G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra

Posted on: 08/07/09 by Elijah Mendoza
Tagged as action, cartoons, GI Joe, Cobra, toys, 80s

G.I. Joe fans may experience mixed emotions from this film by Stephen Sommers, but that's not to say that there's nothing remarkable about it. When you're dealing with a franchise that fans have followed since the ‘80s, there will be a few words thrown in the way – both good and, in the gentlest of words, harsh.


The film's title says it all – The Rise of Cobra is about the origin of all-American soldier Sgt. Conrad "Duke" Hauser (Channing Tatum) and of course, the beginnings of Cobra Commander/Dr. Rex Lewis (Joesph Gordon-Levitt).

Many may balk at the inconsistencies of the movie vis--vis the cartoon such as the Joes wielding super high-tech weapons and vehicles. That's understandable because the moral lesson that the original series conveyed ("knowing is half the battle") took a back seat to the gizmos. The movie's nonstop action sequences made it seem as though "knowing" is just one-tenth of the battle, as the Joes' victories relied heavily on the sci-fi gadgetry.

Looking beyond that issue, however, will open your eyes to the tangled web that Cobra and his right-hand man Destro/McCullen have weaved. TRoC also told the origin stories of some of the other notable characters like Snake Eyes (Ray Park) and Storm Shadow (Byung Hun-Lee) and the love story between Duke and Baroness (Sienna Miller), although it did resort to some cheesy flashbacks i.e. when the two ninjas clashed swords for the first time in 20 years.

Duke doesn't do drama

As good as Channing Tatum was when it came to chase and action scenes, he gave a lackluster performance in his one "dramatic" scene with Baroness and Cobra. In all honesty, the scene could have been edited out.

Marlon Wayans provided all of the comedy relief, making it a good casting call. His impish/pubescent behavior fits in perfectly with his character Ripcord, making us root for him to successfully woo the lovely Shana "Scarlett" O' Hara (Rachel Nichols).

While we're on the subject of hot, none of the blazing guns, lasers, or cannons can compare to the Sienna Miller. There was gratuitous boobage despite her being fully clothed all the time. Couple that with a kick-ass attitude, and you've got major eye candy throughout the entire film.


With the movie targeting the 20- to 30-year-old market, expect to see nothing but the best CGI – comparable to those seen in Transformers or maybe even the older Matrix movies.

While many CGI scenes in TRoC are convincing, those that aren't can be pointed out by a two-year-old. We won't tell which parts specifically you should look out for, but we'll give you a hint: There's sand and pyramids.

Super sponsors

Because we're on the subject of computers, it's worth mentioning that TRoC bagged a sort of deal with Cisco and Norton. Cisco Systems made an appearance in The Pit wherein the company supposedly provides the complex's security program. Meanwhile, Norton Internet Security protected the computers inside the M.A.R.S. (Military Armament Research Syndicate) prototype bunker where Rex was caught in during mid-fire.

Both product placements don't seem to be out of place, but given the context of the movie where cutting-edge, top-secret military technology is the norm, injecting down-to-earth elements such as these brings down the wow factor. It gives geeks like us a chance to chortle a little, though. If you hear others snicker along with you, you'll know who your fellow techies are.

Go Joe or Oh Noes?

While we could have used more "Go Joes!" other than the one time it was shouted towards the end, the open-ended story will hook you to see the sequel that the movie so obviously set up. It's a must see – for now – until we find out if the movie series is worth following, courtesy of the sequel, and we all know what happened to Transformers 2.

That's a challenge, Joes. Are you all up to it?


star_on star_on star_on star_on star_off
  • There are ninjas in this movie! Ninjas!
  • Cool weapons and fight scenes
  • Sienna Miller's got it goin' on!
  • Again the cool weapons. They're not faithful to the series
  • Cheesy flashbacks
Bottom Line
  • It's a hyper-realistic action flick that gives a new dimension to the world of the Joes

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  1. cweesy: Hehe nice review. The inclusion of ninjas was all I needed to know. Ninjas!
    August 7, 2020 at 2:08 pm

  2. t3chieboi: Yeah ninjas rule!
    August 7, 2020 at 2:21 pm

  3. Mommy Techie: A huge G.I. Joe fan here!!! :D
    August 7, 2020 at 2:40 pm

  4. carloxy: great movie, snake eyes and storm shadow fight scenes are enough to make this movie a must watch.. and by the way, i think Scarlett is way hotter the Baronness..:)
    August 10, 2020 at 10:44 pm

  5. Ardz: How come the Joes have uniforms now? They don't have uniforms before. They have their own unique outfits!
    August 15, 2020 at 9:34 am

  6. JV: Cheesy storyline, yet still entertaining.
    August 18, 2020 at 4:11 am

  7. techtachtoe: What do you guys expect from a movie based on an 80's animated series? of course there will be adjustments (Weapons, Costumes, Vehicles, etc.).. Just like the comic-inspired movies ( best example- c-men trilogy), they can only do so much to recreate the same set- ups (it will be cool for some to see wolverine in yellow spandex but it will not be appealing for everybody). they need to balance it for both mature and young, new and old fans.. High tech weaponry? they did have those as far as the cartoon is concerned..
    August 22, 2020 at 11:41 am