G.I. Joe: Rise Of Cobra Is One Big Live Action Cartoon (Movie Review)

Lights! Camera! Draw!

G.I Joe: Rise Of Cobra is one big live action cartoon replete a brooding Channing Tatum.

It is the closet 1:1 adaptation of a cartoon Hollywood has ever made. In fact, there was probably more animation, in terms of CGI animation, in G.I Joe: Rise Of Cobra then there was in all the G.I. cartoons from the 1980’s.

Channing Tatum stars as Duke.  Shawn Wayans portrays Ripcord.

Channing Tatum stars as Duke. Shawn Wayans portrays Ripcord.

G.I. Joe started out as a line of Hasbro toys produced from 1982 to 1994. The franchise spawned three cartoons, one aired from 1985 to 1987, the other aired from 1989 to 1991, and finally a 2009 TV/Web series. There was also a G.I. Joe comic book series as well.

This new live action movie is perfect if you need a loud, mindless, action-filled movie to eat your popcorn by while turning off all the higher functions of your brain. If you are looking for substance stay as far away from this movie as possible.

The only time there is any character development, or plot movement, is during a serious of flashbacks. Of course, these flashbacks work to tie everything together and in the end just about every bad guy is inextricably link to some good guy. Fate was working overtime.

Besides the flashbacks, there’s virtually no plot, no acting and no script. However, the film doesn’t try to be anything more than a loud, mindless, action flick as it stays as close as it can to the franchise. The result is G.I Joe: Rise Of Cobra is deliciously cheesy. With the right mind set, this over-the-top movie can be a lot of fun.

Sienna Miller plays Anne/Baroness Anastasia DeCobray / The Baroness

Sienna Miller plays Ana/Baroness Anastasia DeCobray / The Baroness

By the way, the best fight in the entire movie is between two kids portraying Snake-Eyes and Storm Shadow when they were wee lads. Brendan Fraser made a cameo appearance and in his two minutes of screen time he acted the pants off of everyone else in the movie. We are unsure if Dennis Quaid, who played Hawk, was even conscious during his scenes. He really sleepwalked through this one.

At it’s heart, G.I. Joe’s purpose is to sell toys. So the question must be asked, is G.I Joe: Rise Of Cobra appropriate for kids. Land of Punt can’t say what ages this movie is for but there is a lot of violence, death and some swearing (a couple of Sh*T’s and a few g*dd*mn’s). There’s a little gore (some burnt faces, a dart in the eye, a head blows up) but nothing to graphic.

Sadly, the movie didn’t follow in the cartoon’s footstep in regards to characters killing and being killed. LOP actually thinks it would have been natty had the movie aspired for zero deaths. Twenty-years ago they probably needed to keep the body count at nil-nil, but nowadays kids are so desensitized to death it probably doesn’t matter. We suspect the average whipper-snapper won’t even notice.

Rachel Nichols is absolutely stunning as Shana M. O'Hara / Scarlett.  Under that black hood is Ray Park as the dazzling Snake-Eyes.

Rachel Nichols is absolutely stunning as Shana M. O\’Hara / Scarlett. Under that black hood is Ray Park as the dazzling Snake-Eyes.

One aspect of the cartoon filmmakers did keep was the alacrity in which vehicles start and stop. It always struck Land of Punt as interesting that none of the vehicles in G.I. Joe needed to warm up. Characters just jumped right in and away they went.

Another part of the film we liked was the huge military escort given to four top secret warheads (that fit in a briefcase) being delivered to NATO. Nothing says “We’re Hauling Top Secret Weapons, Come and Get It” quite like a platoon of armored personal vehicles and a cadre of Apache helicopters maneuvering across the hillside.

Then there was this nugget: The Baroness had to take the warheads to a scientist (who just happened to be her husband) to get them weaponized. Aren’t warheads weaponized already. Isn’t that the meaning of warhead?

The G.I. Joes in their G.I. Joes' lair.

The G.I. Joes in their G.I. Joes\’ lair.

Duke’s brother-in-law gets “killed” and it emotionally cripples him while destroying his relationship with the woman he loves. But his entire platoon gets slaughtered at the start of the movie and he doesn’t even bat an eye.

Duke immediately recognizes that the Baroness is his ex-fiance Ana but it takes the G.I. Joe computer half the movie to realize this fact, even though they have picture of everyone currently living in the world. Apparently changing your hair color is all you need to do to befuddled facial-recognition software.

The G.I. Joe’s are stationed in a state-of-the-art fortress staffed by the best of the best but basically two bad guys infiltrate, subdue, damage and escape the base.

You might want to take a program or brush up on your G.I. Joe cannon.  Every character has about six nom de plumes and they're all used.

You might want to take a program or brush up on your G.I. Joe cannon. Every character has about six nom de plumes and they\’re all used.

LOP’s biggest gripe about G.I Joe: Rise Of Cobra is G.I. Joe is it’s now a multinational strike force. It’s now longer American. This is a travesty and an utter shame. G.I. Joe is quintessentially America. In fact, G.I. Joe is synonymous with America. “G.I.” stands for “government issue” and that government was the United States.

Sadly, G.I. Joe’s American-ness was stripped away in the name of political correctness and greed (although those are both quintessentially American too).

The inclusion of other nationalities into G.I. Joe means the world is saving the world from evil. Whereas if the force was comprised entirely of Americans, it would be Americans saving the world from evil, again. Hmm… Americans saving the world from evil where have seen that before?

An American-centric G.I. Joe wouldn’t go over too well with audiences oversees (many of whom are free because of Americans) and that would negatively affect the box office.

LOP prefers G.I. Joe: Real American Heroes. Because in the long run the things that Americans stand for–freedom, liberty, democracy, justice, truth–will be the same things that protect the citizens of the world for evil.

You might also wish to take a program or brush up on your G.I. Joe cannon.  Every character has about six nom de plumes and they're all used

This poster uses a green shade for G.I. Joe and a green hue in the title. It looks very odd and out of place. Blue was obviously omitted so the poster wouldn’t contain red, white and blue, the colors associated with America.

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