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G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra 4K Ultra HD Review

By Jul 28, 2021 04:09 PM EST

Tatum fits the bill as a soldier well, physically and mentally, but his acting skills are rough.

The year was 1923.  The place was Providence, Rhode Island.  The event was the creation of Hassenfeld Brothers, a textile company created by three brothers, Henry, Hillel, and Herman.  In 1942 the company had transitioned to making toys and in 1964 they created an "action figure" called G.I. Joe.  Originally, G.I. Joe was hugely profitable for the company but by the mid-1970s production of the toy was halted.  Over the years, the G.I. Joe series has had a growing presence in the media, first with comics, then books and records, and finally films.  The first live-action movie, released in 2009, was G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra.  Twelve years later, the film is available on 4K for the first time.

M.A.R.S., a weapons manufacturer, has created a new weapon using metal-eating Nanobots.  They sell four of their Nanobot-infused warheads to NATO, which is being transported by NATO military forces lead by Americans Conrad "Duke" Hauser (Channing Tatum; Magic Mike) and Wallace "Ripcord" Weems (Marlon Wayans; Scary Movie).  When the convoy is ambushed, Duke recognizes The Baroness (Sienna Miller; American Sniper) as his ex-fiancé, Ana.  Distracting Duke, Ana steals the warheads only to have them recovered by an elite special forces group of soldiers called G.I. Joes.

The Joes, as they are known, take the warheads to "the pit", their base of operations located in Egypt.  The head of the Joes, General Hawk (Dennis Quaid; The Parent Trap) then dismisses Duke and Ripcord but Duke argues as to why they should stay with the team.  Hawk reluctantly agrees to let them stay but requires them to train under members of the Shield team.  While training, the Baroness and Storm Shadow (Lee Byung-Hun; I Saw the Devil) break in and steal the warheads.  The Joes then must figure out what their evil plan is and stop them before they topple the largest cities in Europe.

It is obvious from the get-go that this is an action film first and dialogue wasn't a priority.  Tatum fits the bill as a soldier well, physically and mentally, but his acting skills are rough. Wayans neither adds nor detracts any significant contribution to the movie.  Miller is simply annoying though she manages her fight sequences well and Quaid is well…Quaid.  He generally tends to carry an air of authority so portraying a top-ranking military officer suits him.

Paramount typically does a good job with their 4K transfers, and this title is no exception.  Unfortunately, this means some of the special effects don't translate well and look fake.  Conversely, colors pop and details are sharp making the overall viewing experience enjoyable.

The audio is the same DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 that was on the 2009 Blu-ray release.  It is disappointing that the audio wasn't upgraded to Dolby Atmos but the 5.1 sound is excellent with full surround sound effects.  Dialogue is crisp and the layered tracks are clean with no artifacting.

The Combo pack comes with the 4K disc, Blu-ray disc, and a Digital HD code.  There is also an audio commentary by Director Stephen Sommers (The Mummy) and Producer Bob Ducsay (Van Helsing).

If you grew up playing with G.I. Joe and knowing all the characters involved, this film is a decent interpretation of the comics.  However, if you are not familiar with the G.I. Joe background, and are not a fan of action, fighting, and guns, then this movie isn't for you.

It may look good and sound great, but the acting, script, and special effects leave a lot to be desired for the average person who isn't a diehard fan of the franchise.

Grade: C

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