G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra

You can always judge a film (well, nominally, at any rate) by the quality of its source material. Cherishing our cynicism as we do at BestForFilm, a film based on a line of chunky, over-muscled action figures doesn’t exactly have us pre-booking our tickets. As it turns out, our cynicism is – once again – justified.

The plot is ridiculous, convoluted, and often incomprehensible, but here goes: Weapons manufacturer James McCullen (Christopher Eccleston) has developed nano-weaponry for NATO, but on the way to delivery it gets attacked by a bunch of ne’er-do-wells led by The Baroness (Sienna Miller). The nano-napping is thwarted by G.I. Joe, the Care Bears of anti-terrorism, who then, nonsensically, recruit the plucky grunts (played by Channing Tatum and Marlon Wayans) who failed to protect the weapons in the first place. Oh, only Channing Tatum’s character used to be engaged to The Baroness. We told you it was nonsensical.

Of course, in this kind of film a threadbare – nay, illogical – plot often doesn’t hinder things. But the problem is, there’s not much else here that’ll entertain anyone other than a slightly dim eight-year old boy. Everything crashes, smashes or explodes; there’s either a very clever or a totally unconscious tribute to Team America, the acting’s mostly hammy and the special effects, while impressive in places, are all-in-all pretty generic. The action skips from place to place (Paris, the Arctic, North Africa) with seemingly no more reason than providing an audience with an excuse to say “ooh, the Arctic!” so they don’t notice quite how vapid the film really is. Some might think some of the characters are pretty cool, but only if they’ve got low expectations of life.

In all honesty, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra would have worked far better if it had stayed truer to its source material: Strap a firework to the figure, light the blue touch paper, and blow that plastic tat to smithereens.

Special Features

Commentary by Stephen Sommers and Bob Ducsay
Featurette: The Big Bang Theory – The Making of G.I. Joe
Featurette: Next Gen Action – The FX and Design of G.I. Joe

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