Every once in awhile one must take a break from seriousness when watching a film and just appreciate and enjoy the film for what it is and not compare it to other more superior movies. While watching G.I. Joe the Rise of Cobra I found myself oddly entertained by it. Its explosive action, though mindless at times, was fun and isn’t that what watching a film is about, having fun with it?
G.I. Joe the Rise of Cobra is based upon the classic cartoon TV show and action figure line. This statement alone would have most critics panning it before the credits would even role. I, however, choose to give it a chance and to tell you the truth I wasn’t expecting much. I was however pleasantly surprised to come out of this film feeling as though I had seen a decent action movie. Not a classic but a film I could see myself watching again just for its minor thrills and solid action.
The story is pretty basic. The film follows the G.I. Joes in their battle to stop the evil forces of the Cobra unit from launching nuclear warheads all over the world thus attaining world fear and eventual domination. Pretty basic plot structure we don’t necessarily care too much for the story but the film does have some interesting characters.
I liked watching the relationship unfold between Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow, two brothers, one on each side of good and evil. Due to the fact that Storm Shadow viscously murdered Snake Eye’s master he has taken a vow of silence and to take vengeance on Storm Shadow.
The acting is sub-par at best. The two main characters of Duke (Channing Tatum) and Rip Cord (Marlon Wayans) are dry and uninteresting they feel as if though they had to put no effort in their performance to make it more believable. The two just stand around the whole movie making terrible jokes and just embarrassing their persona’s by doing so. The acting is somewhat saved though by the menacing villain Commander Cobra. (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s performance is smart, meaning that he takes an over the top character and instead of going around acting goofy and proclaiming his eventual domination of the world, he stays in the dark for the most part of the film which is disappointing that the best acting performance is only on screen for no longer than 10 minutes. The voice that was created for the role is chillingly good. However, I did wish that he would shout his signature “COBRA” quote but I did feel in the end that that would be too over the top.
Let’s face it G.I. Joe is meant to be an action movie not an acting powerhouse drama. The action is well done to say the least. The editing wasn’t a sloppy mess like a film such as Death Race so I was spared a headache. The action scenes have a great campy G.I. Joe feel to them which is a true charm and it adds joy to a film that could have been joyless. I felt that the whole 20 minute action finale wasn’t really necessary. Exciting at first but got tiring after awhile. The shining spot in its conclusion is the final confrontation between Storm Shadow and Snake Eyes. The tension building up to an awe inspiring finale is ruined when the director choose to create such a lack luster unsatisfying conclusion.
I found a lot of potential with the film that was shot down by stupid jokes which can be blamed on the writers who choose to try and create comedy were it so obviously wasn’t needed. Perhaps if many of the characters weren’t so poorly written this film would have turned out much better than it did.
G.I. is dumb but it’s a fun film to watch for a few cheap thrills and mindless action. With its major flaws the film still is able to keep our attention for the duration of its running time making it out to be a fun and entertaining experience.