Let me end the suspense right up front: I liked G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra. I didn’t expect it to be a deep, thoughtful war film, nor did I expect it to be a profound visual essay on the challenges of morality in a wartime setting: see Flags of our Fathers and The Hurt Locker (my review). Instead, I expected a loud, action-filled movie that had attractive actors, shiny toys, banal dialog and a barely comprehensible story line. And that’s what I got.
There’s a lot of backstory that’s jammed into The Rise of Cobra, told through endless flashbacks that explain why some characters are good guys, part of the “elite G.I. Joe team”, while others have chosen the dark side of Cobra.