Futuristic war technology is pretty cool, man. Getting a peek at some of the gadgets our military will get to play with in the near future is quite the experience, and watching things blow up with it is even cooler. That was the (sole) thought process behind G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra before Hasbro stood up and suggested that a futuristic war be based on a series of toys. Unsurprisingly, it shows.
For a stupid action movie, The Rise of Cobra has one hell of a complex plot. *Deep breath* Duke and Ripcord are two US soldiers tasked with transporting missiles with nanomite technology owned by Scottish weapons designer Laird McCullen who descended from a traitor in medieval times when their convoy is attacked by an evil organization called Cobra led in part by the Baroness who’s pretty hot with her leather suit and is super evil and actually Duke’s crazy ex-girlfriend who is recovering the nanites for McCullen who is actually a criminal mastermind that wants to do something with the missiles with the help of an evil ninja named Storm Shadow who’s the former childhood friend of Snake Eyes who works for G.I. Joe which is a sweet futuristic organization that Duke and Ripcord join and try to help stop Cobra from doing evil things like destroying national monuments and creating an army while Ripcord wants to bang the hot redhead that works for G.I. Joe and also Joseph Gordon-Levitt is an evil mad scientist.
Stephen Sommers really knows his way around an action scene, and juggles very large-scale setpieces with finesse. Nearly everything explodes at one point or another, sparks fly and science-y things are scientific. None of it makes a lot of sense, and the action frequently causes one to forget why the hell any of this is happening in the first place.
The writing of The Rise of Cobra is about as proficient as one could expect with a slide stating “In the not-too-distant future…” It gets worse, with forced fan service lines such as “You’ve got lifelike hair, and a kung-fu grip!” and “Knowing is half the battle!” The number of additional legitimately horrible lines of dialogue is incalculable. This is in addition to the countless other insanely stupid things that happen within the movie, such as sinking ice, jets that can only be controlled by saying commands out loud in Scottish, a naval carrier called the USS Flagg (I know, it’s from the cartoon, but still), and fiery explosions underwater.
I can’t think of any movie with as much technology fetishism as The Rise of Cobra. Shockwave guns, holograms, giant drills, jetpacks, invisibility suits, robotic accelerator suits, and energy staffs are the order of the day. The worst part is that the technology of the film was all designed with the sincere expectation that it will all exist in about a decade.
Aw, yeah baby, lick that joystick.
Nanotechnology is the ultimate all-purpose plot device. These tiny robots do everything, including melting through metal, healing snake bites, turning a man’s face to silver, and controlling the minds of others. A huge majority of the craziness that happens in the movie is also attributed to the nanomites.
The special effects are….well….noticeable. While any sensible person is going to call bullshit when they see microscopic robots eat through the Eiffel Tower and tip it over, it’s still distracting to see special effects that didn’t receive nearly enough attention (kind of like my relationships, or so I’m told). It’s a problem when there is a very clear disconnect between the world and the computer-generated effects that populate it. I’m not saying that porn has better special effects than this movie, but I know most dicks aren’t that long and I still think that concept is easier to swallow.
No! That’s not what I meant!
Marlon Wayans and Dennis Quaid are in this movie. They are both terrible.
As bad as they are, they don’t compare to the abysmal acting of Rachel Nichols. Nichols is a broken robot programmed to do girl stuff like narrow her eyes, toss her hair, “cry,” and perform some horrible approximation of a smile that literally does look like a robot trying to twist its face into a first-time grin. The script is mostly to blame for some of the horrible shit that comes out of her mouth (which is actually pretty funny because it gives the idea that the screenwriters have never spent enough time around a girl to know what they might say in a normal context), but her delivery gets no excuses. It’s just that horrible. Still, that Joe suit; gives “Rise of Cobra” a whole new meaning AMIRITE GUYS?
The Rise of Cobra is awful. It’s so incredibly, mind-numbingly stupid that it almost defies belief. The scientific logic is full of more shit than an obese Mexican woman after eating Wal-Mart’s Great Value chili. The script is something that would make a 5-year old say “Don’t look at me, I couldn’t write something that stupid.” But it knows all of this, and continues to plow forward, steamrolling over any sense of logic. It’s…beautiful.
Take a Drink: every time someone is actually just a hologram.
Take a Drink: whenever something explodes that probably wouldn’t in real life.
Do a Shot: whenever you suspect that a piece of technology might just be bullshit.
Take a Drink: whenever the Doctor says something corny.
Take a Drink: whenever anyone else says something flat-out stupid.