Toon’d Out Month 2: G.I. Joe The Rise of Cobra

At least there's no Shia LaBeouf in this one

At least there’s no Shia LaBeouf in this one


Who the hell was that guy? Whoever that was, he was dumb. I mean, what does he have that I don’t have? …Besides good spelling…and grammar…and overall presentation.

Anyway…Hello, spongey here. And welcome to Toon’d out Month 2!

That’s right, my most popular theme month is back with a vengeance. This time, i’ll look at even more live action adaptations, both good and bad.

I’ll be sure to cover as many as possible. I will do some ones I forgot to do last time, as well as ones I wanted to do, but never had time for. Since then, i’ve only done one other live action cartoon….and that was chipwrecked.

Yeah. So let’s start toon’d out month 2 with one of the most popular cartoons of the 80’s: G.I. Joe.

G.I joe actually started in the 60’s. Yes, the beloved 80’s franchise started it’s true life  n the 60’s. And now you know

and knowing is half the battle


Come on, you knew i’d do it.

Anyway,.it started a toy franchise. It was one of the first marketable toys made for MEN, with it’s focus on military action. Like any toy franchise, it went through many versions, and hit it’s true stride in the 1980’s.

But we all know the cartoon series made out of the toys, in 1985. like the theme says..

G.I,. Joe is the codename for america’s daring highly trained special mission force. It’s purpose: to defend human freedom Cobra. A Ruthless terrorist organization determined to rule the world.

It was a basic concept, that went over very well. Of course, the characters were pretty dull, but we loved it for the action, not for the characters. And yes, it was a half hour toy commercial, but the toys kicked ass, so it’s all good.

Oh, and it had one of the best cartoon intros ever.

I was born in the mid 90’s,. so I didn’t quite grow up with it. But I did know it existed, so there’s that. I’ve only seen a bit of the original cartoon, but it’s 80’s cheese at it’s best. I also liked the most recent version on the hub…that was canceled after one season.

But enough of that long intro, let’s get to the movie. Since Yransformers made a huge spalsh in 2007, Hasbro wanted to cash in by making it’s over toys/cartoons into movies.

As long as we don’t get My little pony with Megan Fox as Twilight sparkle, i’m good.

They had ideas for a film back in the 90’s with Larry Kasanoff and his production company, . Threshold Entertainment. That’s right, the guy behind foodfight.

Make your own joke there.

Anyway, they turned G.I. Joe into a live action movie in 2009, and since the sequel just came out, I figured I’d take a look at it. Is it any good? Let’s find out. Hey, it has the director of dumb-fun flick The Mummy, so It must be good!

This, is G.I Joe: The Rise of Cobra

gi joe rlogo

So this piece of AMERICA starts in…france. Uh, okay. 1641, to be exact. The scottish McCullen is being tried for treason by making weapons for the enemy of their lord, king louis.

He’s gonna die, but he doesn’t care, as he thought Louis was a piece of shit anyway, and says his clan will still rise long after he is gone. But wait, he’s not gonna die. They’re gonna make an example of him by putting an iron mask on him so no one will see his “evil;’ face again

gi joe mstus

But it also hides his fabulous mustache. With that fire hot iron mask, we get the pictured title. Then-

future gi

…They want me to make the obvious joke, don’t they? Too bad, cuz I won’t. So Next sunday Ad-


-James Mcullen, that guy’s ancestor, played by Christopher Eccleston, is the head of M.A.R.S. He has made nanotech based weapons, which would be used for evil. He is selling them to NATO and some troops are tasked with delivering the warheads.

Which it means it’s time to meet our joes. We have Duke and ripcord, played by Channing tatum and Marlon wayons.

Cuz when I think of G.I Joe, I think of a former stripper and a wayans. I kid, but Tatum has talent…now. Back when this movie came out, he didn’t. So his acting…kind of sucks. Even giving orders sounds stilled with him.

As for Wayons…he doesn’t seem that bad. He isn’t mugging like he was in Dungeons and dragons, and he looks alright. Maybe he won’t be so bad in this.

So they head out and banter a bit.

I’ve been thinking”

i warned you about that”

Funny comedy? This is already better than transformers. It’s even made brief, and only done for levity in an otherwise serious moment! Bay could learn from this movie.

Duke says he wants to be on the ground, in the fight, and not doing his delivery boy crap. Hey, if all else fails, you can be an undercover cop, and team up with jonah hill.

But right away they run into some bad guys who are after the warheads. The overhead joes take on the overhead bad guys in a neat shootout, but get blown sky high.

I must say, the action so far is good. The effects are nice, you can see what is going, and the shooting and explosions that ensue are pretty awesome. It;s…fun!

I’ll try not to compare this to bayformers a lot, but so far, I may do it a lot. The enemy plane lanes, and out comes the ever so popular Baroness, played by sienna miller

hot gi joe

She was nice in the cartoon, she’s nicer here. GI. Joe fans know her as the reason they watched the show, and the reason why they always rooted for the bad guys. That doesn’t change here, as she blows some guys out.

…Not like that, perv

She comes face to face with duke, and it turns out they know each other. Baroness is really named anna, and she kicks him.’.

“You have to admit, you had that coming”

Especially after The Dilemma.

Then in comes Snake-Eyes, the armored silent man, played by Darth maul himself, Ray park. He’s one of the good guys who comes in and kicks some real ass, with swords and stuff.

Then comes Scarlett, played by Rachel Nichols.


No comment.

She’s like the good version of baroness, as in she’s a good guy who is hot and kicks ass. You may notice that I am not saying much as the next few minutes are action heavy. I don’t think this is a bad thing, as it is fun and the story is simple enough to sustain it, and they aren’t distracting us with pointless bullshit.

Again…bayformers, anyone?

Also, I must correct myself. Duke and mr wayons here, are not joes, just normal NATO guys. No, Scarlet and snake here are the ones who came in to help stop the bad guys.

They fend them off and keep their warheads. Duke has no idea who they are, so they introduce themselves and their leader shows up via hologram.

gi joe boss

This is General hawk, played by Dennis Quaid. The other guys demand that they have the war heads, as the bad guys are their Territory. Duke wants to know more about these guys, so he and ripcord are taken to their boss, which is under the bad CG desert.

On the plane, they mingle a bit, and one guy takes off his mask for a sec. Ripcord snarks he has realistic hair, then pays for it

“Oh, and kung fu grip!”

Action figure reference in a movie based on toys? …That’s pretty funny, actually.

scrlat gi

Also, Scarlett gets hotter.

They are taken to the pitt, the base of G.I. Joe, a…well you know. Hawk explains all this to duke as they show off the base.

“When all else fails, we don’t”

He’ll never give up, he’ll stay the fights done..

They don’t know much about the bad guys or Baroness, but they do know they gotta keep the warheads away from them,

We need to find out everything we can about her. And half the battle”

I knew they would awkwardly shoe horn that in!

Mccullen shows up and doesn’t seem to care for the joes, or the fact that good men died out there. He even bashes duke for not quite doing his job. Duke doesn’t react well to this.

The joes take the warheads and check them.

Spoilers, Mcullen is a bad guy. He was also a hologram back there, and he’s working for the bad guys and using the same nanotechnology to build an army of soldiers. He’s in another room talking to a hologram baroness (so she doesn’t have to end up filling a sexual harassment thing I guess)

They made the NATO warheads and set it up to look like someone else stole them. But the joe’s stopped that plan. Baroness promises to get those warheads back.

If i’m really there, I might actually let you touch me”

His cobra is rising../

I apologize for that. He is talking to another bad guy named Stormshadow via hologram and sends him along with Baroness.

He also talks to his assistant named Zartan (did Gi Joe have the best names or what?) played by the bad guy from the first two mummy movies. I guess stephen sommers loves this guy.

Also, Zartan whistles weirdly…yeah I mentioned that. Why not?

We cut to the bad guy’s underwater base. We meet the real leader, called the doctor

doctor who

No, not him. Or the other 10. Wait…wasn’t the guy who played Mccullen the 9th doctor? Okay then commander’s temp name CANNOT be a coincidence.


They are working on that nano- thingy I mentioned a minute ago. They need the warheads to help cause panic, and you guessed it, take over the world.



A cobra’s venom helps with this, hence the name Cobra. Cobra Commander here may not sound like dr claw on crack, but he does .well, the regular dr claw. Plus, he sounds like he’s having a ball.

He’s a great ham, and he KNOWS what  movie he’s in. Gotta love him. Anyway, the Joes are running the Baroness through some scanner thingy to find out who she is.

Hawk excuses duke, as he ain’t in GI. Joe. Then Duke reveals he know The Baroness aka anna lewis, and she is his ex-wife. Oh boy. Also, something tells me they only did the ex-wife thing so duke can have a reason to be let in G.I. Joe.

Yes, he’s trading info for a spot on the team along with ripcord. So we cut to Barnoes-

barnoess hot3

oh Jesus.

I mean, we cut to her with her current VERY LUCKY husband, Brian Decobray. Very subtle name. With that, we flash back to 4 year earlier, which I guess would be our present, with the…not too distant future part.

Back then, Duke was dating a then blond Anna, and in this bit, we see him proposing to her.

“Say yes, idiot, he’s a real america hero!”

Awesome reference.

*rex jo

Anyway, that was from anna’s brother Rex, played by Joseph Gordon levit. This is in the future, and the sequel has bruce willis in it.

Make your own looper joke.

Duke will be going on a mission with rex. She isn’t happy about this, but she’s okay as long as Rex stays safe. Well, he’s as good as dead. The flashback ends as for now, as present…future…whatever, duke is getting ready with the joes.

He is being suited with an “accelerator suit’” which is so awesome that they don’t use it all the time. So it turns them into iron man?

So we get a training montage, complete with a bad hip hop song. See, I told you every 2000’s montage had one!

There’s also another reference as duke is jokingly called sergeant slaughter. We also get to see Channing tatum and Marlon wayons get hurt a lot!

This movie loves me.

scarlot bra hot

See, it does!

Oh, and ripcord banters with Scarlet, and yeah,. It’s kind of dumb. It’s what you expect from a wayons, but in the least, he isn’t mugging. Plus it’s cut short, we find out the two men past the montage, and hawk is happy.

So that night, Cobra uses some super drills to get into the base. You think a team like G.I. Joe would have better protection over this kind of stuff.

Baroness and pals step in and explore the place. Zartan takes a solider’s clothes (don’t ask) and gets into Hawk’s office, past the guards. After said guards are killed, and hawk is knocked out ,they take the warheads.

But hawk sets off the alarm, which alert the joes, who attack. Duke corners Baroness and threatens to kill her. But they are interrupted by more kickass action.

We also get a fight with snake-eyes and storm shadow, which is awesome. AND there’s a fight with baroness and Scarlett. Is this movie hellbent on putting everything I love into one, dumb, awesome, film?

Long fun action scene short, the bad guys get the warheads and take off. The joes are un-happy, especially Scarlet who didn’t want people to see her fail like this. But Ripcord tells her she shouldn’t worry about that, and we get an okay moment with the two. Hey, it’s more chemistry than Shia and Rosie will ever have.

As cliché and rushed as this bit is, in the least, we have a wayons showing true emotion. We also have a flashback explaining the pasts of Snake-eyes and storm shadow. Snake-eyes was stealing from the clan Storm-shadow was in but ended up joining due to his fighting skills.

We then go to the present cuz this movie loves half flashbacks for some reason. So Mccullen has the mask of his ancestor from the opening. We get a tiny bit more detail, as it turns that dude was selling weapons to BOTH sides, and they named him Destro.

He then asks Baroness to test a warhead in paris to show the world they mean business. You know, cuz of what france did to the guy in the start.

So our villain has a sort of goal with a reason, so that puts him above most villains in the movies I review.

Oh, and the doctor does an operation on Zartan to change his appearance. I assume this will be important later. Anyway, the joes figure out cobra’s plan so they head out.

With that, we get more of the first flashback, as Duke and Rex are on a mission in East africa. During that battle thingy, rex got killed. See, I told you he had to die!

Oh, and Duke shows up at the funereal on a motorcycle during dramatic rain. Yeah, that makes sense. Oh, and he stood anna up at the altar due to his guilt. You can explore the stupidity of that all you want, i’ll just move on.

The flashback ends again and we return to the main plot. Duke and the gang put on the suits while Baroness and her gang take the warheads to Brian so he can weaponize them. Spoilers, he does. But she kills him cuz…why not?

They get in their van to go do their evil but the joes happen to have caught up with them. They run out with suits in tow, and as odd they are, they help lead to a really badass action scene.

Heck, for awhile it had the record of most cars destroyed in a movie! Though it was recently taken by die hard 5. Anyway, tons of epic things happen in this action scene, like snake-eyes trying to break into the bad guy van, scarlet driving through the wreck on am motorcycle, and of course, tons of cars turning over.

It goes on for a bit, but it’s still pretty jaw dropping. Long story short, the bad guy van is trashed and the bad guys escape from it just in time. They into a mall with the warheads in tow.

The joes give chase again, but Storm-shadow Is able to hit the Eiffel tower with his weapon. Duke tries to hit the kill switch to stop the nanomites released from the weapon.

He does, and for whatever reasons, baroness can’t just hit it again to turn the thing back on. However, the nanomites were able to attack it before that, so the tower ends up collapsing in an awesome way, mind you.

So they both won and lost, like all good heroes. However, french cops think they did it, as they didn’t see the glaring black van and hot chick in black who clearly wasn’t with the-whatever.

They are taken away, and after an out of context line-

don’t touch that, it’s my equipment”

-Hawk shows up and gets the french to let them go, as long as they never come back. To make things worse, Duke has been captured by the bad guys. Eh, I can think of worse bad guys to be captured by.

McCullen has something special in mind for you”

oh my…

“I’m sorry about rex”

It took you four years to say that? She doesn’t buy it, and we randomly return to the storm shadow flashaback. He and Snake-eyes fought a lot in the clan cuz they hated each other. I find it funny that the guy In black, snake-eyes is good, while the guy in white, storm shadow, is bad.

Snake-eyes proved to be really awesome and took the glory away from Storm-shadow. Then one day, the master got killed and it looks like storm-shadow did it, and fled the scene. This was actually taken straight from the G.I. Joe comics, with slight alterations. So they did their homework, in that regard, though it isn’t 100 percent needed for the movie’s plot.

Anyway, the joe use technobabble to figure out where the bad guy base is. However, they were ordered to go the pit earlier but-

i didn’t say when..”

I don’t see why that cliché needed to be there, hell, why not the skip the french capture thing and have them just go after the bad guys? Would have saved us a lot of time, guys. So the base is under the artic..

When duke gets to  the base, the other henchmen beat him before baroness can even explain (I swear, all henchmen suck) but she is able to stop them in time.

So anyway, we find out McCullen has 3 missiles, each aimed at a major world target. Oh, and McCullen and Baroness are a thing now, cuz why not.

mc bare

“With the entire balance of the world about to shift, two guys can still have a stare down over who get the girl”

Okay, I love this guy now.

Then Duke gets his ass beat by McCullen, as Baroness remembers their happy past. McCullen gloats about his plan to strike fear in the hearts of everyone. After that, he is taken to the doctor who just tells duke to fuck off.

While the joes try to storm the base, the doctor takes duke and gets ready to do unspeakable things to him. Then he reveals himself to be.

rex gi

Rex. WHAT A TWEEST! See, Rex ran to a bunker during the mission, and found nanomite tech. He was seduced by it, taking too long to retrieve the data and ended up getting caught in the bombing. Thus, he has his butt ugly face.

Okay,at first I wasn’t quite on board with the duke/anna thing, but it did give rex a good motivation to be evil and as cliché as it is, it shows the writers tried to give some form of depth to this villain, even if he’s still just a hammy delight.

Anna doesn’t know that doctor=rex (I could nitpick that but meh) and rex plans to disfigure duke with his machine, while the misses are launched.

Oh, and Scarlet and ripcord kiss. That’s the end of that so so called romantic storyline. Also, Baroness has a change of heart and frees duke. Eh, i’m still not fully onboard with this as it’s a little underwritten, and cliché.

I prefer the baroness to be 100 percent badass, please. However, it gives one dimensional duke SOMETHING to do, and again, they tried to flesh out the characters.

But this is stopped by Rex who comes in, and has a 10 course banquet with the scenery. And here comes another twist: after his “death”, rex implanted anna with nanites to control her, and thus,this is why she turned to evil. And what happened a bit ago was her fighting his control.

Okay, that’s kind of clever and it half works, so kudos there.

“Duke, you abandoned her! Let’s not forget that part!”

I think this guy has to pick the scenery out of his teeth after each scene. Anyway, rex contains the would be lovebird, as the joes lead an assault on the base.

However, Duke tries to fight off the bad guys, and rex threatens to kill Anna. But duke awesomely shoots Mccullen, and wakes up Anna.

One of the joes does end up shooting the warhead that was headed for moscow, so that’s all fine and dandy. Rex and Mcullen flee to an escape vessel, while duke and anna peruse him.

I know i’m not exactly being very funny, but this section is mostly full of fun, lengthy action and there isn’t much room to joke or anything.

Though I will squee over snake-eyes and storm shadow’s epic battle, as Storm shadow says he will die without a word. Get it…cuz of his…vow of silence I forgot to mention?

During all this, ripcord is able to get rid of the other warheads. Yay, I almost respect a wayons! …almost. However, Rex activates the base’s self-destruct sequence; which involves ‘blowing the ice cap’ to create blocks of ice which then nearly crush the Joes.

Thankfully, they are able to escape from an underwater explosion. This pleases rfpcord.

‘Yo joe!”

So the missiles are stopped, and the joes are safe. But Rex and Mcullen is still in their escape thing.

“Now that we have a moment to ourselves..”

Whoa, leave it to the flash fics, man! No, rex just injects something into McCullen’s burned face, which turns it into metal.

James McCullen is no more. Now, you are Destro!”

Yay, the characters from the show are taking shape, and the franchise is almost set up! Destro isn’t happy about this, but rex doesn’t care.

“The time has come for the cobra to rise up”

oh, so close to dropping the title!

Rex the doctor changes his face a bit and becomes..

cobra commander finally

COBRA COMMANDER! And yes, he now sounds like dr claw on crack. Yay, the best 80’s villain is now here!

Now that they look ridiculous but awesome, they are able to snark at Duke.

You and what army”

“My army”


And yep, the joes capture them easily. Baroness is put in custody until they can get the nanoites out of her. They promise her she can be saved and she makes out with duke.

badass joes

After proving that walking in a line is awesome, it seems that duke and ripcord are officially part of GI. Joe, and are real american heroes. They fly off.

So the franchise is set up, and the day is saved. But wait…what about zartan? He kind of vanished after having his appearance change. Ah well, there’s one last scene.

See, I skipped scenes where the President at the white house was worrying about how things are going, and at one point, a bad guy broke in, but now things seem okay.

But he goes in his room, stretches…and whistles weirdly. DUN DUN DUN, it’s actually zartan, now in disguise! Oh, and every damn time zartan showed up before, he whistled. Thanks for making it subtle.

So wait, Cobra used nato to pay for the warheads, stole them back, and used them to blow stuff up, as a big cover so zartan could take over as the president right when america would need him?

That’s…actually a pretty clever plan. Smarter than most villain plans I come across. Well, that’s the movie. Kind of ran out of jokes at the end, but meh.

Final Thoughts:

Let’s add this to the ever growing list of negatively reviewed movies I enjoy.

This succeeds where transformers 2 failed. Transformers 2 had little character stuff, little actual plot, and was filled with dumb comedy and cliches that existed just to be cliches.

This however, doesn’t have any of that. Yes, it’s pretty dumb, but it’s everything a fun popcorn movie should be. No distractions, no bullshit, just pure dumb FUN.

Tv tropes has it right when they said “they just stuck their arm in the Trope Bag, and then tried to make the cheesiest version possible of everything they pulled out.”

That’s exactly what this is. A perfect, dumb dumb, but fun fun flick. It has explosions, set pieces, and tits! All without any of the problems of bayformers.

Sure, the script was rushed due to the writers strike, and things like duke/anna, ripcord/scarlett make it feel rather weird, but it’s more fleshed out than some other movies, and it’s not even about the script.

At least they TRIED to flesh things out, so I have to commend them for that. Though the joes are pretty flat, I can let it slide as it was like that in the cartoon too. Plus, the performances are mostly solid…except for Tatum, but even he improves near the end.

But, much like the cartoon, the villains steal the show. Zartan, Cobra Commander, and destro were all tons of fun and really ate that scenery up and proved to be fun,. Interesting villains. I also like Baroness, despite the romance, and miller really captured the character.

Plus, she was really hot.

Even the story had nice bits with the villains plan, and it was all pretty cool. Yes, it’s full of bad cliches, but it has fun with them. It’s also filled with fun action, good one liners, and a great sense of fun.

No, it isn’t exactly like the cartoon. But two things: 1. It takes from the comics, and other toy lines. So it adapts everything and by the end, it’s more like the cartoon. So don’t bitch, they did their homework with the backstories.

2. it’s a PREQUEL, setting up how cobra came to rise to power, and how cobra commander became himself. It’s not gonna be like the cartoon yet, it has to set it all up. Why do you think the sequel is more like it?

After finishing this movie, but before typing these final thoughts, I went out and saw the sequel that just came out, and I really enjoyed it! It’s arguably better than the first, with better plot and bigger Acton,. Plus, the rock. It was more of an actually decent movie, but it had tons of retcons that may piss off bigger fans of the first film. Still, I’d give that one a B+

As i’m typing this, a 3rd film has been confirmed. Very excited for it,.

But the first movie is still fun. It’s dumb, action-packed, and had great passion for the source material. It’s not a great movie by any means, but it’s a fun one. This is a hard one to grade, but since I want to say how I personally felt…

Grade: B+

See ya


About Spongey444

I'm 20 and I'm a slightly below average man who can barely spell. I mostly spend my time watching TV and movies, hence why i ended doing a blog all about those things. I tend to have weird tastes, but I like think I'm just fair on things.
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