Release Date: August 7th, 2009
Click here for the G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra Trailer.
James McCullen(Christopher Eccleston) is a Scottish weapons designer who has just created a nanotechnology-based weapon. The nanites are remote controlled and are capable of destroying an entire city. With his company MARS, McCullen sells four nano-warheads to NATO who puts the U.S. Army in charge of delivering the warheads. Conrad "Duke" Hauser(Channing Tatum) and his best friend and second in command Wallace "Ripcord" Weems(Marlon Wayans) along with their team are entrusted with the delivery of the warheads. En route to their destination, the team is ambushed by a squad of super soldiers that seem virtually unstoppable.During the fight, a woman emerges and attempts to take the case of warheads from Duke and Ripcord. While fighting her off, Duke realizes that the woman is his ex-fiance Ana Lewis(Sienna Miller), who now goes by "The Baroness". The Baroness is about to kill duke and Ripcord when they are saved by Shana "Scarlett" O'Hara(Rachel Nichols), "Snake Eyes"(Ray Park) and Hershel "Heavy Duty" Dalton(Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje) who retrieve the warheads and transport them, along with Duke and Ripcord, back to The Pit, the command center for G.I. Joe. Upon arrival, Duke and Ripcord meet General Clayton "Hawk" Abernathy(Dennis Quaid). After the debriefing, Hawk dismisses Duke and Ripcord who insist on staying to which Hawk agrees to let them join G.I. Joe.
Upon inspecting the warheads, McCullen appears via a hologram message and tells them to disable the tracking device which has already been disabled by Abel "Breaker" Shaz(Said Taghmaoui). McCullen then wishes to view the warheads to make sure thy are in tact. Breaker then uses an visual x-ray scanner to examine the case without opening it which reveals the warheads to be intact, however McCullen insists on seeing them and gives Breaker a code to unlock it, however, the code actually re-initiates the tracking device and it is revealed that McCullen sent the people to steal the warheads. McCullen is implanting soldiers with nanites to create super soldiers who do not feel pain and do not know danger, threat, or fear. With the tracking device now working, McCullen sends The Baroness along with Thomas "Storm Shadow" Arashikage(Lee Byung-hun) and Zartan(Arnold Vosloo) with an army of super soldiers to infiltrate The Pit and steal the warheads. During the battle in The Pit, General Hawk is badly injured while The Baroness and Storm Shadow escape with the warheads. They take the warheads to Baron DeCobray, The Baroness' husband, who is a scientist. They force Baron DeCobray to weaponize the warheads while the Joes pursue them.
The Baroness and Storm Shadow get the warheads weaponized and head to the Eiffel Tower to detonate one. Storm Shadow and The Baroness are fleeing through the streets of Paris with Duke and Ripcord following in their accelerator suits trying to stop them. During the chase, Snake Eyes jumps onto the Baroness' car and attempts to stop them as well with Scarlett, Breaker and Heavy Duty following close behind. The Baroness and Storm Shadow's car gets hit by a train and the two split up with Storm Shadow taking the warhead and The Baroness taking the remote control and kill switch. Duke follows after The Baroness while Ripcord pursues Storm Shadow. Ripcord finds Storm Shadow but is too late to stop him from firing the warhead at the Eiffel Tower which detonates and begins dissolving the support beams. Duke finds The Baroness who escapes in a plane. However, thanks to Duke's accelerator suit, he is able to jump into the plane and hit the kill switch but not before the Eiffel Tower plummets to the ground. While in the plane Duke is incapacitated and captured. Duke is taken to McCullen's secret research base under the ice caps of the Arctic. While being transported, Duke attempts to steal the case and escape but is easily apprehended again. But while Duke had the case he was able to re-initialize the tracking code letting the Joes know where he is. Breaker, Ripcord, Heavy Duty, Scarlett and Snake Eyes travel to the Arctic to save Duke and retrieve the warheads which McCullen has already integrated into three missiles which he launches at specific world powers including Russia and the United States. Snake Eyes takes out one of the missiles while Ripcord hijacks a prototype Night Raven jet and goes after the other two.
Scarlet, Breaker and Snake Eyes infiltrate the base to find the control room to guide ripcord to the missiles and shut down the base. While captured, Duke is strapped into a medical chair and is being prepared to be operated on by The Doctor. The Doctor plans on altering Dukes physical features and turning him into one of the mind controlled super soldiers. While preparing for the procedure, The Doctor reveals himself to be Rex Lewis(Joseph Gordon-Levitt), The Baroness' younger brother. Rex was a science officer in the army with Duke and Ripcord who was presumed dead after an attack in Afghanistan went wrong. Rex hid in a bunker with Doctor Mindbender(Kevin O'Connor) and was severely disfigured by the blast. Doctor Mindbender told everything he knew about nanotechnology to Rex who went mad by the thought of the power. The Baroness, who is persuaded by Duke, tries to save him but is restrained. Rex then reveals that he has implanted her with nanites as well and that she has been under his control for the past four years. Rex is surprised that she is resisting after being controlled for so long. When McCullen tries to kill Duke and The Baroness his face becomes horribly burned and he flees the area with Rex to an escape submarine.
Meanwhile, Heavy Duty is leading an underwater assault against McCullen's super soldiers and his base. While Breaker and Scarlett are attempting to shut down the base, they successfully lead Ripcord to the other two missiles which he succeeds in destroying. While defending Scarlett and Breaker, Snake Eyes is confronted by Shadow Storm and the two face off, having been enemies since childhood. In the ensuing battle, Snake Eyes defeats Shadow Storm whose body falls into the icy water. Duke and The Baroness pursue Rex and McCullen in a small attack vessel. Rex sprays McCullen's burned face with nanites which develop into a steel mask at which point Rex dubs McCullen "Destro". While fleeing, Rex renames himself "Cobra Commander" and attempts to flee the base with Destro. Duke and The Baroness catch up with Cobra and Destro whose ship is far larger and more powerful than the small attack vessel Duke and The Baroness are in. When it seems that Cobra is going to destroy Duke and the Baroness, the entire G.I. Joe army emerges behind them and captures Cobra Commander and Destro. Duke and the rest of the team take refuge on the USS Flagg where The Baroness is placed under close security and medical care until all the nanites can be removed from her body.
Back in Washington, the President(Jonathan Pryce) is taking shelter in his bunker from the previous missile attack when Zartan emerges with the help of a mind-controlled Secret Service Agent. Zartan is revealed to have undergone facial reconstructive surgery from Rex to make him look exactly like the President. Zartan then take the President's place in the White House while Cobra Commander and Destro are locked in specialty jail cells in The Pit with cobra commander vowing to Duke and the rest of the Joes that the fight isn't over yet.
Taking one of the most beloved childhood toys of all time and turning it into a big screen motion picture like this can be tricky. The new trend in film making these days is making movies based on the entertainment we already love like comic books, toys and video games. This movie is based on a prequel type story to the comic books and cartoons from the earlier years of G.I. Joe. But you can not watch this movie and try to compare it to other stories because it just won't work. That being said, it is time to get into the pros and cons of this movie.
Despite other reviews on this movie, I actually enjoyed it and thought it was a great film. The main focus of this movie was without a doubt action. G.I. Joe is, in fact, a soldier toy so it make sense that the movie would be packed full of action and it was. There were tins of fight scenes, fast chases and huge explosions littered throughout the entire film. But this is to be expected from a series like G.I. Joe. This movie reminded me of a cartoon with actual people. One thing this movie didn't have going for it was some of the dialogue. At times the dialogue seemed a bit corny but again, G.I. Joe was a comic book and cartoon from the late 80's to mid 90's where corny dialogue was the "hip" thing to do. Some of the action and dialogue is what reminded me of a cartoon.
What I did like about this movie was the amount of characters they had in it. The main Joe team had 7 members and Cobra had 4 with his full army of super soldiers. Watching this movie with all the characters reminded me of what it was like playing with the toys when I was a kid which brought back many happy memories and made the movie more enjoyable. Other review will tell you that this movie lacked acting skills, depth and all that other "Emmy Nominated" banter, however, in a movie like G.I. Joe, none of that is necessary. Nobody makes G.I. Joe to win best new movie or best drama. It is made for the pure fun and adrenaline you get while watching it. Which is exactly what G.I. Joe does for you. This movie is like being a kid again. The corny dialogue and over-the-top action is what first drew people in to the cartoon and the comic book and that is what will draw people in to the movie. If you are a fan of the G.I. Joe comic book or t.v. show then you will undoubtedly be a fan of this movie.
The acting won't win any of the stars a "Best Performance" Emmy but that is hardly the point with this movie and the actors/actresses themselves didn't do that bad of a job. I don't really have any problems with any of the actors and I thought they all did a great job. This is definitely a movie for the true fans of G.I. Joe and is also one that may be able to draw in some new blood to the franchise like the new Star Trek movie did for it's fan base. One of the better Summer action movies, G.I. Joe is one you should go see, especially if you are already a fan of the show, comic books and toys. I give G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra 8.5 Accelerator Suits out of 10.
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