G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra / G.I. Joe: Retaliation 4K Ultra
review by Bobby Blakey
Like most in my generation we grew up in the awesomeness of G.I. Joe. In 2009 the American Fighting Force hit the big screen in live action with G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra. The success of that film brought a retooled sequel with the 2013 film G.I. Joe: Retaliation. With the hype of the latest film Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins in theaters now, what better time to revisit these first two films in glorious 4K.
G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra follows a top-secret elite strike force featuring the best operatives from around the globe. After a high-tech secret weapon is stolen by a mysterious and evil organization known as COBRA, it’s a race against time for the G.I. JOE team to avoid their enemy from plunging the world into chaos.
I know there are issues with this film, but I just find it guilty fun just seeing these characters come to life. There are so many decisions here that make no sense mostly in regards to the change in looks, but it still felt like the world of G.I. Joe. If you are a fan of the film then it holds up well and is still a lot of fun and not surprisingly Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow steal the movie.
The cast are all good here and I was even fine with the big twist to do a big reveal leading into the Destro and Cobra Commander we all love, but it falls flat when they take such simple perfect designs and change them for no good reason and not for the better. Beyond that I dug the characters, the action and the overall world building to this first outing that could have been so much better but is still fun for what it is.
G.I. Joe: Retaliation follows the G.I. JOE team who has been set up to take the fall for a terrible crime they didn’t commit. Now, Roadblock, Duke, and the rest of the team must once again face their mortal enemy COBRA, as well as dangerous new threats operating within the government. When all else fails, one option remains —Retaliation.
The issues with the first film are mostly gone this time around and they kept most of the things that worked like Storm Shadow and Snake Eyes. The addition of Firefly and Roadblock were major points for me. Even more so is getting a Cobra Commander that looks not only proper but kind of badass. I hate that Tanning didn’t really want to be a part of this after his experience with the first one because it would have been so much more fun to have more of him and Johnson witty banter and kicking ass together.
This is another case of great casting and the addition of Bruce Willis as the original G.I. Joe made it all the more fun. This film did in fact elevate it with promise, but for whatever reason we sadly never got more which is a shame because it was heading in the right direction.
In the end neither of these films fully captured what most fans hoped from a G.I. Joe film, but for me there is a lot of forgiveness in just getting to see them come to life at all. These new 4K releases look outstanding and really step up the visual fun of it all. In addition to the films they both include all the previously released bonus content including commentaries, deleted scenes, and featurettes.
If you are a fan of the franchise and the films then these are must have additions to your collection. Join the fight against the ruthless terrorist organization Cobra with G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra and G.I. Joe: Retaliation available now on 4K Ultra for the first time from Paramount Home Entertainment.
Also be sure to check out Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins in theaters now. You can check out our review here.