G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra
Plot Summary: Elite, international, special armed forces battles for control of a new weapon of mass destruction.
Reason for the Rating: Strong sequences of action violence and mayhem throughout.
Remember that boy Barbie when we were kids? Not Ken, but the one with a scar on his cheek and fuzzy hair? The only boy action figure with actual hair? G.I Joe was his name, and we all thought he was pretty cool...not only because of his fuzzy hair, but because he actually had joints that moved, a Kung-Fu grip, or possibly even the moving eagle eye.
Well, G.I. Joe is making a comeback, as you may have heard. But this time, he's not an action figure you can buy in the store (although, there is a new line of those too), but an elite team, made up of the best of the international armed forces, which is protecting the world from an evil arms dealer whose goal is to rule the world.
Sounds like a comic book. Which is really what this is, a comic book made into a movie. Like Spider-Man, Batman, Iron Man, and the rest. Yet what sets this movie apart is that it doesn't take itself too seriously, and doesn't try to impress with top actors and a deep storyline. What it does use to impress is CG, and boy do they use it a lot.
If you like explosions and some pretty creative weaponry, this is a movie you'll want to see. Just about every scene has some kind of new hovering aircraft, concussion gun, hydraulic suit, or submarine. It's very imaginative and amusing. Additionally, as with all comics, the characters have names like Snake Eyes, Storm Shadow, Heavy Duty, and Scarlett (would you guess she has red hair?).
As I said, the movie isn't about one G.I. Joe, but a team of "Joes," and its newest members, Duke (Channing Tatum) and Ripcord (Marlon Wayans). Shortly after arriving, the Joes’ base (the Pit, which is buried under the sand in the middle of the Egyptian desert) is attacked by two warriors working for the evil McCullen (Christopher Eccleston), who steal back four warheads full of nanomites, (small creatures that eat anything and everything in their path). Intent on defending the world from his evil intentions, the Joes set out to win back the warheads and defeat McCullen and his minions.
The battle that ensues takes the Joes to the polar ice-cap (I'm not quite sure how an independent organization could build a secret, underwater base at the ice-cap, but hey, that's just me) and is full of explosions, hand-to-hand martial arts, and is as unbelievable as they come. Which is what makes this movie so entertaining and worth seeing.
This is a great movie for parents to watch with their tween kids. It's ludicrous, and the acting isn't amazing, but it's a fun afternoon adventure for all ages…just don’t spill the popcorn when things go boom!
Let’s Talk About It
Use these questions to spark discussion among family members who are interested in this movie:
• If you could have used any weapon in the Joes’ arsenal, what would it have been? Explain.
• McCullen's actions are based on something that happened to his ancestor. How have your parents or grandparents influenced you? What is something about your family that you are proud of?
• How are the G.I. Joes and McCullen's army like or unlike angels and demons?
Note: All movie-related graphics in this column are standard publicity/promotional shots and are owned by their respective movie studios.