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

G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra. Yo Joe!

G.I. Joe, a highly trained elite combat force takes on a well armed and well funded terrorist organization bent on ruling the world. Two soldiers who were transporting a new weapon prototype get caught up in the action.

The Good

G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra had some pleasant surprises waiting for me. There were quite a few things I liked about the movie. I’ll go over one of those before moving on to things that turned out less than perfect.

Casting

There were some excellent casting choices made for this movie. At least 2 of them I scoffed at when I’d heard about them. I was wrong. Casting was one of the strong points of this movie.

Ripcord (Marlon Wayans) served as excellent comic relief, but he also carried a few of the scenes he appeared in. Even the budding romance had some nice moments. I was skeptical when I heard he was in the movie, but he did a good job. I’m glad he was chosen.

The character played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt doesn’t really come into his own until well into the movie. I’d say that every scene he’s in is an important one though. So pay attention.

The Doctor. Even with heavy make-up obscuring all but one of his eyes, he managed to be creepy and intimidating. I don’t want to say much more than that, but that had to be said. Kudos on the performance.

Backstory

The main cast of the characters all seem to have a decent history. While those histories might not match what long time Joe fans remember, but most of them suit the characters. There’s one major exception that I’ll get to later on.

The best personal story in the movie has to be the one between Snake Eyes (played by Ray Park) and Storm Shadow (Byung-hun Lee). The defining moment in their relationship happens when they’re very young. I guess they saved money by not hiring another set of actors to play them as young adults. I wonder what they spent it on?

That’s about it for the good stuff.

The Bad

This is the one thing that, in my opinion, did the most to ruin the movie.

The Baroness

The BaronessThe Baraoness herself (Sienna Miller) was ok. Not great, but not terrible either. The problem with The Baroness is the fault of the writers. The core of the character was gutted to make her sympathetic.

That is a damn shame.

The Baroness is as much of a villain as Cobra Commander or Destro. To portray her as a victim that needs to be saved is sickening. This is one of the points about the movie that I have to avoid dwelling on. They’ve taken a character beloved by millions and turned her into something that fans try to avoid thinking about because she’s so pathetic.

The Ugly

Costumes and CGI

Why does Snake Eyes need lips on his ninja costume?

Snake Eyes or Snake Lips?
Do they work? Why? He doesn’t talk.

Storm Shadow doesn’t have lips on his ninja suit. They turn what was a costume of legendary coolness into some sort of creepy fetish nightmare. You can ignore them most of the time, but the closeups make it impossible to forget about them completely.

The CGI is inconsistent. Some of it looks ok, but some of it looks like it was done on some production assistant’s iMac iPhone iPod. Nano. That’s bad, but it gets even worse. One of the most pivotal effects in the movie looks the crappiest and would have been better off if it were done with make-up.

Cobra Commander’s mask just looks stupid. Yeah, I’m nit picking now, but it’s tough to let this one pass when I’ve seen better renditions of Cobra Commander at Dragon*Con.

The Verdict

Rent it.

Unless you’re a huge G.I. Joe fan that’s been waiting to see this movie, like me, just wait for the Blu-Ray/DVD. It’s not worth spending the money to see it at the movies. Especially not when you’re gonna wish you’d watched it on a small screen that might hide those creepy lips on Snake Eyes’ mask.