Lightning Review: G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra

G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra movie posterSynopsis
Duke (Channing Tatum) and Ripcord (Marlon Wayans) escort a convoy transporting experimental nanomite warheads when it gets ambushed by Baroness (Sienna Miller) and her Neo Viper soldiers. They are rescued by Heavy Duty (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje), Snake Eyes (Ray Park), Scarlett (Rachel Nichols), and Breaker (Said Taghmaoui), members of an elite military unit known as G.I.Joe, or Global Integrated Joint Operating Entity. The Joes race to stop the creator of the warheads, James McCullen (Christopher Eccleston), from using the warheads to start the next World War.

G.I. Joe has followed in Transformers’ footsteps as the next Hasbro toy line to receive the live-action movie treatment. G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra is a fairly standard action movie, one that sacrifices plot for explosions. But that works in its favor because it knows exactly the kind of film it wants to be. The action is pretty good, particularly anything with Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow (or both), but the thin plot is pulled straight from the 1980s cartoon. There are times it tries to be serious and these scenes feel out of place compared with the rest of the film. My favorite performance was Rachel Nichols as Scarlett. Brendan Fraser had a little cameo as Sgt. Stone that was a nice surprise. With this movie being the rise of Cobra, we don’t see Cobra Commander until the end, and even so he isn’t wearing his iconic mask. G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra is nothing special, but if you take it for what it is, there is some fun to be had.



Cast & Crew
Stephen Sommers – Director/Story
Stuart Beattie – Screenplay/Story
David Elliot – Screenplay
Paul Lovett – Screenplay
Michael Gordon – Story
Alan Silvestri – Composer

Channing Tatum – Duke
Marlon Wayans – Ripcord
Sienna Miller – Ana/Baroness
Christopher Eccleston – Jame McCullen
Joseph Gordon-Levitt – The Doctor/Rex
Byung-hun Lee – Storm Shadow
Ray Park – Snake Eyes
Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje – Heavy Duty
Rachel Nichols – Scarlett
Said Taghmaoui – Breaker
Dennis Quaid – General Hawk
Arnold Vosloo – Zartan
Karolina Kurkova – Cover Girl
Leo Howard – Young Snake Eyes
Brandon Soo Hoo – Young Storm Shadow
Gerald Okamura – Hard Master
Jonathan Pryce – US President

The Heat Review

The Heat was the the next movie of my Original Six reviews.  I really, really enjoyed it as you will soon find out. It can be formulaic as a buddy cop story but Bullock and McCarthy work so well together.  Definitely up there as one of my favorite buddy cop movies and maybe even a favorite comedy.

The Heat movie posterSynopsis
By-the-book FBI special agent Sarah Ashburn (Sandra Bullock) must work with tough-as-nails Boston detective Shannon Mullins (Melissa McCarthy) to bring down a drug lord. The problem is neither works well with others. They must learn to work together or risk losing what is most important to them.

The Heat is absolutely hilarious. McCarthy steals the show in this film. The first time I really saw her in a leading role was Identity Thief earlier this year and I thought she was great in that movie, too. She is quickly becoming one of my favorite comedic actresses and can’t wait to see what she’ll do next. Bullock, on the other hand, has always been one of my favorite actresses and she is great as usual. What makes the comedy work so well is the chemistry between these two. They play so well off each other, it is the female version of Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly.

Although McCarthy and Bullock’s chemistry stole the show, the supporting cast was great as well. My favorite was a drug dealer played by Spoken Reasons (John A. Baker, Jr.). The scenes with the Mullins family where also pretty good. Of course being set Boston, there is the mandatory Boston accent joke.

The core of some of the best buddy-cop movies is the initial conflict between the two characters, particularly when the two are very different (see Lethal Weapon or Tango and Cash). The Heat is no different, and I think that is what makes it work so well. The first half of the movie when Bullock and McCarthy are conflicted make up some of the best moments of the film.

The plot follows in the footsteps of many cop movies and can be a bit formulaic. Unfortunately, this can make the make it predictable. If you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all. But this is a tried-and-true formula, so I can’t knock it too hard, just don’t expect anything ground breaking in the story.

The Heat is one of the best buddy-cop movies I have seen in a long time. Although the plot was predictable, it was refreshing to see a buddy-cop film with female leads (none are coming to mind off the top of my head). With great chemistry between Bullock and McCarthy, and an excellent supporting cast, I couldn’t stop laughing.



Cast & Crew
Paul Feig – Director
Katie Dippold – Writer
Mike Andrews – Composer

Sandra Bullock – Ashburn
Melissa McCarthy – Mullins
Demian Bichir – Hale
Marlon Wayans – Levy
Michael Rapaport – Jason Mullins
Spoken Reasons – Rojas
Dan Bakkendahl – Craig
Taran Killam – Adam
Michael McDonald – Julian
Thomas F. Wilson – Captain Woods
Kaiklin Olson – Tatiana
Michael Tucci – Mr. Mullins
Jane Curtin – Mrs. Mullins
Joey McIntyre – Peter Mullins
Bill Burr – Mark Mullins
Nathan Corddry – Michael Mullins
Jessica Chaffin – Gina
Jamie Denbo – Beth