Jul 232021

G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra had some entertaining elements but between some sleepwalking performances and some shoddy visual effects, even by 2008/09 standards, this was a mess of a film.



G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra

Genre(s): Action, Adventure, Science Fiction
Paramount | PG13 – 118 min. – $31.99 | July 20, 2021

Date Published: 07/23/2021 | Author: The Movieman

Directed by: Stephen Sommers
Writer(s): Michael B. Gordon and Stuart Beattie & Stephen Sommers (story), Stuart Beattie and David Elliot & Paul Lovett (screenplay)
Cast: Channing Tatum, Marlon Wayans, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Christopher Eccleston, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Lee Byung-hun, Sienna Miller, Rachel Nichols, Ray Park, Jonathan Pryce, Saïd Taghmaoui, Arnold Vosloo

Features: Commentary
Slip Cover: Yes
Digital Copy: Yes
Formats Included: 4K, Blu-ray
Number of Discs: 2

Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 5.1), German (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Italian (Dolby Digital 5.1), Japanese (Dolby Digital 5.1), Mandarin (Dolby Digital 5.1), Portuguese (Dolby Digital 5.1), Russian (Dolby Digital 5.1)
Video: 2160p/Widescreen 2.35
Dynamic Range: HDR10, Dolby Vision
Subtitles: English SDH, Chinese, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Portuguese, Russian Spanish, Swedish, Thai
Codecs: HEVC / H.265
Region(s): A, B, C

Paramount provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Blog Post.
The opinions I share are my own.

THE MOVIE — 2½/5

Plot Synopsis: Armed with the latest in military and spy technology, the team of elite soldiers known as G.I. Joe travel around the globe to wherever their services are needed. In their latest assignment Gen. Hawk (DENNIS QUAID), Duke (CHANNING TATUM) and the rest of the G.I. Joe team take on James McCullen (CHRISTOPHER ECCLESTON), a corrupt arms dealer, and fight the growing threat of the mysterious Cobra organization.

Quick Hit Review: G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra was a movie I never bothered seeing, although several years back I tried watching but turned it off after only a few minutes. So all these years later decided to give this a shot. This is coming from someone who did not watch the G.I. Joe cartoons nor played with the toys growing up in the 80s into the 90s, mainly focusing on He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, The Real Ghostbusters and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. So I don’t have any sort of nostalgia for the source material going into this feature film adaptation.

The end result is a film that’s pretty messy with the “story”, feeling a bit like another Hasbor property, Transformers, however at least that franchise had some impressive visual effects whereas this one, the effects were pretty shoddy, a fair amount that felt like I was watching a video game cut scene. Beyond the poor visuals, even a lot of the action felt uninspiring as does a cast that looked like they didn’t give a damn, including Dennis Quaid (pushed by his kid, something that’s never a good sign, just look to Tommy Lee Jones in Batman Forever) and Channing Tatum, forced by the studio as part of a three-picture contract (same thing happened with Edward Norton for Paramount with his role in The Italian Job). The remainder of the cast, including Marlon Wayans way out of his depth as an action hero, was bland, including Joseph Gordon-Levitt who spends a good portion underneath a layer of prosthetics.

G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra was directed, and a story credit, by Stephen Sommers, better known for his work on The Mummy and its sequel, The Mummy Returns, both films I found to be fun popcorn fantasy-adventurers. There are some aspects of fun here and there but not enough to make it a complete or very memorable and no real surprise why the studio attempted a quasi soft reboot with Retribution.



This release comes with a semi-glossy slip cover and inside is a redemption code for the Digital HD copy. Unfortunately the featurettes from the old Blu-ray were carried over; instead you just get the Audio Commentary with Director Stephen Sommers and Producer Bob Ducsay.


VIDEO – 4½/5, AUDIO – 4¼/5

G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra comes to 4K Ultra HD presented with a 2160p high-definition transfer. For the most part the picture here looks pretty good, nothing amazing or anything but a decent upgrade over the Blu-ray version. Detail is nicely defined and colors get a modest boost with the HDR (Dolby Vision is also available for those who have the equipment to decode). Compared to other 4Ks from a decade plus ago, it’s still adequate enough.

The included DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track, which I wouldn’t be surprised, is similar or the same from the one included on the old Blu-ray, is decent but hardly amazing. Dialogue does sound clear coming from the center channel, and the action sequences do sound fine but doesn’t have the impact I would expect from a movie like this. This is not a track that will overwhelm your surround system and I wish Paramount had upgrade to Atmos, but as it stands it is an adequate lossless track.


G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra had some entertaining elements but between some sleepwalking performances from the likes of Dennis Quaid and Channing Tatum, and some shoddy visual effects, even by 2008/09 standards, this was a mess of a film that features some uninspiring action sequences and just an all around forgettable film.

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