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Overall Rating

Awesome: 0%
Worth A Look: 10.81%
Just Average: 8.11%
Pretty Crappy43.24%
Sucks: 37.84%

3 reviews, 19 user ratings

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G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra
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by Peter Sobczynski

"a.k.a. Bratz With A Body Count"
1 stars

At one point during the two hours of random mayhem being released in theaters under the title of “G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra,” one of the good guys comes across one of the bad guys lying dead in the street and jabs a couple of electrode things into the corpse’s neck. When asked why he is doing this to someone who has most definitely shuffled off this mortal coil, he announces that he is retrieving images from the body’s cerebral cortex and reminds his colleague that “the brain survives for a couple of minutes after death.” Right about now, I was hoping to make some kind of glib comment speculating about how long the brain could possibly survive after being exposed to something as rock-stupid as the film itself but unfortunately, “G.I. Joe” is so mind-curdling that I am frankly surprised that I have enough synapses firing away to write my own name, let alone pithy commentary about something so dumb and incoherent that the nicest thing that can be said about it is that it isn’t as bad as “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen,” though not by much.

Despite the promise raised by its subtitle, “G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra” is not a prequel to the semi-classic Sylvester Stallone killfest, has nothing to do with the 1985 U.S. federal statute regarding health insurance provisions in the workplace and isn’t a not-so-veiled reference to what many male members of the audience may experience the first time that co-star Sienna Miller struts onto the screen in her form-fitting leather jumpsuit. Set in the not-too-distant future (according to a title card that should inspire some laughter from any “MST3K” fanatics in the audience), the film opens with super-soldiers Duke (Channing Tatum) and Ripcord (Marlon Wayans) being charged with transporting weapons built by Scottish arms developer McCullen (Christopher Eccleston) that can literally eat buildings and cities via advanced nanotechnology. It turns out that McCullen is a member of the evil organization known as COBRA and he sends two of their deadliest fighters--the Baroness (Miller), who also happens to be Duke’s former girlfriend, and ninja badass Storm Shadow (Byung-hun Lee)--to steal back the weapon so that he and his colleagues--The Doctor (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and Zartan (Arnold Vosloo)--can use it to hold the world for ransom or something like that. Luckily, our heroes and the weapons are rescued by members of the G.I. Joe squadron, a super-elite international military force run by the gruff General Hawk (Dennis Quaid) and including the silent Snake Eyes (Ray Park), electronics whiz Breaker (Said Taghmaoui) and busty brainiac Scarlett (Rachel Nichols). Before long, however, the weapons get stolen anyway and the last hour of the film consists of the two sides battling each other in an endless series of cartoonish CGI carnage that is so vaguely tossed together that I defy anyone--including anyone who was actually involved with the film’s production--to offer a coherent explanation as to what is going on at any given moment.

Watching “G.I. Joe” is like being slapped across the face with utility-grade meat for two hours and for all I know, that is exactly what screenwriters Stuart Beattie and David Elliot & Paul Lovett did to get themselves in the proper frame of mind during the writing process. The story doesn’t make a lick of sense for a minute, there isn’t a single line of dialogue that anyone with even the slightest bit of taste would want to quote with anything other than contempt and the characters are so uninteresting that by the time the film ended, I still didn’t know the names of half the characters that I had just spent the last two hours watching. In an especially weird touch that really doesn’t work, the story is frequently interrupted for brief flashbacks meant to offer us some background as to who they are but since this material is presented in a manner just as incoherent as everything else on display, it doesn’t help at all. As for the direction from Stephen Sommers, the auteur responsible for such high-tech crimes against cinema as “The Mummy” and “Van Helsing,” he tries to present us with eye candy but only gives us the cinematic equivalent of those rock-hard chunks of cheap bubble-gum that you only see on Halloween given out by people barely willing to make any effort. As he has shown in his other movies, his basic directorial approach is to have everything move as quickly as possible so as to prevent anyone from getting a chance to realize just how dumb everything is. The problem with this approach is that everything is so rushed that nothing lasts long enough to make any sort of impact on viewers and he burns through his ideas so quickly (even the expected and entirely welcome catfight between Sienna Miller and Rachel Nichols appears much earlier than one might expect) that by the time the film needs a second wind of inspiration, he is pretty much running on fumes. As for the performers, the only one who makes any lasting impression (not counting those made by Sienna Miller and Rachel Nichols in their fetishwear) is Quaid and that is only because he spends most of the film wearing the exact same disgruntled scowl that I once saw him give me during an interview when I inadvertently made a reference to his having been in “Jaws 3-D.”

“G.I. Joe: Rise of the Cobra” isn’t a movie as much as it is an extended toy commercial for the kind of playthings that most kids will find themselves setting aside after a few minutes in order to play with the packaging materials. It is loud, stupid and incoherent from beginning to end, the big centerpiece scene in which half of Paris is turned to rubble without anyone really noticing is too creepy to be entertaining and the closest thing to a clever joke is a bit involving a fighter plane controlled by the thoughts of the pilot--because it was designed by a Scotsman, the controls only respond to people thinking in Celtic. Other than that, it is pretty much an all-out disaster and after only a few minutes, you will know exactly why Paramount decided to hide this film from all but the most easily malleable critics before releasing it to the public and in this particular case, knowing is the entire battle.

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=18136&reviewer=389
originally posted: 08/07/09 04:59:10
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User Comments

10/18/11 Magic A CGI object crashes into another CGI object at 100mph again and again for 120 minutes. 1 stars
2/26/11 mr.mike Was the villain supposed to be Dr.Evil? 3 stars
2/28/10 Jeff Wilder And knowing what a bad movie is is half the battle! 2 stars
11/29/09 Rob Worst piece of crap I've ever seen 1 stars
11/11/09 Albert Valentin Mindless fun action film...only for true hardcore action fanatics. 3 stars
11/04/09 Zoro III Complete waste of time 1 stars
9/22/09 Perdunok Hello Perdunky! 2 stars
9/02/09 David Just really stupid, the CGI even sucked some of the time. 2 stars
8/26/09 R. G. Ranade Sad, pathetic waste of time. Joseph Gordon-Levitt, how could you? 1 stars
8/26/09 starmage2 The over use of FX made it look fake. 1 stars
8/25/09 SylvesterFox007 Nichols, Eccleston, Wayans, and Gordon-Levitt were good; Channing, Miller, and Quaid sucked 4 stars
8/18/09 Night1836 wait till it comes to dvd and rent it. 3 stars
8/16/09 KingNeutron Gordon-Levitt was poor casting but we both enjoyed the movie. Destro has a bad line @ending 4 stars
8/12/09 Ravenmad I liked it, it was fun. 4 stars
8/10/09 Roy Smith Noisy and stupid and yet I love it. 4 stars
8/10/09 Aaron This was easily the worst action movie I've ever seen. ZERO stars. 1 stars
8/10/09 I enjoy special effects, when they are actually special I would like the time and IQ points that I lost when I saw this awful movie. 2 stars
8/08/09 Jeff This movie made me want to push an old lady down a flight of stairs. It was that bad 1 stars
8/07/09 Maven Honestly...how many times can a person say "Hollywood Garbage" in one lifetime? 1 stars
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  07-Aug-2009 (PG-13)
  DVD: 03-Nov-2009


  DVD: 03-Nov-2009

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