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GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra (2009)

Director: Stephen Sommers

3

Time Out rating

Average user rating
13 reviews

Movie review

From Time Out London

It’s fair to say that expectations were low for ‘GI Joe’. Inspired by a line of stirringly patriotic ’60s action figures, produced by the mastermind behind the ‘Transformers’ and ‘Doom’ movies and directed by Stephen Sommers (‘Van Helsing’), the film promised to be the runt in 2009’s blockbuster litter. Which only proves that in Hollywood, as in sport and politics, lowered expectations can often be a blessing in disguise. If ‘GI Joe’ had hit our the screens last year, alongside ‘The Dark Knight’ and ‘Iron Man’, it might have struggled to make an impact. But coming on the heels of ‘Wolverine’ and ‘Terminator: Salvation’, it feels like a welcome blast of fresh air.

The set-up is essentially ‘Team America’ played (fairly) straight: in the near future, a hi-tech team of globe-trotting crimefighters, the best of the best from every NATO member country, are pitched against the deadly forces of Christopher Eccleston’s murderous Scottish arms dealer McCullen (of the clan McCullen, natch). Our heroes include Channing Tatum’s walking, brooding buzzcut Duke, Marlon Wayans in full-on Goofy Black Sidekick mode as Ripcord and Dennis Quaid kicking ass and taking names as squad commander Hawk.

The plot is little more than a 12 year old’s action-movie wishlist: wiseacre heroes? Check. Foxy, leather-clad babes? Check. Wholesale destruction of international landmarks? Check. Scarred uber-villain with underwater base and access to world-threatening weapons technology? Check, check and check. But it’s all put together with such verve and invention that resistance becomes futile: the climactic sequence, a globe-spanning pitched battle on five fronts involving ninjas, nanobots and a fighter jet that speaks Gaelic, is nothing short of breathtaking. ‘GI Joe’ is big, dumb, loud and utterly relentless: basically, everything you could ever want from a summer blockbuster.

Author: Tom Huddleston 2009-08-03 16:22:04

Time Out London Issue 2033, 5 - 12 August, 2009


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User reviews of this film

  • Patrick said...
    Posted on Sep 03 2009 21:50 The biggest load of crap that you will ever see.
    Report as inappropriate
  • DV said...
    Posted on Sep 02 2009 13:03 A great, simplistic yet inventive action flick, which seems to borrow a few ideas from Bond and Star Wars, to create an amusing, modern, good vs evil epic. And I don't usually like CGI-heavy films! Physics students may want to give it a miss though...
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  • lewis and charlie said...
    Posted on Aug 30 2009 19:18 RUBBISHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH
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  • flix said...
    Posted on Aug 21 2009 19:54 An arms corporation invents and sells a nano tech weapon to the goverment; it then steals the nano tubes from the government and sends one hurtling towards the Eifel Tower - who knows why - the tower falls into the Seine; then I fell asleep bored senseless - a paper thin plot designed to sell plastic toys. Come TO 3 stars are you bonkers? One star cos it obviously cost a lot to make.
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  • James said...
    Posted on Aug 19 2009 16:43 Fabulous popcorn escapism! So much more fun than the self-consciously po-faced Terminator 4 and the bloated, tedious Transformers 2. As the review says, it's got everything you'd want from a summer blockbuster. It's not art, just fun.
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  • Harvy said...
    Posted on Aug 19 2009 14:19 I was wondering if either this film or inglorious ******** is better? could someone possibly recommend to me which one to see, and why??
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  • Rustom said...
    Posted on Aug 17 2009 15:01 This has to be the worst movie I've ever seen in my life. I think TimeOut should refund my ticket price for having recommended it.
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  • gige said...
    Posted on Aug 12 2009 23:55 sorry i havent rated it
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  • gige said...
    Posted on Aug 12 2009 23:54 best SCI-FI film yet. seems like there might be a sequel and my favourite song by a band Boom Boom Pow is at the end credits
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  • jonny said...
    Posted on Aug 11 2009 18:55 Dam cool film the best so far with action and cool graphics better then transformers 2 by far
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  • Tim said...
    Posted on Aug 10 2009 06:50 LOL. This reviewer needs to do his research. The movie perfectly captures the essence of GI Joe. The characters, plot and setting all feel like something you'd see from the 80's cartoon.
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  • SRS said...
    Posted on Aug 09 2009 00:05 This is pure entertainment - leave your reality at the door, sit back switch your brain off and enjoy, big lavish sets, lots of action and explosions, does it for me. Highly recommended
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  • Ed said...
    Posted on Aug 08 2009 00:43 Great fun, much better than I expected, pretty violent and also funny at times (I had feared the worst for the blockbusters this summer after I walked out of Transformers 2)
    Report as inappropriate
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