G.I. JOE: Rise of Cobra (2009)

G.I. “Mediocre” JOE!

GIJOE - The Rise of Cobra

Paramount Pictures in association with Di Bonaventura Pictures, Spyglass Entertainment and Hasbro present…

From the world renowned toy makers Hasbro, brothers Henry and Helal Hassenfeld started with simple textile business that soon rose up to become one of the industry’s largest multi-national  toy companies in the world! In 1964, they started the phenomenon and became its flagship carriers together with Transformers; G.I.JOE “action figures” as they were called since that era had spawned limitless amounts of merchandise to every young boy across the United States!

For the fact that millions of kids watched this animated series in the ’80s, I think it would be fair enough to say that the film deserved a far better representation of well known characters to deliver them in cinemas worldwide!

Based on Larry Hama’s written works for Marvel Comics with collaboration with Hasbro’s toyline a movie was set to finally grace the big screen! Stephen Sommers (The Mummy) with Stuart Beattie (Punisher War Zone) who provided both Story and Screenplay respectively were able to give a lacklustered premise and characters, especially with field leader Duke and the Doctor who would be later known as Cobra Commander!

The Director who I’m hugely disappointed were doing so many things proving that he can’t come up with enough bravura to excite and compel the movie goers to experience his film! Stephen did so many films which were campy, cheesy and generously overdosed with CGI and special effects! It does not give any credence to the film where fans have waited for a long time just for someone to ruin everything contrary to what they expected, it’s his call, his vision and his direction that made it fell apart!

So many have anticipated these types of films and to realize that it would be really worth waiting and paying for! But unfortunately, it was a film built in CGI, lousy acting and directing! How can someone would create a large scale fictional military personnel wherein even the leaders of both factions have no charisma nor consistency of whatever it is they are doing better yet, what they were represented in the animated shows and comic book series? To add, the G.I.JOE acronym in the movie means Global Integrated Joint Operation Entity, even the meaning was not well thought of, showing a redundancy just to hype it up!

I mean let’s look for instance Cobra Commander who was represented by Joseph Gordon Levitt (Havoc) was really underrated, to think that he will be building his army of one of the most elite soldiers in animation history has been made into former soldier “mind controlled” in a failed operation, worse he is a sibling of a subordinate who calls herself the Baroness.

Destro played by Christopher Eccleston (The Others) carried much more of the load here with the help of his “paramour” in the wrong side of the law Sienna Miller (Casanova) and Storm Shadow brought to life by Byung-Hun Lee (Everybody Has a Little Secret), which I find more acting appreciation from these three seeing that he is well composed, direct and brutal especially with his long overdue rivalry with his brother with the Arashikage clan!

On the other hand, Duke played by Channing Tatum (Step-Up) and Gen. Hawk which Dennis Quaid (Vantage Point) portrays really hit rock bottom. To start, Channing Tatum really needs to go to an acting class, his stiff, boring, poker faced actor I have watched in my entire life. Duke should be the head strong, quick witted, out spoken and operations strategist of the team, I really won’t even bother why they made that into script, stating that this guy should be one of the rookies.

Dennis’s character in the film was a pompous prick who was always putting his arms on his waist and give orders, you got to be kidding me? Gen. Hawk was a straightforward, tactical commander who started as a ballistics and heavy artillery soldier, known for his courage and determination to stop the enemy forces. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not here to lecture; you would know better how to deliver these characters! Dennis may be a seasoned actor but in the film he was a mere pencil pushing officer who only sees battles to be won without any resort to strategy!

Ripcord, was the comedy relief at least he was there to save the day he is portrayed by Damon Wayans (Requiem for a Dream), guess what, Scarlett fell for the guy? Rachel Nichols (The Sisterhood of Traveling Pants 2) was only a tease as the red head in tight leather and armor! Where did that come from? The soldier is a pivotal character in the series, she’s into counter intelligence for crying out loud and it was not shown even for a slightest bit! It is also known that she has martial arts skills and she was kicked-ass by the woman clad in black leather! You didn’t give even ample respect to Road Block and replaced by ordnance expert field commander Heavy Duty played by Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje instead! You could have casted Terry Crews and have the comedic one liners for him to do but Stuart is the mare of the town so what he says goes!

Originally known in the animated series as Alvin Kibbey is replaced by Abel Shaz portrayed by    Saïd Taghmaoui (Traitor) who does his best to fit the role of a communications expert and a bit non-conformance of being a soldier! Gung-ho originally was intended but was later changed to Sgt. Stone; the character was played by returning alumni Brendan Frasier (The Mummy) who literally begged to be part of the team. I will not comment further on this! Really good thing was, the Snake-Eyes is there and truly is the heart and soul of G.I. JOE, the pivotal role that was meant to be! Ray Park (Star Wars: The Phantom Menace) has done a great job! (except for the mouth on his mask)

The plot is ok, but the film relied heavy on CGI and less on talent fees! History repeats itself… go figure! With some of the cast of the Mummy franchise comes back including the risen curse himself Arnold Vosloo (Con Express) whistles his way to everything he does as Zartan one of Cobra’s elite assassins and a master of disguise. They say cavalry arrives usually it’s not too late to save the franchise, Jon M. Chu is the next Director to helm the second installment, known for his “dance” oriented films he brings in new characters, a former WWE Superstar and a veteran fan favorite “action hero” who has a knack of “being at the wrong place at the wrong time”! Jon needs to “Step-Up” big time…

G.I.JOE: Retaliation is pushed back due to last minute rewrites and this time, they’re bringing the “original” Joe with them! So, let’s dance!!!


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