G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra Reviews

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Super Reviewer
August 10, 2009
Okay I watched it . . I cant help it but I liked it. I know its not PURE the comics and thank god not pure the movies. But omg i had fun watching this movie from start to finish. Pure action from start to finish. Eye candy is all this was as my brain didnt even need to engage for it. No thought needed. Much fun included. Snake Eyes vs Storm Shadow in 3 fights . . I mean every GI Joe fanboy in the world has been waiting to see that on a big screen and here it is finally. I enjoyed this way more than I should have.
Super Reviewer
December 29, 2010
If you're jumping into this movie to be emotionally invested into the characters and plot, don't watch this. Now I am one that hates "Transformers 2" with a passion because it didn't exactly understand what direction it wanted to go. "G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra" is just as mindless, but has some life in it. The character's dialogue isn't only there to drive the action to a different locale. Some action scenes are spectacular to see, except for the last one. If you wanna see a scene just like the ending, watch Star Wars... you'll get what I mean. I recommend watching it though. It's a fun time.
Super Reviewer
August 14, 2009
Based on the iconic American action figure which was originally based around real US military units/branches. Better known in the UK as the iconic 'Action Man' and was (I think) the only soldier based toy of the time, plus it had many accessories to boot!. I had an 'Action Man' plus a few vehicles when I was younger, I can never forget the extreme blonde buzz cut he had and 'Barbie-like' clothing hehe never really stuck with this particular toy.

Then whilst living in the US of A at a tender age of around 8 years old, I came across the G.I.Joe cartoon, I was hooked. Now I will admit up front I don't really recall any of the stories behind the franchise/characters, I only liked it for the cool action, cool vehicles and of course cool looking characters (bit like 'M.A.S.K.'). I might also add I believe this was the first and possibly only cartoon that dealt with terrorists? the good guys actually battling a force that isn't shy about letting themselves be known as terrorists, don't think that would happen anytime nowadays.

On to the film...hmmm tricky, very tricky. I was highly dubious when this was announced, even more so when it came out, the levels of CGI in this film was mind blowing. The story basically sets up a few characters on both the good side and bad and takes us through how 'Cobra Commander' comes to power. Sommers decided to only use a handful of the massive roster of characters which was probably a good choice but one wonders if a few more could have been stuck in there, the ones with cool outfits perhaps.

I liked how they kinda went about this as a prequel of sorts, setting up how the bad guys come to be, it also sets up the obvious sequel and seeing the main bad guys in full swing. The story was handled quite well I thought, like I say I don't really know the backgrounds to these people but after some research and watching the film it all fit together well, some changes aside *ahem*.

I liked how the main two villains ('Commander' and 'Destro') have their stories told and we see how they become their more famous personas. I liked the small flashbacks that gave us clues about various other characters and their backgrounds, and in all fairness I thought the characters looked pretty neat too. Sure they all looked like rehashed characters from other sci-fi/action films, nothing really original, but they looked solid, believable and realistic, not campy as was feared.

The problems arise with the acting for one thing, its awful!. Didn't exactly expect it to be stunning but these guys really do move and sound like plastic figures. The worst easily being Tatum followed easily by Marlon Wayans who I don't even think you can call an actor. What was worse was the fact certain actors seemed to take it seriously, Eccleston, Quaid and Pryce I'm looking at you, at the same time Levitt was doing a brilliantly campy 'Batman' villain, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (jesus!) simply can't act end of and the same can be said for Miller.

I don't understand Hollywood sometimes, they wanna make an adaptation like this, clearly they wanna make it semi serious to appeal to the wider audience and to jump on the 'Bond'/Marvel/'Mission: Impossible' type bandwagon which was in full swing. But then they go and cast people who can't act and who star in regular garbage, why on earth would you cast Wayans in this? right there you have a huge negative already, do you want an action flick or some dumb childish pratfall gag reel?.

We then come to the hideous CGI issue. This film reminded me of the 'Star Wars' prequels with their massive CGI elements and multiple finales, I think this film really tries for that similar final bang towards the end. To a degree they do achieve that, I can't deny the scope of the film is impressive with tonnes going on, plenty of visual imagination and action, all manner of crafts, subs, weapons, aircraft etc...all over the show. The problem is its so damn hectic its hard to make out what's going on, it really is a complete rip off from 'Star Wars' in how the films acts are staged and of course the CGI is bad, real bad, the cartoon looked better lol!. You can see its a Sommers film because 'The Mummy' films had dreadful CGI too.

Unsurprisingly the film is a very loud, fake looking, badly acted, explosion filled wet dream for Toys R Us. But you gotta look at this collectively, yes its complete trash of the highest order and yes Hollywood should know better. But on the other hand I'm sure the targeted audience will love it and wanna buy the toys, job done. Its a shame Hollywood never seems to learn and keeps producing such nonsense when they could make something half decent, especially with such rich material as this. But again at the end of the day we all know what to expect these days, we all know PG-13 is the favoured way to go and if you're honest the film does deliver what it promises for who its intended, you can't really deny that.

So yeah the film is rubbish and the prime example of modern day CGI filled crapola made purely for merchandise n money. I did enjoy some of it like I said, the plot wasn't half bad amazingly, the characters did look like their toon/comic counterparts I think (in some cases), shame about 'Cobra Commanders' crappy looking mask at the end. Miller was hot in her tight outfits whilst 'Snake Eyes' and 'Storm Shadow' were easily the best looking, most exciting and intriguing characters (bit like 'Scorpion' and 'Sub-Zero').

Offering plenty of bang for your buck no doubt and a fun brainless night in perhaps, I suppose it does what it sets out to do, just poorly. The sequence where 'Duke' and 'Ripcord' are suited up in those special astronaut type outfits and tearing through Paris to get to the Eiffel Tower, probably one of the worst effects/action sequences I've seen in a long long time. Truly ridiculous, bogged down with utterly lame visual comedy/gags courtesy of Wayans and it all looks nasty.
Super Reviewer
April 4, 2013
Now growing up, I was never a huge G.I. Joe cartoon fan. I had all the toys, but was never too big on the cartoon. Having watched this movie, I really hope the cartoon was never this bad. This movie is good to look at, but everything else about it really isn't that great. The story is weak, the acting is bad, and the use of Cobra Commander is pretty lame. Channing Tatum stars as Duke, the new head of the G.I. Joe group, and they battle the Cobra group as they try to use a new technology to take over the world. Tatum is probably the best thing about the movie, other than Snake Eyes who is pretty awesome. Marlon Wayans and Dennis Quaid both seem out of place, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt is so underused it's ridiculous. Not sure if true G.I. Joe would really be fans of this(I know a couple that hated it), but I'm sure kids new to the franchise will like it. I'd say skip it altogether and go straight for the sequel or just about any other action movie.
Super Reviewer
½ December 21, 2008
Snake is the bad motherfucker in this cheesy film. As a fan of the original series i was not pleased on how accurate the characters were. The only one that was close is Snake Eyes(who is a bad ass)

Character flaws, Snake Eyes, in the movie it says that Snake Eyes was mute because of a vow of silence when really he was in a helicopter accident and had his face scarred and was left mostly mute. Also he should have blonde hair but instead he has brown (kid version) Scarlett, should have a relationship with Snake Eyes but instead goes for Ripcord? Bloody hell...

Baroness, Is controlled by Cobra? And her brother is Rex which should really be named Eugene. Had a relationship with Duke in the past which should have never happened. She should be with Destro.

Storm Shadow, in the movie he kills his master which should not happen, he was only blamed for it (watch part two). He and Snake Eyes should be like best friends but Storm Shadow hunts for his uncles killer after he is blamed and later gets brainwashed by Cobra.

Zartan, can only change his appearance through nanomachines instead of illusions and holograms.

Cobra Commander, you see his face.....YOU SEE HIS FACE! And he is Baroness's brother Rex? Really... come on....

Accelerator suits are garbage. The Joe's are supposed to be the best of the best military personnel. They never wore performance enhancing suits.

I know they wanted to modernize this series and make it all action packed but these character flaws should not be this bad. It would not be hard at all to make the characters how they should be.

If you took all the scenes with Snake Eyes and left the rest out it would be 10 times better than seeing the whole thing.
Super Reviewer
August 9, 2009
Stephen Sommers brings Hasbro to the big screen with G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra.For 110 minutes of screen time, the story moves at a pretty rapid pace, which is both a strength and a flaw. It never drags; however, the plot details are too light and simple for its own good, even with the occasional character flashbacks.The action is heavy, destructive, and battered with CG. With the extensive use of CG, there will be moments where it stands out more than it should, but ultimately, it turns the action into some high octane pieces.The cast choices are questionable. Channing Tatum is too stale, while Marlon Wayans tends to be too over the top. Sienna Miller, Rachel Nichols, Byung-hun Lee, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt provide some solid characters. Miller and Nichols are also easy on the eyes.G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra has entertaining elements here and there, but nothing to go out and make time for.
Super Reviewer
August 6, 2009
Completely ridiculous and over-the-top, but never boring, this movie is flawed but not quite totally terrible popcorn entertainment. I was happy to see a live action version of a fun show I grew up on, but I wasn't totally happy with the treatment of the characters, specifically their connections to one another, their origins, that sort of thing.

I didn't mind the sci-fi elements of the plot...too much, but it did make things a bit too over the top and kinda silly at times. I was able to handle the homogenizing of their uniforms though, a la X-Men, because it might have seemed silly to those who didn't grow up with the franchise originally had the traditional outfits been used. By giving everyone generic outfits though, it also took away some of the uniqueness and distinction of the Joes as an organization.

The film's casting was passable, but the performances are pretty weak and unremarkable for the msot part. Some of the effects were okay, and the Paris sequence was cool, but Sommers isn't really all that great at coming up with a strong story and characters to match the action, which, while okay, wasn't really mindblowing either.

All in all, it kept me from being bored, but it didn't keep me from wishing I was watching something better. C- (and that's being nice).
Super Reviewer
½ January 14, 2010
Summer popcorn flick? Solid action film? Nope, not at all! Everything that was expected from a disappointing "G.I. Joe" film is exactly what is presented on screen here. The action is cheesy, the visuals are laughable, the dialogue is dumb, and the plot is very non-sensical. I had a little enjoyment out of some of the action pieces, but overall it is bloated, overlong, and just plain boring. It's not at all what I wanted. "G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra" is a very stale picture with poor direction and sloppy camerawork! A very entertaining mess!
Super Reviewer
August 5, 2009
Considering the amount of bashing this film got when it was released, it is kind of surprising how entertaining it is, despite of all of its flaws. Of course there is not much of a plot and the characters remain rather shallow, even though they are trying to give them a background with a couple of flash backs. Their fate still remains somewhat indifferent to the audience. On the other hand, there is so much going on and the film is moving so fast, almost rushed, that you don't get bored with it. Unlike some other releases it also has as much action to offer as you'd expect from such a film. The power suit chase through Paris is particularly silly, but also great fun and the showdown is pretty huge. So even with couple of embarrassingly bad parts (like, sorry to report, Joseph Gordon-Levitt's character) this is an overall spectacular and entertaining, even if dumb, piece of action cinema. For what it's worth.
Super Reviewer
December 28, 2011
three Stars
Super Reviewer
April 21, 2011
This movie wasn't very good, the action was ok. The acting was nothing special, the story didn't keep to the GI Joe universe, and the plot was lame. The action was the only positive and I will not watch this movie again.
Super Reviewer
February 1, 2011
Who cares about plot? Who cares about good acting? You've got stylish suits, pulse guns, fighting ninjas, exploding cars, hot men (and women) in leather outfits, super sonic jets, over-the-top visuals, heat seeking rockets, nanomite warheads... need I continue?
Super Reviewer
January 25, 2011
Another really terrible big budget Hollywood summer "blockbuster".
michael e.
Super Reviewer
January 2, 2011
if your an action fan than your going to love this
Super Reviewer
August 3, 2009
At its best it's kind of fun, at its worst only kind of stupid.
Jason Lalljee
Super Reviewer
½ October 7, 2010
GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra was immensely terrible, one of the worst movies of 2009. It squanders and wastes the talents of Denis Quaid and Channing Tatum; I was sorely disappointed by the movie because there was a lot they could have done with the premise-I mean, look at 'The Dark Knight' and 'Iron Man'. They both originated from comics but are both two of my favorite movies. Stephen Sommers directed it so I guess I should have expected it to be bad.

I mean there was no real plot! Not at all! Just flashy (yet still incoherent) special effects, a script so weak a ten year old could have done it, and feeble, unbelievable characters. There was no complexity at all, not even a hint of it. The worst part is, the movie grossed over 150 mil. in the U.S. in alone so you can expect a sequel.

In the end, G.I. Joe feels like it's trying--incredibly hard-- to be all things to all people. Yet so it fails to be anything to anyone.
Movie Monster
Super Reviewer
½ August 16, 2010
We don't give a crap what critics said. Yes, it's highly cartoonish but its fun and action-packed. A theater experience we will never forget. It's better than Transformers 2 though.

"What does it accelerate?"
Super Reviewer
½ July 21, 2010
Super Reviewer
½ July 31, 2009
Mildly ammusing from a "sci-fi/tech" and over the top action standpoint, though just about everything else in this film felt like a complete waste of time.

To spite being greatly under-used here, both Joseph Gordon Levitt and Christopher Eccleston were the high points of this film.

And I have to say that after hearing and reading all the buzz on "rising star" Channing Tatum over the past couple of years, I was blown away by how bad an actor he is. A friend said "But he is so cute and he has a nice body", to which my response was: "Then they have miss marketed him...I think perhaps he would do better in the porn industry!"

Luckily we caught this on cable, so no money or valuable Netflix queue space was wasted.
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