The movie opens on a dark stormy night with a horse drawn carriage clip-clopping dismally on a cobbled path. The visual cues prepare you for an ancient dateline and sure enough, we are in France in the middle of the 17th Century. McCullen, an arms dealer, is being tried for treason as he was selling arms to both sides. Speaking with a thick Scottish burr, McCullen swears his sons and their sons and many, many McCullens will rise and do their dastardly deeds (or something of the sort.)
Cut to some time in the future and a hi-tech presentation of some dreadful weapon that would lay the world to waste. The weapon is developed by a sinister company, Mars, headed by surprise, surprise a McCullen, for NATO. In transit, an assault is made to steal the weapons and all hell breaks loose. Guns, chases, exotic locations, ice-cool gadgetry and hot babes in skin-tight outfits with flowing hair pepper the screen at a frenetic pace.
Director Stephen Sommers was apparently attracted to the project as it would be the closest he could get to making a James Bond film. The film is a tribute to the super successful 007 franchise complete with guns, gadgets, girls, a megalomaniacal villain and Russian femme fatale. Also Jonathan Pryce who played the evil media baron in the James Bond film Tomorrow Never Dies plays the U.S. President complete with British accent! (don’t even ask how that is possible.)
Sommers, who directed The Mummy and The Mummy Returns, has fond memories of the films and has Brendan Fraser (Rick O’Connell in the Mummy movies) in an uncredited role and the Mummy, Arnold Vosloo, as the shape-shifting Zartan.
Sienna Miller has a blast as the inscrutable brunette Baroness, while Quaid makes squinty eyes and squares his jaw as General Hawk. This is a film, which provides some mindless entertainment, and if you are a fan of the Hasbro toys and the television series, all the more better.
GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra
Director: Stephen Sommers
Cast: Dennis Quaid, Sienna Miller, Christopher Eccleston, Rachel Nichols, Jonathan Pryce
Storyline: A terrible weapon has fallen into the wrong hands and GI Joes step in to save the world. Bottomline: Mindless entertainment