G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra (2009)

G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra
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G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra Synopsis

Based on a cast of fictional heroes and villains that make up the "G.I. Joe vs. Cobra" fantasy. The premise of this fantasy is the story of the G.I. Joe team, led by Duke, and their "fight for freedom wherever there is trouble" against the evil Cobra Commander and his Cobra force.

The G.I. Joe team will not be based in Brussels. Instead, they will be based out of the "Pit" as they were throughout the 1980s comic book series. And, in keeping with the G.I. Joe vs. Cobra fantasy, the movie will feature characters and locations from around the world. Duke, the lead character and head of the G.I. Joe team, will embody the values of bravery and heroism that the first generation of G.I. Joe figures established.

Though Iím the right age for it, Iíve never had the childhood attachment to G.I. Joe that a lot of you have. I played with Transformers, and the only kid I knew who had G.I. Joe dolls was primarily known by my friends and me as ďUrine KidĒ. So now I unfairly associate the characters and the toys with a faintly nauseating ammonia smell.

Still, it was every bit the phenomenon that Transformers was, reaching itís zenith with the cartoon series, right around the time Optimus Prime burst on the scene to transform into things. Unlike Transformers though, G.I. Joes were flying off the shelves decades before their 80s popularity. Your dad may have had one as a kid, since they first burst onto the scene as a toy back in the 60s.

G.I. Joe was meant to be the boyís answer to the Barbie doll. Thatís right guys; you were playing with man-Barbie. See what I mean? You should have gone for that super-cool transforming robot next to it on the shelf instead. Later the toy became less of a doll, more of an action figure, and infinitely cooler.

Turning this much beloved toy and television franchise into a movie is a process fraught with peril. To some extent, making Transformers work on screen is by comparison easy. All they really needed to do was make vehicles turning into robots look realistic, and the rest falls into place around it. For Joe though, director Stephen Sommers is working with something a little more tricky.

Itís tricky, because itís a lot less unique. Normally you take a property like this, and to turn it into a live-action movie you simply try to make it more realistic. But these are toy soldiers weíre talking about here, and if you do that youíll end up with some sort of bizarre war documentary. Nobody wants that. Too fanciful though, and you end up with something laughably cartoony. If thatís youíre angle, then might as well have brought in some animators and dispensed with the live action thing entirely.

Will a G.I. Joe movie be huge? Absolutely. Expect the same kind of opening day business Transformers did, based on name recognition alone. Yet whether or not itíll be any good depends entirely on which direction they decide to take it. Sommers has to land his movie somewhere between dead serious and silly, no easy task when youíre talking about adapting a bunch of man-Barbies which were only originally only given a story as a way to sell plastic weapon accessories.

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G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra Release Date
In Theaters August 7, 2009
G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra Credits
Starring: Channing Tatum (Duke Hauser), Dennis Quaid (General Hawk), Ray Park (Snake-Eyes), Byeong-Heon Lee (Storm Shadow), Rachel Nichols (Shana ďScarlettĒ OíHara), Sienna Miller (Baroness), Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Cobra Commander), Christopher Eccleston (Destro), Marlon Wayans (Ripcord), Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (Heavy Duty), KarolŪna Isela KurkovŠ (Cover Girl), Arnold Vosloo (Zartan), Said Taghmaoui (Breaker), Jonathan Pryce
Directed by: Stephen Sommers
Produced by: Lorenzo di Bonaventura
Length: 107 min
MPAA Rating: [ PG-13 ]
Distributor: Paramount Pictures
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Stephen Sommers Won't Direct G.I. Joe 2 Stephen Sommers Won't Direct G.I. Joe 2
G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra was so fun that it made a fair amount of money and so Paramount has been gearing up for a sequel. That seemed like a good idea to me, even with Sommers involved, but now heís not
by Josh Tyler January 5, 2011 discussion comments
Weekend Box Office - Number One Joes Hurting For Cash Weekend Box Office - Number One Joes Hurting For Cash
Nevermind that the studio all but admitted their movie sucked by refusing to screen it for the press, or that once the movie was released it was ripped by two out of three critics, nothing could stand in the way of G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra
by Scott Gwin August 9, 2009 discussion comments
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