So, to have them in the family Joe collection, I picked up Rise of Cobra and Retaliation this morning. When I got home, daughter and I popped RoC into the VCR to watch it completely for the first time.
Keep in mind, it’s been thirty years since I actually read the comics with any great regularity. I loved GI Joe for a range of reasons, but I was never a huge comic book fan…I tended to save up for real books, instead. I watched Sunbow’s Real American Hero (and will gladly re-watch it when I can) When DiC took over, I lost interest because, as I have said elsewhere, it stank on so many levels.
I was hopeful when we got word of Rise of Cobra…until I start seeing the trailers. Still, it’s Joe, so today, like I said, I bought it and watched it.
The ways Rise of Cobra really missed the mark:
Duke/Baroness: no, didn’t happen.
Baroness: Anastasia Cisarovna was born into an aristocratic European family. Reading her file card, I seriously doubt she was ever an ‘All American girl in love with an American soldier’. She has always been romantically linked to Destro, as far as I know.
Scarlett: Depending on where you are in which story arc, this kick-ass lady is Duke’s girl, or Snake Eyes’ girl. The whole Scarlett/ Ripcord line had me and my daughter looking at each other like: “Who the devil thought this was the way to go?”
Cover Girl: She was a TANK JOCKEY and MECHANIC, gadsdangit! She wasn’t Hawk’s secretary!
Duke: for one thing, in my opinion, this was one of the most miscast roles in the entire movie. I don’t feel Channing Tatum had the look or the ability to show us a man who, several times, passed on promotion to stay with his team. Also didn’t like the way the movie basically shows Duke as one of the last to join the Joe team. No, and I am pretty sure he came way before Lt Stone, who is already at Joe HQ in the movie the first time Duke and Ripcord get there.
MISSING CHARACTERS: Flint, Lady Jaye, Stalker, Beach Head, Leatherneck, Gung Ho, Shipwreck, Doc, LifeLine., Wild Bill….
Other issues: While I get they were trying to appeal to a larger audience, I had problems with the whole ‘international team’ thing. A French Breaker? Eh. (At least they kept his gum chewing) While I can see any country with a military having a Special Ops team or three, and teams from allied nations occasionally working together, I really can’t wrap around one international team. Too many probable issues between who funds what, who runs what, were individual members’ loyalties really are.
I very rarely find anything a total loss, and so it was with RoC. The vehicles worked. The weapons worked for the sci-fi aspect of the cartoons, at least. The backstory between Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow, while not quite cannon, was close enough to be acceptable, and well-done. Dennis Quaid as Hawk was a plus. Christopher Eccleston as McCullen/Destro works. Byung Hun Lee as StormShadow was good…. you aren’t sure if he’s sane or not, with his various tics.
Out of five stars, this gets one and a half. Tomorrow, we’ll give RETALIATION a shot.