G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra

On Monday we went to G.I. Joe Rise of Cobra, which may only be beaten by "Tokoyo Gore Police" as the worst movie I've seen in a very long time. I was absolutely addicted to the 80s G.I. Joe cartoon. G.I. Joe the cartoon and comic had capable, complex women characters. Very few action adventure movies or series treat their women as well as G.I. Joe. This movie pooped all over that as well as being deadly dull in other areas. If your plot depends on your leading man being indecisive and unable to do his duty and you're making an action movie, you are in deep, deep trouble. We like the sensitive mens, but we don't like the sensitive mens who are so sensitive that they don't do what they must to save their comrades and not commit dereliction of duty. Plus. Too many explosions. Never thought you'd hear me say that, but really it is possible to blow too much shit up and "G.I. Joe Rise of Cobra" went there.

Back to the women. Scarlett can still take down the bad guys with or without her nifty crossbow, but she needs rescuing by the boys and is turned into a love interest for Ripcord. Ripcord and Scarlett are cute as a couple, but please do not be making Scarlett into someone who needs to be rescued by her one true love. And it would have been nice if they hadn't turned Scarlett, originally a complex character who had a complex relationship with Snake Eyes, into some kind of sad little genius person with emotional development issues. Why couldn't she have had a complex and authentic relationship with Ripcord if they were going to pair her off with someone new? Bleh, I say. Blech.

The Baroness is reduced from her awesomely complex moral ambiguity to a mind-controlled love interest for Our Hero. The mind control thing existed in the cartoon/comic, but had a different flavor. The Baroness seemed totally happy COMMANDING COBRA (instead of being rescued from teh evul by her once true love) even when she wasn't all jacked up on mind control chip. Really, this turning capable women into love interests in remakes and re-imaginings needs to stop. What's next, a remake of "Courage Under Fire" in which the brave Karen is simply working to save her boyfriend and doesn't die after all, but is instead rescued by said boyfriend at a later moment?

Cover Girl is transformed from awesome tank jockey into an Aide de Camp who gets killed fairly early. We're missing Lady J., Jinx and Snake Eye's pet wolf (I'm not sure the wolf was a girl, but really, I'm in a totally pissy mood about this movie, so where's Snakey's wolf? Huh? Huh!!) and pretty much every other female character. Because an action movie only needs a couple, right?

There will be sequels. Sigh.

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2 thoughts on “G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra

    • Yeah, I was pretty obsessed on G.I. Joe for a while there when I was in my early 20s. It was an “awakening” moment for me, the first time I truly understood how media can be designed to manipulate the viewer. The G.I. Joe cartoon had a lot of pro-military messages and a lot of “new modern army” schtick that really worked on making joining up seem like a great thing to do. Considering how badly the military’s rep suffered during the Vietnam era and directly afterward, it was a stroke of marketing genius, really. Get’em young, and all that. It was a pretty fantasy of military life. Lots of excitement and explosions and Fighting Evil, but everybody comes out okay in the end. :/ Yikes.

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