In the behind-the-scenes making of documentary available on DVD/Blu-ray, an additional (deleted) scene with him and Brigitte Nielsen is shown being filmed. The car chase between Cobretti and the Night Slasher was originally longer and ended differently. The first cut of the movie featured a slightly different version of the climactic confrontation between Nightslasher and Cobretti. Although no uncut version or director's cut has ever seen an official release, a timecoded workprint sourced from poor quality VHS copies is available as a bootleg. It contains all of the X rated scenes and uncut action sequences, along with scenes explaining the motives of the New Order gang, focusing on characters such as Nightslasher and Stalk, alternate lines of dialogue and a temporary score which contains some of the songs and music from the theatrical version and pieces of scores from other movies. The first draft of Sylvester Stallone's script had lot of differences from later drafts and the film. These include opening shootout taking place in movie theater instead of a grocery store and lot more people getting killed, Cobra mentioning how some psychopath he was trying to catch killed his girlfriend, additional big action sequence taking place during night on a boat where Cobra and Ingrid are hiding when they get attacked by Nightslasher's cult members but Cobra and Gonzalez manage to kill them all, and different ending in which it's revealed that Monte was actual leader of the New Order cult and when he tries to kill Ingrid he gets shot and killed by Cobra.

You gotta love the 80s moviemaking. When remembering and re-visiting "Cobra" so many memories comes alive. I have always looked upon "Cobra" as one of Stallone´s "better" films despite many flaws and a quite ridiculous and pompous action script. Maybe it´s the teenager in me who still sees this as something ok and by that I choose to look beyond everything that is not working out in this film. It´s very straightforward, the bad guys are truly bad, and the good guy (Cobra) is truly good. The dramaturgy and the characters are flat as boards, then again when reading that they cut out everything that actually explained things and built the story no wonder it all becomes simple and stereotypical. The substance is just an eye for an eye and evil doing must be met on its own terms. George P. Cosmatos is rumoured to have been sidelined by Stallone and not much direction came out of him, then again with the ego Stallone had a that point maybe it became a mission impossible to direct "Cobra". However, I do assume it was him who managed to add the chilling depiction of the members of the "New Order" with for example some nice scary visuals. I reckon Stallone wanted to make his own "Dirty Harry", but came hardly close to the latter as "Cobra" is truly comic bookish. Funny then enough that Stallone mananged to hire Andrew Robinson for "Cobra" as he played The Scorpio Killer in "Dirty Harry" with such conviction that he received death threats after the film's release. The always stunning Brigitte Nielsen looks lost in her wig and to her defence with those lines she has in the film no wonder she´s lost. Brian Thompson manages to almost give you nightmares as 'The Night Slasher'. With those menacing looks you can´t go wrong as a bad guy in a film. I would love to see the original two hour cut of the film as I believe it might be something a bit better than what was released in 1986. Come on Warner Bros.!

Trivia: The knife used by the Night Slasher character was made for the film by knife designer Herman Schneider. Sylvester Stallone had asked Schneider to create a knife that audiences would never forget.
May 9, 2017
Call in Cobretti. Contains a show-stopping opening grocery store scene that has the Golan-Globus fingerprints all over it. Loved the cop who dislikes Cobretti. Could have been an elite action film but I never quite understood the exact reasoning behind the killings of the gang.
April 15, 2017
I've seen the movie "Cobra" several times over the years, and each time I liked it more and more. I thought it deserved at least a three star rating, if not more.
April 14, 2017
4/14/2017 (2): Meh. Nothing great or memorable about this film. Just blah blah blah.
½ January 21, 2017
Hilarious, over-the-top '80s action B-movie brilliance.
½ October 10, 2016
Olihan se kunnon Stallonea, jotenki vaan hyvän alun jälkeen läsähti loppua kohden.
August 29, 2016
Cobra's gun is a rare showcase of an eccentric piece of 80s weaponry, other than that, this flick is pretty baseline for 80s action flims.
August 22, 2016
Avec sa séquence d'ouverture particulièrement réussie, on pouvait attendre beaucoup de Cobra, actioner de George Pan Cosmatos écrit et avec Sylvester Stallone, tiré de son premier scénario pour le Flic de Beverly Hills. Malheureusement, Cobra baisse terriblement de pied après cette première demi-heure et se retrouve un peu coincé avec Brigitte Nielsen. Il faut alors attendre la grosse scène d'action finale qui ressemble à s'y méprendre à Commando, sorti un an plus tôt, mais en beaucoup moins bien (méchant médiocre, massacre généralisé beaucoup moins ironique et inventif...). Dommage car Stallone et Reni Santoni sont plutôt bons et la bande-son vraiment réjouissante...
½ August 9, 2016
cobra is a truly jaw dropping action thriller with inspirational one liners,such as : this is where the law stops and i start and an ending that is truly inspirational
August 8, 2016
I've always viewed this film for better or for worse as the epitome of 80s action films. It's so on the nose in terms of all the 80s action film cliches that the film can easily be viewed as an ironic parody. However, and I'm not quite sure why, but I really do love this film and consider it something of a guilty pleasure. I felt a little vindicated in my love of "Cobra" when I read on IMDB that Nicolas Winding Refn, the director of "Drive," is a huge fan of the film. Sylvester Stallone plays Lieutenant Marion 'Cobra' Cobretti, who's part of the Zombie Squad, who are called in for those really bad cases. This time it's a series of killings by The Night Slasher, which ends up being a cult of killers who want to bring about some ill defined new order. They profess their beliefs by clanging together axes in silhouette in an abandoned foundry. That's about the extent of their motivation. Most of the film's action involves Stallone protecting a witness, who happens to be a model played by Brigitte Nielsen. The action is exciting and nicely 80s flashy. There are loads of memorable silly one liners, such as:

"You're the disease, and I'm the cure."


"Get back! I got a bomb here! I'll blow this whole place up!"
"Go ahead. I don't shop here."


"It's bad for your health, you know?"
Punk smoking cigarette: "What is, pinche?"

And I could go on. Sly wrote the screenplay based on a novel that was later filmed as the Cindy Crawford/Billy Baldwin vehicle "Fair Game." This is obviously the better of the two. It was directed by George P. Cosmatos, although some reports are that Stallone was really the director on the film. The same claim was also reported for the excellent western "Tombstone," that Cosmatos was more of an on-set producer and that star Kurt Russell was the film's real director. Cosmatos was also the credited director of "Rambo: First Blood Part II" so he has some pretty excellent muscular action flicks to his credits, but those are really his only films that I would say are really anything of note, which does make me think there may be some credence to the claims that he was merely on set to keep things running smoothly while Sly or Kurt shot their pictures. In any case, his name will probably be remembered for being part of these iconic films. There are some good supporting players in this film that include Art LaFleur (you'd totally recognize him if you don't know the name) and also Andrew Robinson, which I think was funny to cast him as the uptight police bureaucrat on Cobretti's case when his most famous role was as Scorpio, the crazed killer in "Dirty Harry." You also get o see David "Sledge Hammer!" Rasche as a fashion photographer, but most memorable of the supporting cast is Brian Thompson as the lead baddie from the cult, who has a big scary knife and looks perpetually sweaty. My favorite part of his performance are the close ups of his mouth when he spouts "PIG" with loads to saliva. I'll admit there are lot of plot holes and the pacing seems off at time, although I think both of those are a result of the film originally being Rated-X and had to be cut to get an R-rating. Overall, this is a film that I know isn't exactly "The French Connection," but it's a film that's always stuck in my memory, has a lot of funny one liners, many slick visuals, and is a film that I fell like I should be enjoying it ironically, but one that I always end up just straight up enjoying as quintessential 80s action.
½ July 31, 2016
An enjoyable, if predictably cheesy 80's action must see.
Super Reviewer
July 30, 2016
This is a typical Stallone film (The hero In a typical 80's action film cops chase bad guys and save the girl) Stallone is the right man for this film, Full of cheese, Some ok action scenes and a very entertaining car chase, Ok the acting wasn't great but who cares it's just another action film from the 80's starring Stallone so you know what you're going to get.
June 13, 2016
A damn good action movie
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