G.I.Joe Rise of Cobra tells the story of a top-secret special ops team composed of the best of the best operatives from around the world. These operatives have come together to fight the most dangerous enemies who pose a threat to democracy and freedom. The most recent threat to bring the Joes into action is a new and unknown organization that sports highly advanced weaponry. This mysterious adversary seeks to steal a new type of nanotechnology-based warheads created by M.A.R.S and funded by NATO. What the Joes don’t know is that there is more to M.A.R.S. than anyone realizes.
I went into this movie thinking the story would be weak and the special-effects would be stellar, but I came out of the movie thinking the exact opposite. Even though this movie faces the significant job of completely rewriting G.I.Joe lore of years past, I think it does a good job of incorporating the overall feel of those classic 80’s G.I.Joe animated mini-series that I grew up watching.
It has the big battles and the times where the enemy seems to have the upper hand and faces imminent victory. It has the exotic locations and the outlandishly cool headquarter for both sides. It has the camaraderie between the Joe team members and the deceit and back stabbing of the bad guys. All things we have come to expect from G.I.Joe over the years.
Where the movie loses me at times is the outlandishly over-the-top special effects used during the movie. There are some scenes that would be cool if this were a cartoon, but they just don’t work in live-action. The most noticeable of these scenes is the big Paris chase scene where Joes break out exo-suits that give them extraordinary abilities. Now the movie is set in the near future, so the yet-to-be-developed technology is not the problem. The scenes just look corny and fake because they are so over-the-top. To a kid these scenes might be really cool, but as an adult they were just hard to swallow.
There some nice nods to Classic Joe fans throughout the movie, and I recommend that collectors stay for the ending credits (watch the symbols, etc. in the background). I won’t say this is one of the best movies of the summer, although I believe it falls between Transformers and Transformers II. For long time Joe fans, I think you have enough to sink your teeth into to really enjoy it. For the more casual fan or first-timers, this is a good popcorn action flick. For younger kids, I think it has enough cool gadgets and stuff to keep them engaged throughout the film.