G.I. Joe - The Rise of the Cobra parents guide

G.I. Joe - The Rise of the Cobra Parent Guide

Obviously, creating a compelling story wasn't a priority in this production, and the script sometimes even seems to spoof this genre with flashbacks delivered through overwrought performances.

Overall D+

Based on a Hasbro product, this boy doll is no longer a child's toy. Instead, he's a lean, mean, elite military fighting machine. Staring Channing Tatum, this G.I Joe is out to disable Cobra, a mercenary organization headed by a Scottish arms dealer.

Release date August 7, 2009

Violence D
Sexual Content B
Profanity C+
Substance Use A

Why is G.I. Joe - The Rise of the Cobra rated PG-13? The MPAA rated G.I. Joe - The Rise of the Cobra PG-13 for strong sequences of action violence and mayhem throughout.

Run Time: 107 minutes

Official Movie Site

Parent Movie Review

Bombs, bullets and breasts are in ample supply in this action flick, but brains are another matter. Duke (Channing Tatum) and his buddy Ripcord (Marlon Wayans) are given the responsibility of overseeing the safe delivery of two futuristic warheads stuffed full of nanomites—little microscopic somethings that can chew their way through virtually anything… even a city.

Of course, the delivery isn’t going to go well. Bad guy McCullen (Christopher Eccleston) desperately wants to get his hands on the super weapon. We aren’t sure why, but just the tone of his voice suggests he is an evil madman with a desire to control the world. This highly unique premise (never before seen in an action movie made in the past five days) sets up the conflict which will endure until the end of the film— accompanied by extremely loud special effects. Stirring the trouble pot even further is Ana (Sienna Miller), McCullen’s right hand woman, who just happens to be (yet another surprise) a former flame of Duke’s.

Obviously, creating a compelling story wasn’t a priority in this glitzy production, and the script sometimes even seems to spoof this genre with its inclusion of flashbacks delivered through overwrought performances. For parents however, the most problematic issue will likely be the fact it is based on a toy (manufactured by Hasbro, whose corporate name is boldly pasted in the opening credits), which is now transformed into anything but a child-friendly product. Obviously the marketing gurus behind the scenes are hoping to capture multiple audiences (and their dollars)—the boomers who enjoyed Joe’s first 1964 incarnation, the Generation Ys who bought into the G.I. Joe military team concept in the early 1980s, and today’s kids who will undoubtedly be assaulted with Joe paraphernalia throughout the upcoming holiday season.

Sadly, this movie does nothing to leave the audience with a shred of consequence over the countless number of people killed or the mass destruction of city streets. Weapons, cars, and hands are all lethal. Background characters are shot and maimed as if they were mere props. And every woman depicted (all of which are dressed in skin-tight, bust-enhancing costumes) is under male domination. This is a man’s world (perhaps fantasy) from the opening credits to the closing “place sequel here” moment.

While much of the violence is sanitized (meaning there is little blood shown), some scenes are more explicit, such as some stabbing and impaling portrayals. To fit the US MPAA PG-13 rating, language and sex are throttled back. But you can still expect frequent terms of deity, a couple of scatological expletives and other mild profanities, along with kissing and topless males.

In short, G.I. Joe The Rise of the Cobra is a far cry from the imaginary scenarios kids would likely have come up with long ago while playing with the khaki-clad toys that eventually opened an entire marketplace of “dolls” for boys. And those looking for family entertainment should not ignore the hazard warnings associated with this new brand of action figure.

Starring Dennis Quaid, Channing Tatum, Marlon Wayans. Running time: 107 minutes. Theatrical release August 7, 2009. Updated

G.I. Joe - The Rise of the Cobra
Rating & Content Info

Why is G.I. Joe - The Rise of the Cobra rated PG-13? G.I. Joe - The Rise of the Cobra is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for strong sequences of action violence and mayhem throughout.

Nearly non-stop violence permeates this film, which contains just a few scenes of dialogue to allow the thread of story to progress. Military characters shoot, blast, stab, impale, punch, throw and use many other western and eastern fighting methods to assault one another. For the most part, the violence is sanitized although a few sequences do show blood effects. Some of the more disturbing scenes include: Characters have multiple needles pushed into their skulls as part of a control mechanism. A red-hot mask is placed on a man’s face. A woman is stabbed through her abdomen. Characters are seen on fire. Two young boys fight until their faces are bloody. Two characters—wearing protective indestructible suits—are run over and hit by various cars, trains, buildings and other objects. Women are often physically dominated by males and wear low cut tops and tight fitting outfits. Men are seen topless at times. Men and women are seen kissing on a couple of occasions, and discussions of a man taking another man’s woman are heard. Language includes a couple of scatological terms, frequent terms of deity and several mild profanities.

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G.I. Joe - The Rise of the Cobra Parents' Guide

How do you feel about creating adult-oriented movies from children’s products? Could the premise of an elite group of operatives be made without referencing a particular toy? What is the advantage of branding this film with the G.I. Joe name?

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Home Video

The most recent home video release of G.I. Joe - The Rise of the Cobra movie is November 3, 2009. Here are some details…

Release Date: 3 November 2009

G.I. Joe: The Rise of the Cobra releases as a 2-Disc set on DVD and Blu-ray. Both versions offer the following bonus materials:

- Commentary by director Stephen Sommers and producer Bob Ducsay

- Featurettes: The Big Bang Theory: The Making of G.I. JOE and Next-Gen Action: The Amazing Visual FX and Design of G.I. JOE

- Digital Copy of the film

G.I. Joe: The Rise of the Cobra is also releasing a single disc DVD, which includes the commentary by director Stephen Sommers and producer Bob Ducsay.

Related home video titles:

Hasbro, the toy manufacturing company, has also used movies to market another of their products: Transformers. (The films are Transformers and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.) Another movie featuring high tech weaponry and powerful body suits, is Iron Man.