G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra

Directed By: Stephen Sommers

Starring: Channing Tatum, Sienna Miller, Christopher Eccleston, Marlon Wayans, Rachel Nichols, Dennis Quaid, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ray Park, Lee Byung-hun, and Jonathan Pryce

In recent years, toy maker Hasbro has been intent upon getting all its major product lines on the big screen.  Transformers certainly made sense and has paid big dividends for them (despite declining quality throughout the series).  Battleship, however, sucked as a movie and sunk at the box office.  The other Hasbro property that's been brought to life in film is G.I. Joe.  Much like many Hasbro films, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra completely misses the mark.

Using nanotechnology, weapons expert James McCullen (Christopher Eccleston) has developed a warhead capable of destroying a city and has sold four of them to NATO.  A unit of NATO forces led by American soldiers Duke (Channing Tatum) and Ripcord (Marlon Wayans) are tasked with safely transporting these warheads to an undisclosed NATO location.  When they're ambushed by Duke's ex-fiancée and Cobra operative the Baroness (Sienna Miller), they almost lose the warheads.  They're rescued by an elite force known as the Joes — Scarlett (Rachel Nichols), Snake Eyes (Ray Park), and Heavy Duty (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje).  The Joes also recover the warheads.

Duke and Ripcord, the only NATO troops who survive the ambush, are taken to the G.I. Joe base in Egypt to meet General Hawk (Dennis Quaid).  There, they learn more about the Joes and the warheads.  They even become Joes themselves.  Trouble is still brewing, however.  The Baroness, also known as Ana Lewis, figures out where the G.I. Joe base is located.  Along with several other Cobra operatives, she attacks the base and recovers the warheads.  Now, she's marked her first target, the Eiffel Tower in Paris.  It's up to Duke, Ripcord, and the other Joes to stop her and the mastermind behind all of this.  Meanwhile, Duke reflects on his relationship with the Baroness and how her brother Rex's passing (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) killed their relationship.

G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra might just be the most underwhelming big budget action movie through which I've suffered in recent years.  The plot is razor-thin, and I'm shocked that director Stephen Sommers is able to stretch this thing to two hours.  The visual effects are cartoonish and are more akin to the video games of yesteryear than a live action movie.  The acting is abysmal, and the actors are miscast in their roles.  All of this makes for one pathetic action movie that just doesn't get the job done.

Despite the multitude of tangential storylines, there's hardly any plot at all in G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra.  Some Cobra baddies steal some warheads from the Joes and blow up some stuff.  The Joes stop them from blowing up more stuff.  There's your movie.  The end.  I'm sorry, but I need a little more from my movies, even an action flick as mindless as this.  When you've got two hours of explosions and stale dialogue, something is not right.

For a movie that cost $175 million to make, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra has some really cheap special effects.  I don't know where the money went, but it certainly didn't go into making this movie look a big budget action flick.  The Rise of Cobra is more like the video games made a decade ago than a live action movie today.  There's absolutely nothing that looks real about the explosions with nanomite-based warheads or Channing Tatum and Marlon Wayans running around in those goofy looking high-tech suits.  Some investor wasted a hell of a lot of cheddar on this one.

As bad as all this is, the worst thing about the movie has got to be the acting.  As Duke, Channing Tatum is his usual awful self.  He's anything but charismatic and just doesn't deliver a leading performance that can carry this movie.  As Ripcord, Marlon Wayans is completely miscast.  He has no business in an action movie, and he doesn't provide an ounce of comic relief.  Sienna Miller and Rachel Nichols give mediocre performances as well.  However, the kicker is that Joseph Gordon-Levitt doesn't get the job done and delivers a bad performance, a rare blemish on the talented actor's otherwise stellar résumé.

The Rise of Cobra just doesn't get the job done.  The writing, the visuals, and the acting leave a lot to be desired.  Honestly, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra sucks.  All I can really say is get wasted for this one.  Grab some Redheaded Sluts for this mess of a film.