Canister X Movie Review #117: G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra (2009)

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G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra (2009)
Written by Stuart Beattie, David Elliot, Paul Lovett
Directed by Stephen Sommers
Runtime 118 min.
4 out of 5

When military partners Duke (Channing Tatum) and Ripcord (Marlon Wayans) get involved in the super covert ultra team G.I. Joe thanks to botching up supervising the delivery of nano-mite war-heads on behalf of the US Army, they join the team to try and track the war-heads down before they’re unleashed on the world. To make things even more difficult for Duke, his ex-girlfriend, Anastasia “Ana” DeCobray (Sienna Miller), also the “Baroness,” is part of the team responsible for stealing the nano-mite war-heads, and he is torn between trying to figure out what happened to her and also doing the right thing not just for his country, but for the whole world.

Yet Duke and Ana aren’t the only ones with a past. Opposing ninja warriors Snake Eyes (Ray Park) and Storm Shadow (Byung-hun Lee) go back to when they were children and trained under the same sensei. It wasn’t until a tragic event in their youth drove the two apart, only to meet now, years later, and settle their conflict once and for all.

With only the safety of the world resting in the hands of the best of the best of the best, team G.I. Joe has their work cut out for them as they try to save the world from the rising C.O.B.R.A.

This movie is lightning. Seriously. Right from the first minute straight through to the last this sucker moves at breakneck speed with non-stop action, fireballs, lasers, bullets, super-powered armor, kung-fu, car chases, car crashes, aerial battles and a whole ton more.

It’s been awhile since I’ve seen a movie where I felt like I was moving at the speed of light and G.I. Joe delivers that in spades. I went in expecting an action movie. I got it. I went in expecting a military movie. I didn’t get that but instead got something between the Avengers, Desert Storm and James Bond. It didn’t feel like an army movie and for that I was thankful because, though I like history and military fiction, I have a hard time watching army movies. Don’t know why. Just can’t get into them. Also, all that olive green is nauseating after a while. Thank goodness that stupid color is absent in G.I. Joe. They wear black, thank you very much.

The overall plot was cool. The problem was the pace. It was just way too fast. However, I was pleasantly surprised by the flashback sequences throughout the movie and even the fact the movie starts off in 1641 instead of the present day. More specifically, I was impressed the flashback sequences didn’t happen to just one character, but to several, each segment adding to that character’s history and giving us something more than a man or woman with an agenda. We actually get to understand their motivations because we get to be there with them and see how they came to be what they came to be.

There was something else I had a hard time buying, but I’ll leave it there because I don’t want to spoil anything for those who haven’t seen it yet.

In the end, this film delivered a lot and truly embodied the idea of “rise of the cobra.” There was origins galore, the ones not mentioned above being Destro and the Doctor. There will no doubt be a sequel because there’s obviously way more story to tell.

Rating this film was tough because there’s no way to be critical of it without coming off unfair. I mean, really, the effects were 5 out of 5. No challenge there. The explosions alone were awesome never mind the Eiffel Tower falling, the nano-mite green mist effect, those blue electro pulses—craziness. The story? Well . . . how’s 3 sound? Yeah? Okay. Tell you what: I’ll meet you halfway and we’ll settle on 4. Cool? Cool.

Oh and one more thing . . .

Go Joe!