GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra

If you liked the Mummy and Transformers, you’ll like GI Joe: the Rise of Cobra. If you go there expecting to see something nominated to the Sundance Film Festival awards, you’re deranged.
Note: There will be some spoilers toward the end, but I’ll point them out before revealing them.
First off, I’ll start with the things I did NOT like.

  • Casting a Wayans as a Joe. They did not need that kind of comic relief in this movie.
  • They picked an odd representation of Joes. Heavy Duty? Why not Roadblock? Rip Cord? Couldn’t they have used Stalker?
  • For all of the hundreds of extras they had, I would have liked to have recognized a few more characters from the comics from time to time. The extras could have been made to be a little more distinct so we could have at least guessed who they were. For instance, if a proud, tall Native American was in the command center or in one of the mini-subs, we would have immediately said “Hey! That’s Spirit!” Instead, we had Cover Girl.
  • The Delta 6 Accelerator Suits did not need to be there. As my friend observed, they served only one purpose that I could appreciate: making Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow look that much more kick-ass, as they were doing (IMO) more impressive things without any sort of exoskeleton.
    Note to the writers: This is GI Joe, not Iron Man.
  • The special effects were great, although a little over the top at times. they could have easily scaled it down a couple of notches and not lost anything. Yes, I must say, the plot was good enough that it could have stood a little more on its own without the special effects crutch.
  • No Dreadnoks? Okay, I’m kidding. I never liked the Dreadnoks.
  • Changing the reason Snake Eyes does not speak, and not explaining why he always wears a mask.
  • You’d think as a native Briton, Christopher Eccleston could pull off a better burr.
  • Did I mention that I didn’t like the fact that Marlon Wayans plays Rip Cord?

That having been said, here’s what I did like about it.

  • Ray Park as Snake Eyes and Lee Byung-Hun as Storm Shadow. (Snake Eyes is, I’ll admit, one of the reasons I practice martial arts today, just like Montgomery Scott is why I got into technology.) Movies need more Ray Park (whom, you might like to know, has been cast as Daniel Rand in an upcoming Iron Fist movie!). The fight scenes were great, and the one with Snake Eyes hanging on to the Baroness’ Hummer was worth the price of admission.
  • Destro’s family history was well done.
  • Use of many of the classic GI Joe villains. Destro, Baroness, Zartan, and Storm Shadow are all well-represented. Doctor Mindbender has a cameo.
  • The plot was good! It was easily as good as any James Bond “evil genious wants to take over the world” plot. The use of nanotechnology in various ways was clever and, although not completely original, still well done.
  • Cobra and Destro both double-crossing their supposed allies was well in keeping with a typical GI Joe plot.
  • The rivalry between Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow was well done, even if different from the comics.

Spoilers follow. Turn back now if you don’t want me to ruin any surprises.

  • They definitely have plans for a sequel, or at least left the plot open wide enough to plow an aircraft carrier through.
  • Brendan Frazier as the drill sergeant? Okay, that was funny.
  • “The Doctor” (no, not Christopher Eccleston) is not Doctor Mindbender. He turns out to be, in the end, Cobra Commander. In hindsight, I should have seen this coming. I did realize he was the brother before he proclaimed this, but not by much.
  • The history between Duke and Baroness was well done.
  • And what did Cover Girl do except look hot (okay, that was in keeping with the comic – withdrawn) and die?

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