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DVD Review

DVD cover

G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra


Starring: Channing Tatum, Marlon Wayans, Rachel Nichols, Ray Park, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Christopher Eccleston and Sienna Miller
Paramount Home Entertainment
RRP: £19.99
Certificate: 12
Available 07 December 2009

The G.I. Joe team travels the world from the Egyptian desert to the polar ice caps and the streets of Paris in a high stakes pursuit of COBRA, an evil organisation that is threatening to use nanotechnology in order to bring the world to its knees...

G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra is a special effects laden blockbuster which, as a mindless piece of nonsense, is surprisingly satisfying. While the acting is fairly wooden throughout, that doesn't really matter, as the plot (as formulaic as it is) and the visual effects drive this movie from start to finish.

For fans of the comic book series, the toys and the animated series the movie tackles some of the more familiar characters origins. But even if you've never seen any of the comics or TV shows, this movie works well as a stand alone movie. As with your typical "whole other world hidden from the general populace" plot (Men in Black, Stargate etc) we are introduced to this world through the eyes of US Army's Duke (Channing Tatum) and Ripcord (Marlon Wayans) who, like us, are seeing this new technological side of mankind for the first time. This helps to get the exposition across to the audience without it seeming too forced.

I also couldn't help notice quite a lot of Star Wars and James Bond plot ideas. From the obvious under water battle at the end of the movie on Cobra's base (very similar to the attack on the Deathstar at the end of Star Wars to the James Bond-esque villain who just wants to dominate the world and goes to ridiculous lengths to do so.

Extras include an audio commentary with director Stephen Sommers and producer Bob Ducsay; The Big Bang Theory: The Making of G.I. Joe (29 min, 30 sec which is an interesting behind the scenes featurette); and Next-Gen Action: The Amazing Visual FX and Design of G.I. Joe (21 min, 05 sec featurette that looks at the impressive effects used to bring the movie to life).

There are some interesting cameos too. Jonathan Pryce plays the President of America. Brendan Fraser turns up briefly as Sgt. Stone, and Fraser's The Mummy co-star, Arnold Vosloo plays Zartan.

When this move was released theatrically a lot of the print journalists gave it quite a hard time - in fact there were few positive reviews. This is something I find odd as it's much better than your typical blockbuster movie.


Darren Rea

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