G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra
G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra is a 2009 American military science fiction action film based on the toy franchise created by Hasbro, with particular inspiration from the comic book series and toy line G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero. It is the first installment in the live-action G.I. Joe film series. The film was directed by Stephen Sommers. G.I. Joe features an ensemble cast based on the various characters of the franchise. The story follows two American soldiers, Duke and Ripcord, who join the G.I. Joe Team after being attacked by Military Armaments Research Syndicate (M.A.R.S.) troops.
|G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Stephen Sommers|
|Music by||Alan Silvestri|
|Distributed by||Paramount Pictures|
|Box office||$302.5 million|
After leaked drafts of the script were criticized by fans, Larry Hama, writer of the comic, was hired as creative consultant, and rewrites were made. Filming took place in Downey, California, and Prague's Barrandov Studios, and six companies handled the visual effects. The film made its world premiere at the Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, California on August 6, 2009. The next day, it was widely released worldwide on August 7, 2009, following an extensive marketing campaign focused on the Mid-American public. The Rise of Cobra opened at the top of the box office, and grossed over $302 million worldwide by the end of its run. Critical reception was generally mixed. A sequel titled G.I. Joe: Retaliation was released on March 28, 2013.
In the near future, weapons master James McCullen has created a nanotech-based weapon – nanomites designed to devour metal and other materials, capable of destroying anything from tanks to cities. The nanobots can only be stopped by activating the kill switch. His company M.A.R.S. sells four warheads to NATO, and NATO troops led by American soldiers Duke and Ripcord are asked to deliver the warheads. Their convoy is ambushed by the Baroness, whom Duke recognizes to be his ex-fiancée Ana Lewis. Duke and Ripcord are rescued by Scarlett, Snake Eyes, Breaker, and Heavy Duty. They take the warheads to The Pit, G.I. Joe's command center in Egypt, and upon arriving, rendezvous with the head of the G.I. Joe Team, General Hawk. Hawk takes command of the warheads and excuses Duke and Ripcord, only to be convinced to let them join his group, after Duke reveals that he knows the Baroness.
McCullen is revealed to be using the same nanotechnology to build an army of soldiers with the aid of the Doctor, planning on using the warheads to cause worldwide panic and bring about a new world order. Using a tracking device, McCullen locates the G.I. Joe base and sends Storm Shadow and the Baroness to retrieve the warheads, with assistance from Zartan.
After a fight, Storm Shadow and the Baroness retrieve the warheads and take them to Baron DeCobray, the Baroness's husband, for him to weaponize in his particle accelerator; after he reluctantly does this, DeCobray is killed by Storm Shadow. Making their way to Paris, the Joes pursue the Baroness and Storm Shadow, but are unsuccessful in stopping them from launching one of the missiles. The missile hits the Eiffel Tower and releases the nanomites in it, destroying the tower and some of the surrounding area before Duke manages to hit the kill switch. However, in doing so, he is captured and taken to McCullen's base under the Arctic.
The Joes locate the secret base and fly there, as McCullen loads the three remaining warheads onto three missiles, which are aimed for Beijing, Moscow, and Washington, DC, the world's three most important capitals. He states that he intends to do this because by killing millions of people in these cities, he will strike fear into the hearts of every man, woman, and child on the planet, after which they will turn to the person with the most power in the world, the President of the United States of America. After Snake Eyes takes out one missile, Ripcord destroys the remaining two by using a stolen M.A.R.S. prototype Night Raven jet, while Scarlett, Breaker, and Snake Eyes infiltrate the base. Snake Eyes duels and prevails over Storm Shadow. Duke learns that the Doctor is Rex Lewis, Ana's brother, believed to have been killed by a mistimed airstrike during a mission led by Duke (also the origin of the alienation between Duke and Ana). Rex had encountered Doctor Mindbender in the bunker and was seduced by the nanomite technology, taking too long to retrieve the data and getting caught in the bombing, which disfigured him. After freeing Duke, the Baroness is subdued, as the Doctor reveals he has implanted her with nanomites, which has put her under his control for the past four years. Attempting to kill Duke, McCullen ends up being burned, so the Doctor and he flee to an escape vessel. Duke and the Baroness pursue him while the Joes fall back; when the Doctor activates the base's self-destruct sequence, which involves 'blowing the ice cap' to create blocks of ice which then nearly crush the Joes.
The Doctor assumes the identity of the Commander, having healed McCullen's burned face with nanomites, encasing it in silver and naming him "Destro", which places McCullen under the Commander's control. They are captured by G.I. Joe soon after. On the supercarrier USS Flagg, the Baroness is placed in protective custody until they can remove the nanomites from her body. Meanwhile, Zartan, having had his physical appearance altered by nanomites, infiltrates the White House during the missile crisis and assumes the identity of the President of the United States, thus completing a part of McCullen's plan to rule the world.
- Channing Tatum as Conrad Hauser / Duke: The lead soldier. Lorenzo di Bonaventura wanted to cast Mark Wahlberg in the role when the script was not about the origin story, while the studio met with Sam Worthington when it was rewritten by Beattie in its final incarnation. Tatum had played a soldier in Stop-Loss, an anti-war film, and originally wanted no part in G.I. Joe, which he felt glorified war. Once he read the script though, he realized the franchise was a fantasy akin to X-Men, Mission: Impossible and Star Wars rather than a war film.
- Dennis Quaid as General Clayton Abernathy / Hawk: The team leader. Quaid described Hawk as "a cross between Chuck Yeager and Sgt. Rock and maybe a naïve Hugh Hefner". Quaid's son convinced him to take on the part, and the filmmakers enjoyed working with him so much that Stuart Beattie wrote "ten to fifteen more scenes" for the character. He filmed all his scenes within the first two months of production. Quaid is signed on for two sequels.
- Marlon Wayans as Wallace Weems / Ripcord: He has a crush on Scarlett, which she is aware of but, has no interest in him to begin with. A fan of the franchise, Wayans was cast on the strength of his performance in Requiem for a Dream. Bonaventura said that film showed Wayans could be serious as well as funny. In the film, he invites Duke to join the Air Force with him. He also told Scarlett that he can fly almost any aircraft. When Ripcord was able to stop the missile launched to hit Washington DC, Scarlett calls him Ace.
- Rachel Nichols as Shana M. O'Hara / Scarlett: She graduated college at age twelve and became the team's intelligence expert. Having left school so early, she does not understand men's attraction to her. Nichols was the first choice for the role. Nichols had dyed her blonde hair red – Scarlett's hair color – for her role in Star Trek, which she filmed before G.I. Joe. She burned herself filming an action sequence with Sienna Miller.
- Ray Park as Snake Eyes: A mysterious ninja commando who took a vow of silence, a departure from the character's traditional difficulty in speaking due to grievous vocal wounds. Like his character, Park is a martial arts expert and specifically practiced wushu for the role, as well as studying the character's comic book poses. Park had known of Snake-Eyes having played with the toys as a child, but he knew very little of the surrounding saga of G.I. Joe versus Cobra, so he read the comics to further understand the character. He was nervous about wearing the "inexplicably silly redesign of [the character's] classic mask", so he requested to practice wearing it at home. He found the full costume, including the visor, very heavy to wear and akin to a rubber band; he had to put effort into moving in it.
- Leo Howard as a 10-year-old Snake Eyes
- Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje as Hershel Dalton / Heavy Duty: An ordnance expert. Common was offered the role of Heavy Duty's cousin Roadblock, although Bonaventura previously indicated Heavy Duty was being used in that character's stead. Stuart Beattie ultimately chose to have Heavy Duty instead of Roadblock.
- Saïd Taghmaoui as Abel Shaz / Breaker: He is the team's communications specialist and hacker. In the film, he is Moroccan rather than an American but retains his characteristic love of bubble gum.
- Karolína Kurková as Courtney A. Kreiger / Cover Girl: Hawk's aide-de-camp.
- Brendan Fraser as Sgt. Stone: At first, it was reported he was going to play Gung-Ho, but it was later revealed he plays Sergeant Stone. Fraser is quoted as saying he'd like to think his character is a descendant of Rick O'Connell, Fraser's character in Sommers' The Mummy film series.
- Christopher Eccleston as James McCullen / Destro: A weapons designer and founder of the Military Armament Research Syndicate (MARS) and the main villain of the film. Irish actor David Murray was cast as Destro, but was forced to drop it when he had problems with his visa. Murray was later cast as an ancestor of James McCullen in a flashback scene.
- Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Rex Lewis / The Doctor / Cobra Commander: The Baroness's brother, a former mild-mannered U.S. Soldier who was thought to be killed during an operation - instead, he became the insane disfigured MARS head scientist. USA Today reported that Gordon-Levitt will play multiple roles. Levitt wore a mask – which was redesigned from the comics because the crew found it too reminiscent of the Ku Klux Klan – and prosthetic makeup underneath it. Upon seeing concept art of the role he was being offered, Levitt signed on because; "I was like, 'I get to be that? You're going to make that [makeup] in real life and stick it on me? Cool. Let me do it.' That's a once-in-lifetime opportunity." Levitt is a friend of Tatum and they co-starred in Stop-Loss and Havoc. His casting provided extra incentive for Tatum to join the film. Levitt described his vocal performance as being half reminiscent of Chris Latta's voice for the 1980s cartoon, but also half his own ideas, because he felt rendering it fully would sound ridiculous.
- Sienna Miller as Ana Lewis / Anastacia DeCobray / The Baroness: A spy and sister of Cobra Commander. Years before the film, The Baroness was going to marry Duke, but he left her at the altar, due to his guilt over the apparent death of her brother Rex Lewis. Miller auditioned for the part because it did not involve "having a breakdown or addicted to heroin or dying at the end, something that was just maybe really great fun and that people went to see and actually just had a great time seeing". Miller prepared with four months of weight training, boxing sessions and learned to fire live ammunition, gaining five pounds of muscle. She sprained her wrist after slipping on a rubber bullet while filming a fight scene with Rachel Nichols.
- Lee Byung-hun as Thomas Arashikage / Storm Shadow: Snake-Eyes' rival, both were close members of the Arashikage ninja clan. Lee said he did not know G.I. Joe because it is an unknown series in Korea. Sommers and Bonaventura told him to watch the cartoons to prepare for the role. Lee was attracted to Storm Shadow's "dual personality", which he stated has "huge pride and honor".
- Brandon Soo Hoo as 10-year-old Thomas Arashikage
- Arnold Vosloo as Zartan: An expert in make-up and disguises serving Destro.
G.I. Joe charactersEdit
There are scenes involving a ten-year-old Snake-Eyes and Storm Shadow with Gerald Okamura as their mentor, the Hard Master. Cameos include Larry Hama as a NATO general and Kevin J. O'Connor as Doctor Mindbender in a flashback scene.
In 1994, Larry Kasanoff and his production company, Threshold Entertainment, held the rights to do a live-action G.I. Joe film with Warner Bros. as the distributor. Instead they chose to concentrate the company's efforts upon its Mortal Kombat films. As late as 1999, there had been rumors that a film from Threshold Entertainment was still a possibility, but that project never panned out.
In 2003, Lorenzo di Bonaventura was interested in making a film about advanced military technology; Hasbro's Brian Goldner called him and suggested to base the film on the G.I. Joe toy line. Goldner and di Bonaventura worked together before, creating toy lines for films di Bonaventura had produced as CEO of Warner Bros. Goldner and di Bonaventura spent three months working out a story, and chose Michael B. Gordon as screenwriter, because they liked his script for 300. Di Bonaventura wanted to depict the origin story of certain characters, and introduced the new character of Rex, to allow an exploration of Duke. Rex's name came from Hasbro. Beforehand, Don Murphy was interested in filming the property, but when the Iraq War broke out, he considered the subject matter inappropriate, and chose to develop Transformers (another Hasbro toy line) instead. Di Bonaventura related, "What [the Joes] stand for, and what Duke stands for specifically in the movie, is something that I'd like to think a worldwide audience might connect with."
By February 2005, Paul Lovett and David Elliot, who wrote di Bonaventura's Four Brothers, were rewriting Gordon's draft. In their script, the Rex character is corrupted and mutated into the Cobra Commander, whom Destro needs to lead an army of supersoldiers. Skip Woods was rewriting the script by March 2007, and he added the Alex Mann character from the British Action Man toy line. Di Bonaventura explained, "Unfortunately, our president [George W. Bush] has put us in a position internationally where it would be very difficult to release a movie called G.I. Joe. To add one character to the mix is sort of a fun thing to do." The script was leaked online by El Mayimbe of Latino Review, who revealed Woods had dropped the Cobra Organization in favor of the Naja / Ryan, a crooked CIA agent. In this draft, Scarlett is married to Action Man but still has feelings for Duke, and is killed by the Baroness. Snake Eyes speaks, but his vocal cords are slashed during the story, rendering him mute. Mayimbe suggested Stuart Beattie rewrite the script. Fan response to the film following the script review was negative. Di Bonaventura promised with subsequent rewrites, "I'm hoping we're going to get it right this time." He admitted he had problems with Cobra, concurring with an interviewer "they were probably the stupidest evil organization out there [as depicted in the cartoon]". Hasbro promised they would write Cobra back into the script.
In August 2007, Paramount Pictures hired Stephen Sommers to direct the film after his presentation to CEO Brad Grey and production prexy Brad Weston was well received. Sommers had been inspired to explore the G.I. Joe universe after visiting Hasbro's headquarters in Rhode Island. The project had found the momentum based on the success of Transformers, which di Bonaventura produced with Murphy. Sommers partly signed on to direct because the concept reminded him of James Bond, and he described an underwater battle in the story as a tribute to Thunderball. Stuart Beattie was hired to write a new script for Sommers's film, and G.I. Joe comic and filecard writer Larry Hama was hired as creative consultant. Hama helped them change story elements that fans would have disliked and made it closer to the comics, ultimately deciding fans would enjoy the script. He persuaded them to drop a comic scene at the film's end, where Snake Eyes speaks. To speed up production before the 2007–2008 Writers Guild of America strike, John Lee Hancock, Brian Koppelman and David Levien also assisted in writing various scenes. Goldner said their inspiration was generally Hama's comics and not the cartoon. Sommers said had it not been for the rich backstory in the franchise, the film would have fallen behind schedule because of the strike.
After Variety had reported that the film recharacterizes G.I. Joe as being a Brussels-based outfit whose name stands for "Global Integrated Joint Operating Entity", there were reports of fan outrage over Paramount's alleged attempt to change the origin of G.I. Joe Team. Hasbro responded on its G.I. Joe site that it was not changing what the G.I. Joe brand is about, and the name will always be synonymous with bravery and heroism. Instead, it would be a modern telling of the "G.I. Joe vs. Cobra" storyline, based out of the "Pit" as they were throughout the 1980s comic book series.
Filming and designEdit
Filming began on February 11, 2008, in Los Angeles, California. The Downey soundstage was chosen as Paramount needed a large stage to get production underway as soon as possible. The first two levels of the Pit were built there, to complement the rest of the building which would be done with special effects. Downey also housed Destro's MARS base in the Arctic, his legitimate weapons factory in an ex-Soviet state, as well as filming various submarines' interiors, including a SHARC (Submersible High-speed Attack and Reconnaissance Craft) manned by two G.I. Joes.
Filming in the Czech Republic's Barrandov Studios began in May. The crew took over sections of the Old Town in Prague. While filming in the city on April 26, people were injured when a bus and several cars collided with a four-wheel-drive vehicle that appeared to have braking problems. The emergency services confirmed those taken to hospital had minor injuries. Filming wrapped after a month in Prague. Additional second unit filming took place in Paris, Egypt, Tokyo, the Arctic, and underwater.
Sommers felt "almost 100 percent" of the technology in the film would actually become available within 10 to 20 years, citing the various books and magazines about developing weapons that he loved reading. For example, Sommers said he believed invisibility was impossible, but the virtual invisibility provided by camouflage camera that projects the background of a soldier's body upon its front allowed him to include it. The production designers modelled the interior of Destro's private submarine on a Handley Page Jetstream. Sommers said the bulky immobile "accelerator suits" (which Beattie said had enabled them to write "a car chase where one guy's not even in a car") had been tough on the actors and were likely to have their roles reduced in potential sequels. Critics have compared the suits to that of NFL SuperPro, a comic book character jointly licensed by the NFL and Marvel Comics, and resembling an armored football player.
Di Bonaventura predicted that the aid offered by the United States armed forces to the film's development would be limited since much of the hardware depicted in the film is fictional. The filmmakers were denied use of MRAP armored vehicles at the start of filming as the Defense Department had just prioritized their deployment on combat operations; however, they were later permitted to film the vehicles at the National Training Center at Fort Irwin Military Reservation. Some commentators reviewing previews and promotional art from the film have noted superficial resemblances between it and the action film parody Team America: World Police.
Six visual effects companies worked in The Rise of Cobra, the most prominent being Digital Domain, which handled the Paris action sequences and the opening convoy sequence. For the Eiffel Tower destruction, special software was written for depicting how the crumbling metal works. To create the digital Eiffel Tower, the technicians had access to the original building plans, and built a digital model so complex that it could not fit in a single computer file. For the nanomites, designers used two proprietary software applications for their depiction—one made by Digital Domain, and another by Prime Focus VFX, which also created tools to generate 3D cloud and sky environments for the aerial scenes. Many scenarios were almost fully developed by computer-generated imagery, such as the landing platform of the Pit, the Cobra ice caverns, and the final underwater battle. As for the sound effects themselves, only one is considered popular and isn't instantly recognizable. When the pulse cannon fires upon the main submarine during the polar assault, the sound of a program de-resolution from the 1982 cult movie classic TRON can be heard.
|G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra – Score from the Motion Picture|
|Soundtrack album by|
|Released||August 4, 2009|
|Recorded||Sony Sound Stage, Fox Sound Stage|
G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra – Score from the Motion Picture was composed by Alan Silvestri, who reunited with director Stephen Sommers to record his score with a 90-piece ensemble of the Hollywood Studio Symphony at the scoring stages at Sony and Fox. A soundtrack album of the score was released by Varèse Sarabande Records on August 4, 2009.
The score came under scrutiny from various soundtrack forums soon after being released. Spectral analysis of the content of the CD revealed certain frequency cutoff patterns around 16 kHz, which are typical for lossy codecs. By analyzing the block size of these cutoffs, individuals at Hydrogenaudio were able to identify the lossy codec that was used before mastering the CD as MP3 with a sample rate of 48 kHz. According to the aforementioned forums, Varèse's German subsidiary Colosseum Schallplatten acknowledged this as a mastering error, while Varèse Sarabande itself denied this. It is so far unclear if a remastered version with full frequency content will be released.
The film was first screened in the US on July 31, 2009 at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland. The premiere was at Hollywood's Grauman's Chinese Theater on August 7, 2009, and in the following day, G.I. Joe started playing at 4,007 theaters in the US, along with 35 overseas markets.
The film's actors were scanned for Hasbro's toy line, which began in July 2009 with the release of 3 3/4-inch tall action figures. The Rise of Cobra toy line also includes 12-inch figures, and vehicles, including the first play set based on the Pit in the franchise's history. Electronic Arts developed a video game sequel to the film, also titled G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra.
IDW Publishing released a four-issue prequel written by Chuck Dixon. Each issue focuses on Duke, Destro, The Baroness and Snake Eyes respectively. It began publication in March 2009. The weekly film adaptation was written by Denton J. Tipton and drawn by Casey Maloney. The film's universe continued in a limited series about Snake Eyes later in 2009: Ray Park enjoyed playing the character and approached writer Kevin VanHook and artist S. L. Gallant with the idea of a comic further exploring his incarnation of the character.
As part of the movie launch campaign, more than 300 12-inch, parachute-equipped, G.I. Joe action figures were dropped from a 42-story Kansas City hotel roof and soared across 500 feet to the ground at the 16th Annual International G.I. Joe Convention. For viral marketing, black helicopters with "G.I. Joe" written on them flew over American beaches. Tie-ins were made with Symantec, 7-Eleven, and Burger King.
Paramount's vice chairman Rob Moore claimed the movie was prioritized for mid-Americans, and thus marketing was more focused on cities such as Kansas City and Columbus. In Europe, the marketing was focused on action sequences set in Paris, Egypt and Tokyo, and emphasizes that G.I. Joe is an international team of elite operatives and not "about beefy guys on steroids who all met each other in the Vietnam War."
G.I. Joe: The Invasion of Cobra IslandEdit
In 2009, R.M. Productions Ltd. was contracted by Paramount Pictures Corp. to produce a viral marketing campaign for G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra. This resulted in the creation of G.I. Joe: The Invasion of Cobra Island, a two-part animated web video, which eventually went viral. The plot has G.I. Joe called in to stop Cobra when they develop a secret bio-weapon on their hidden island base. It was done in the style of Team America: World Police and Thunderbirds, using a mix of vintage Hasbro G.I. Joe vehicles of the 1980s, and the newly produced 25th-anniversary G.I. Joe figures. The characters were animated using custom puppetry techniques, while their faces and other special effects were done using 3D animation software packages.
G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra was released on November 3, 2009 on Blu-ray Disc and DVD in regular and two-disc editions, and later as a book and as a video game. Both disc editions include audio commentary by Stephen Sommers and Bob Ducsay, and two making-of featurettes, with the second disk of the special edition holding a digital copy of the film. The film opened at #1 at the DVD sales chart, making $40.9 million from 2,538,000 DVD units in the first week of its release. The film sold more than 3.8 million discs, 500,000 of them on Blu-ray, during its first week. The film was released on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray on July 31, 2018.
During the opening weekend (August 7–9, 2009), G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra opened at #1 of the North American box office with an estimated $54.7 million. It earned an additional $44 million internationally during the same weekend. In the following week, the film opened in 14 more territories and continued atop the international box office with $26 million. This made it the third Hasbro film to reach number one at the box office after Transformers, and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.
The film grossed $150 million in the United States and $152.3 million internationally for a worldwide gross of $302.5 million against a production budget of $175 million. It is the 22nd highest-grossing film of 2009 and the 10th highest film of 2009 to gross $300 million worldwide behind Star Trek, Monsters Vs. Aliens, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Terminator Salvation, Fast & Furious, A Christmas Carol, Inglourious Basterds, The Proposal, and The Blind Side.
Paramount decided to not screen the film for print critics before its release and wanted to focus on internet critics. The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported a 35% approval rating with an average rating of 4.6/10 based on 159 reviews. The website's consensus reads, "While fans of the Hasbro toy franchise may revel in a bit of nostalgia, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra is largely a cartoonish, over-the-top action fest propelled by silly writing, inconsistent visual effects, and merely passable performances." Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the film has received an average score of 32 out of 100, based on 25 reviews.
One of the many complaints made by fans was that the film failed to relate to the G.I. Joe franchise. G4tv.com stated that, "[the studio] actually went out of their way to butcher the G.I. Joe mythos in favor of derivative storyline devices." They cited the Baroness, who was changed from an East European noble in the comics to Duke's brainwashed ex-girlfriend in the film.
Dan Jolin of Empire magazine commented that it was "Bond without the style and Team America without the bellylaughs". The Daily Telegraph reviewer said, "The taint of cruddiness extends everywhere in this joyless stinker." James Berardinelli said the characters were "as plastic as the toys that inspired them" and considered Tatum "wooden" and that his character was "more animated in sequences when he is rendered by special effects than when being portrayed by Tatum". Roger Ebert described that "there is never any clear sense in the action of where anything is in relation to anything else". Chuck Wilson of The Village Voice criticized the dialogue and described the underwater battle as "absurdly overproduced, momentarily diverting, and then instantly forgettable". Manohla Dargis of The New York Times considered the plot "at once elemental and incomprehensible", and Peter Travers of Rolling Stone thought that, despite the high budget, the special effects "look shockingly crappy; the Eiffel Tower appears to be destroyed by some green slime left over from the Ghostbusters films". Reviewers also criticized the film for the scientific impossibility of sinking ocean ice.
Matthew Leyland from Total Film called it "a throwaway blast of solid, stupid fun" and gave it three out of five stars, particularly praising Joseph Gordon-Levitt's performance as the treacherous Cobra Commander. Sister publication SFX called the film "dumb and dopey, with plenty of bumpy bits" and that "GI Joe has a genuine cliffhanger charm, especially when the last act becomes a whole string of pulp plot twists. The ending screams 'To Be Continued'; we could do worse.", finally awarding the score of three stars out of five. Christopher Monfette of IGN also gave the film a positive review, saying "This is an adult's interpretation of a childhood phenomenon, and if you're willing to give it a shot, one suspects that you'll find yourself entertained enough to give your best, "Yo, Joe!" He gave the film three and a half out of five stars. Betsy Sharkey of the Los Angeles Times criticized the excessive flashbacks, but praised the action scenes and design, and considered that Marlon Wayans "steals the show". Dan Kois of The Washington Post describing it as "loudest, flashiest, silliest and longest blockbuster in a summer full of long, silly, flashy, loud blockbusters" thought it was "as polished and entertaining as war-mongering toy commercials get".
Cast members Eccleston and Tatum have been critical of the film in the years since its release, with Eccleston stating “Working on something like GI Joe was horrendous. I just wanted to cut my throat every day“. Tatum, in an interview with Howard Stern, stated he hated the film, revealing he was pushed into doing the film to fulfill a three-picture deal he had signed with Paramount.
Tatum won the Teen Choice Award for Choice Movie Actor: Action for his performance as Duke and the film also received three other Teen Choice Award nominations: Choice Movie: Action, Choice Movie Actress: Action for Sienna Miller, and Choice Movie: Villain for Joseph Gordon-Levitt. However, the film was also nominated for six Razzies including Worst Picture, Worst Director, Worst Screenplay, Worst Supporting Actor for Marlon Wayans, and Worst Prequel, Remake, Rip-off, or Sequel—with Sienna Miller winning the Razzie for Worst Supporting Actress at the 30th Golden Raspberry Awards becoming the biggest stump for 2010.
In other mediaEdit
Inspired by the movie, The Ballad of G.I. Joe was released in 2009 on the website Funny or Die. Written by Daniel Strange and Kevin Umbricht, and featuring celebrities such as Olivia Wilde, Zack Galifianakis, Alexis Bledel, Henry Rollins, and Vinnie Jones, the video short parodies several characters from G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero by showing what they do in their spare time.
A sequel, G.I. Joe: Retaliation, was released on March 28, 2013, directed by Jon Chu. In the film, the Joes are framed as traitors by Zartan, who is still impersonating the President of the United States, and Cobra Commander now has all the world leaders under Cobra's control, with their advanced warheads aimed at innocent populaces around the world. Outnumbered and out gunned, the Joes form a plan with the original G.I. Joe General Joseph Colton to overthrow Cobra Commander and his allies Zartan, Storm Shadow, and Firefly.
- "G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra rated 12A by the BBFC". BBFC. July 24, 2009. Archived from the original on August 11, 2009. Retrieved July 29, 2009.
- Fritz, Ben (August 9, 2009). "G.I. Joe opens to $100 million worldwide, but will it hold?". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved August 11, 2009.
- "G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved July 1, 2010.
- Roush, George (March 7, 2007). "Exclusive 1-1 With Lorenzo Di Bonaventura". Latino Review. Archived from the original on December 8, 2007. Retrieved February 23, 2008.
- Michael Fleming, Pamela McClintock (2007-10-30). "Studios prep back-up plan". Variety. Retrieved 2008-12-16.
- "Channing Tatum talks G.I. Joe and Public Enemies". Collider. 2008-03-16. Retrieved 2008-03-18.
- "A Turning Point for Quaid". MSN Movies. 2008-02-15. Retrieved 2008-03-01.
- Hannibal Tabu (2008-07-25). "CCI: G.I. Joe, "Resolute" and "The Rise of Cobra"". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved 2008-07-25.
- Edward Douglas (2008-03-30). "G.I. Joe Production Moves to Czech Republic". Superhero Hype!. Retrieved 2008-03-30.
- Shawn Adler (2008-02-12). "Quaid Knows Which 'G.I. Joe' Characters Are In The Movie — And Knowing Is Half The Battle". MTV Movies Blog. Retrieved 2008-02-23.
- Robert Sanchez (2008-01-08). "IESB Exclusive Interview: A Chat with G.I. Joe Producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura!". IESB. Retrieved 2008-02-23.
- Betty Adams (2008-08-31). "Newlywed Rachel Nichols' career on the fast track". Morning Sentinel. Retrieved 2009-01-27.
- Larry Carroll (2009-03-10). "Sienna Miller Describes 'Really Good Girl Fight' In 'G.I. Joe: Rise Of Cobra'". MTV. Retrieved 2009-03-10.
- Robert Sanchez (2008-01-06). "Exclusive Photos: Ray Park Gears Up for Snake Eyes!". IESB. Retrieved 2008-02-23.
- Eric S. Trautmann (2009-08-30). "The Observatory: Loving Wonderfully, Awful Movies". Retrieved 2009-08-30.
- Jason Coleman (2009-02-16). "Snake Eyes Speaks!". The213.net. Retrieved 2009-02-19.
- Shaheem Reid, Brennan Williams (2008-02-22). "Common Says 'American Gangster' Deserves More 'Oscar Love,' Talks New Six-Song EP". MTV. Retrieved 2008-02-27.
- "G.I. Joe Movie Rise Of Cobra Breaker Images". HissTank. 2009-03-10. Retrieved 2009-03-13.
- Edward Douglas (2008-02-19). "In the Future: The Cast of Vantage Point". ComingSoon.net. Retrieved 2008-02-23.
- Exclusive: 1:1 with G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra director Stephen Sommers
- Leopoldo Gutierrez (2008-05-06). "G.I. JOE Set Visit Preview and Knowing is Half the Battle!". Retrieved 2009-07-21.
- "Films G.I. Joe: The Rise Of Cobra". Dark Horizons. Retrieved 2009-07-21.
- "Eccleston signs on for 'G.I. Joe' role". United Press International. 2008-02-12. Retrieved 2008-02-22.
- "GI Joe Movie Rise Of Cobra David Murray Is Destro". HissTank.com. 2008-07-02. Retrieved 2008-07-04.
- Official Novelization
- Brian Jacks (2008-09-10). "'G.I. Joe' Star Joseph Gordon-Levitt Undergoes Transformation For Cobra Commander Role". MTV Movies Blog. Retrieved 2008-09-10.
- Brian Jacks (2008-09-04). "'G.I. Joe' Movie Will Reveal 'Twisted' Cobra Commander; Mask And Menacing Voice Included". MTV Movies Blog. Retrieved 2008-09-04.
- Jim Vejvoda (2009-01-27). "Gordon-Levitt on G.I. Joe". IGN. Retrieved 2009-01-28.
- Denton J. Tipton (w), Casey Maloney (a). GI Joe: Rise of Cobra Movie Adaptation 4 (July 2009), IDW Publishing
- Denton J. Tipton (w), Casey Maloney (a). GI Joe: Rise of Cobra Movie Adaptation 3 (July 2009), IDW Publishing
- Fred Topel (2009-03-06). "Sienna Miller hams it up as the Baroness in G.I. Joe". Sci Fi Wire. Retrieved 2009-03-06.
- "Sienna Miller straps on the leather for gun-toting GI Joe role... but it's not the most original look". The Mail on Sunday. 2008-05-08. Retrieved 2008-05-08.
- Chris Tilly (2008-11-24). "G.I. Joe Exclusive". IGN. Retrieved 2008-11-25.
- Garth Franklin (2008-02-18). "Logo, Prez & More "G.I. Joe" Updates". Dark Horizons. Retrieved 2008-02-23.
- El Mayimbe (2008-11-06). "First Look At THE HARD MASTER From the Upcoming G.I. JOE Movie!". Latino Review. Retrieved 2008-11-06.
- Devin Faraci (2008-03-25). "Kevin J O'Connor says 'Yo Joe'". CHUD. Retrieved 2008-03-26.
- Cheng, Andria (December 4, 2008). "Hasbro's chief transformer". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved December 4, 2008.
- Fleming, Michael (September 15, 2003). "Lorenzo drafts G.I. Joe". Variety. Retrieved February 23, 2008.
- Stax (March 10, 2004). "Producer Talks G.I. Joe". IGN. Retrieved February 23, 2008.
- Stax (March 15, 2004). "Screenwriter Talks G.I. Joe". IGN. Retrieved February 23, 2008.
- Chavez, Kellvin (February 21, 2007). "On Set Interview: Producer Don Murphy On Transformers". Latino Review. Archived from the original on October 12, 2009. Retrieved February 23, 2008.
- "Exclusive: G.I. Joe Enlists New Writers". IGN. February 1, 2005. Archived from the original on January 10, 2008. Retrieved February 23, 2008.
- El Mayimbe (December 30, 2005). "G.I. Joe by David Elliot and Paul Lovett, revised first draft dated September 16, 2005, 116 pages". Latino Review. Archived from the original on September 14, 2008. Retrieved October 1, 2008.
- El Mayimbe (May 21, 2008). "G.I. Joe by Skip Woods, First Draft, 121 pages". Latino Review. Archived from the original on June 26, 2009. Retrieved February 26, 2008.
- Collura, Scott (June 14, 2007). "Exclusive: G.I. Joe Update". IGN. Retrieved February 23, 2008.
- El Mayimbe (July 12, 2007). "G.I. Joe Exclusive Update with Hasbro COO". Latino Review. Archived from the original on January 25, 2008. Retrieved February 23, 2008.
- Fleming, Michael (August 23, 2007). "Stephen Sommers to direct G.I. Joe". Variety. Retrieved February 22, 2008.
- Kit, Borys (August 24, 2007). ""G.I. Joe" accepts movie assignment". Reuters. Retrieved February 22, 2008.
- Collis, Clark (January 22, 2009). "G.I. Joe director denies making Sienna Miller wear rubber breasts". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on July 31, 2009. Retrieved January 23, 2009.
- Siegel, Tatiana (August 30, 2007). "Stuart Beattie to report for G.I. duty". Variety. Retrieved February 22, 2008.
- "Exclusive Video Interview: G.I. Joe Movie Creative Consultant Larry Hama!". IESB. February 17, 2008. Archived from the original on February 18, 2008. Retrieved February 22, 2008.
- Jacks, Brian (July 25, 2008). "Snake Eyes To Stay Silent For G.I. Joe Movie, Promises Film's Producer". MTV Movies Blog. Retrieved July 25, 2008.
- Kit, Borys (October 30, 2007). "Hollywood flips over WGA contract deadline". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on May 17, 2008. Retrieved February 23, 2008.
- Carroll, Larry; Jacks, Brian (March 3, 2008). "G.I. Joe Executive Producer Reveals Details About The Flick ... And The Action Figures!". MTV. Retrieved October 13, 2008.
- Savage, Brian. "Stephen Sommers interview". G.I. Joe Collectors Club. Retrieved February 21, 2009.
- Stax (August 24, 2007). "What Does G.I. Joe Stand For?". IGN. Retrieved September 28, 2009.
- "Joe Might Not Blow". IGN. November 5, 2007. Retrieved September 28, 2009.
- Cooney, Michael (November 5, 2007). "Hasbro tries to quash uproar over GI Joe and his movie". Network World. Archived from the original on March 15, 2008. Retrieved September 28, 2009.
- "G.I. Joe Starts Filming Today". Superhero Hype!. February 11, 2008. Retrieved March 30, 2008.
- Fleming, Michael (January 28, 2007). "Quaid, Tatum enlist in Par's G.I. Joe". Variety. Retrieved February 22, 2008.
- "Lorenzo di Bonaventura Exclusive Interview – G.I. Joe". Collider. April 29, 2008. Retrieved April 30, 2008.
- Sanchez, Robert (May 6, 2008). "G.I. Joe Set Visit Preview...and Knowing is Half the Battle!". IESB. Archived from the original on May 8, 2008. Retrieved May 6, 2008.
- "Hollywood action film G.I. Joe to be shot in Prague studios". The Prague Daily Monitor. March 11, 2008. Archived from the original on March 15, 2008. Retrieved March 12, 2008.
- Sanchez, Stephanie (April 24, 2008). "G.I. Joe is Headed for Prague in May". IESB. Archived from the original on December 22, 2008. Retrieved April 25, 2008.
- "Seven hurt in G.I. Joe mishap in Prague: police". Agence France-Presse. April 26, 2008. Archived from the original on May 1, 2008. Retrieved April 27, 2008.
- Moro, Eric (May 6, 2008). "IGN Enlists in G.I. Joe". IGN. Archived from the original on August 2, 2008. Retrieved May 6, 2008.
- Schedeen (May 6, 2009). "G.I. Joe Movie Prequel: Rise of Cobra #3 Review". IGN. Retrieved September 27, 2009.
- Schogol, Jeff (May 27, 2009). "Transformers beat G.I. Joe in battle for DOD support for summer blockbusters". Stars and Stripes. Retrieved May 27, 2009.
- Phillips, Emily (June 18, 2009). "Brand New G.I. Joe TV Spot Online". Empire. Retrieved July 16, 2009.
- Goldberg, Matt (April 30, 2009). "Trailer: G.I. Joe – The Rise Of Cobra – Updated". collider.com. Retrieved July 16, 2009.
- Campbell, Dave (June 19, 2009). "G.I. Joe: The Rise Of The Cobra". Smells Like Screen Spirit. Retrieved July 16, 2009.
- Failes, Ian (September 12, 2009). "G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra". FX Guide. Archived from the original on September 15, 2009. Retrieved September 28, 2009.
- Desowitz, Bill (August 24, 2009). "G.I. Joe: Rising to a New Level of Techno VFX". Animation World Network. Retrieved September 28, 2009.
- Goldwasser, Dan (July 9, 2009). "Alan Silvestri scores G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra". ScoringSessions.com. Retrieved July 9, 2009.
- "G.I. Joe By Alan Silvestri". Varèse Sarabande Records. Retrieved November 17, 2009.[dead link]
- "Intrada Soundtrack Forum • View topic – G.I. Joe (Alan Silvestri) mastered from a lossy source". Intrada.net. Retrieved August 8, 2011.
- "FSM Board: UPCOMING VARESE: G.I. JOE (Alan Silvestri)". Filmscoremonthly.com. Retrieved August 8, 2011.
- "Regular CDs with lossy compression – Hydrogenaudio Forums". Hydrogenaudio. Retrieved August 8, 2011.
- Monger, James Christopher. "Review: G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra". Allmusic. Retrieved March 9, 2010.
- Graydon, Danny. "Review of G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra". Empire. Archived from the original on October 20, 2012. Retrieved February 8, 2010.
- Eller, Claudia; Fritz, Ben (August 3, 2009). "Paramount Pictures waves the flag for G.I. Joe". Los Angeles Times. p. 1. Retrieved September 28, 2009.
- "In Pictures: Los Angeles Premiere of G.I. Joe: The Rise Of Cobra". Monsters and Critics. September 30, 2009. Archived from the original on September 13, 2009.
- Gray, Brandon (August 10, 2009). "Weekend Report: G.I. Joe Doesn't Roll Snake Eyes". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved September 28, 2009.
- Kay, Jeremy (August 10, 2009). "World surrenders to G.I. Joe's $100m box office breach". ScreenDaily. Retrieved September 28, 2009.
- "World's First Action Figure G.I. Joe Becomes Movie Blockbuster Franchise in 2009" (Press release). February 13, 2009. Retrieved February 14, 2009.
- "EA Creating G.I. Joe Video Game". Superhero Hype!. February 11, 2009. Retrieved February 11, 2009.
- Ekstrom, Steve (September 12, 2008). "G.I. Joe Roundtable, Part 1: Hama, Dixon, Gage & More". Newsarama. Retrieved October 1, 2008.
- Cochran, Jay (December 12, 2008). "G.I. Joe Titles From IDW For March 2009". Comic News International. Archived from the original on February 3, 2009. Retrieved December 21, 2008.
- Lorah, Michael (February 9, 2009). "NYCC '09 – IDW's G.I. Joe/Transformers Panel". Newsarama. Retrieved February 9, 2009.
- "This Summer's Biggest Action Movie Hero Parachutes into Kansas City". Reuters. August 12, 2009. Archived from the original on September 8, 2012. Retrieved September 30, 2009.
- "G.I. Joe Pulls a Stunt at the Jersey Shore". LatinoReview. July 9, 2009. Archived from the original on October 5, 2009. Retrieved October 18, 2009.
- "G.I. Joe ads attack New York beaches via the air". Nielsen Business Media. July 6, 2009. Retrieved October 18, 2009.
- "G.I. Joe special page at Norton Internet Security's website". Symantec. Archived from the original on October 2, 2009. Retrieved October 11, 2009.
- "G.I. Joe: The Rise Of Cobra Advances On 7-Eleven Stores". 7-Eleven. July 30, 2009. Archived from the original on September 12, 2009. Retrieved October 11, 2009.
- "Bk Kids Meal Toys Bring Action Of G.I. Joe: The Rise Of Cobra To Burger King Restaurants" (Press release). Burger King. August 3, 2009. Retrieved October 11, 2009.[permanent dead link]
- Rupinder Malhotra; Mickey Worsnop; Shiraz Baboo (2009). "G.I. Joe: The Invasion of Cobra Island". Retrieved August 24, 2011.
- "Gi Joe Cobra Island at". Dvinfo.net. Retrieved September 17, 2012.
- di Bonaventura, Lorenzo; Ducsay, Bob; Goldner, Brian; Sommers, Stephen; Gordon, Michael B. (2009). G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra (Blu-ray and DVD) (2 disc ed.). Hollywood, California: Paramount Home Media Distribution. ISBN 1415750300. OCLC 443502902.
- Dreuth, Josh (October 5, 2009). "Paramount Announces G.I. Joe Blu-ray". Blu-Ray.com.
- Collins, Max Allan (2009). G.I. Joe: the Rise of Cobra (print book). New York: Del Rey. ISBN 9780345516091. OCLC 797227888.
- Monfette, Christopher; Pirrello, Phil (November 5, 2009). "G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra Blu-ray Review". IGN. Retrieved November 17, 2009.
- "The Numbers.com".
- "G.I. Joe Shows Muscle At Top Of Video Charts". Reuters. November 11, 2009. Retrieved November 17, 2009.
- "High Def Digest | Blu-ray and Games News and Reviews in High Definition". ultrahd.highdefdigest.com. Retrieved 2018-06-12.
- Kay, Jeremy (August 17, 2009). "G.I. Joe stays ahead of the pack overseas, approaches $100m". ScreenDaily. Retrieved September 28, 2009.
- "2009 WORLDWIDE GROSSES". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved October 29, 2009.
- "No go: Paramount won't show critics `G.I. Joe' – ! News". Associated Press. August 4, 2009. Retrieved September 28, 2009.
- "G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra (2009)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved February 8, 2014.
- "G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra (2009): Reviews". Metacritic. CNET Networks. Retrieved August 13, 2009.
- Joseph Baxter (February 18, 2010). "Details About The G.I. Joe Sequel Revealed (Sort Of)". G4tv.com. Retrieved August 8, 2011.
- Jolin, Dan. "G.I. Joe: Rise Of The Cobra". Empire. Retrieved August 6, 2009.
- Robey, Tim (August 6, 2009). "GI Joe review". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved September 28, 2009.
- Berardinelli, James (August 7, 2009). "G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra". Reelviews. Retrieved August 16, 2009.
- Ebert, Roger (August 7, 2009). "G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved August 16, 2009.
- Wilson, Chuck (August 7, 2009). "G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, A Summer-Season Toy-Soldier Flick". The Village Voice. Retrieved November 17, 2009.
- Dargis, Manohla (August 8, 2009). "Good Guys Meet Bad Guys; Cue Explosions". The New York Times. Retrieved November 17, 2009.
- Travers, Peter (August 7, 2009). "G.I. Joe review". Rolling Stone. Retrieved November 17, 2009.
- "G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra Movie Reviews". Total Film. Future Publishing. Retrieved August 3, 2009.
- Osmond, Andrew (August 11, 2009). "Film Review: GI Joe: The Rise Of Cobra". SFX. Retrieved September 28, 2009.
- Monfette, Christopher (August 3, 2009). "G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra Review". IGN. Retrieved August 9, 2009.
- Sharkey, Betsy (August 8, 2009). "G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved November 17, 2009.
- Kois, Dan (August 7, 2009). "In Season of Bad Blockbusters, 'G.I. Joe' Marches in Step". The Washington Post. Retrieved November 17, 2009.
- Christopher Eccleston: ‘I gave Doctor Who a hit show and then they put me on a blacklist'
- Channing Tatum Hates 'G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra,' Too
- "Winners of 'Teen Choice 2010' Awards Announced; Teens Cast More Than 85 Million Votes".
- "First Wave of "Teen Choice 2010" Nominees Announced". The Futon Critic. June 14, 2010. Retrieved June 15, 2010.
- "30th Annual Golden Raspberry (Razzie©) Award "Winners"". The Razzies. Retrieved May 12, 2010.
- The Ballad of G.I. Joe on IMDb
- The Ballad of G.I. Joe at Funny or Die
- Nikki Finke (May 23, 2012). "'G.I. Joe: Retaliation' Moving To March 2013 To Add 3D For Bigger Foreign Box Office". Deadline Hollywood.
- Andrew Stewart. "Par boots 'G.I. Joe' to 2013". Variety.
- "Jon Chu Picked To Direct 'G.I. Joe 2′ | /Film". Slashfilm.com. February 25, 2011. Retrieved September 30, 2011.
- "Paramount Drafts Jon M. Chu For 'G.I. Joe 2'". February 25, 2011.
- Shin Densetsu (January 31, 2012). "MTV Grills Channing Tatum About His "Death" In GI Joe Retaliation – GI Joe News". Hisstank.com. Archived from the original on January 29, 2013. Retrieved April 25, 2012.
- Official website
- G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra at AllMovie
- G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra at Box Office Mojo
- G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra on IMDb
- G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra title listing at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database
- G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra at Metacritic
- G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra at Rotten Tomatoes
- G.I. Joe: The Invasion of Cobra Island on IMDb