Hasbro thought they had a winner on their hands with a big-budget blockbuster film adaptation of G.I. Joe: The Rise Of Cobra. They missed the mark by 100,000 miles and the result was a financial and critical failure due to bad dialogue, inconsistent action scenes, terrible acting, and zero high-octane fun. Luckily some years later, the filmmakers would learn how to make a great film, but this isn't the case with their first outing. This release comes with a sub-par 4K transfer with Dolby Vision, the previous DTS-HD 5.1 audio track, and zero extras except for a vintage audio commentary that is only available on the Blu-ray Disc. For Fans Only.
Stephen Sommers gave the world one of the best action heroes in Brendan Fraser when they made the incredible film The Mummy. It was a mix of adventure, action, comedy, romance, and horror. That film is still full of magic and fun more than two decades later. Some years later, Sommers would return to the action genre and create the film adaption of the Hasbro toy line G.I. Joe. The first film titled, G.I. Joe: The Rise Of Cobra looked to jump-start a billion-dollar franchise and sell tons of action figures, just like the toy manufacture did in the '80s. That wasn't the case though for various elements. The movie didn't double its budget at the box office and was met with tons of harsh criticism. In fact, the studio was so unsure about the movie in 2009 that they only invited a small number of internet critics to screen the movie before the public and did NOT allow print and TV professionals to view the film. This did not help G.I. Joe's case, because the film just isn't that good.
The movie follows Duke (Channing Tatum) and Ripcord (Marlon Wayans) who become part of the G.I. Joe team, a secret organization of elite soldiers with great abilities. And just in time too! A new horrible weapon has been developed that can destroy buildings and cities almost immediately, and the Joes must stop this force and prevent the rise of Cobra from taking over the world with their sinister initiatives. This is an origin story of sorts, but the dialogue, storylines, and inability to take anything fans loved from the original cartoons and lore are all coming in at a low standard. Some of the action sequences are decent enough, but there aren't many and a lot of them are inconsistent with each other. It's just a huge misfire on all accounts, including the performances. It wouldn't be until much later where the filmmakers realized they could have fun with this franchise.
For a different take check out our 2009 Blu-ray review CLICK HERE
Vital Disc Stats: The Ultra HD Blu-ray
G.I. Joe: The Rise Of Cobra ignites its way to a 4K + Blu-ray + Digital Copy Set. The two discs are housed in a hard, black plastic case with a cardboard sleeve. The artwork features all the main cast in their respective uniforms with a contrast of orange and blue. There is an insert for a digital copy.
G.I. Joe The Rise Of Cobra comes with a new 2160p UHD 4K transfer with Dolby Vision in an aspect ratio of 2.40:1 with a slight uptick in color and detail.
The biggest difference between the 1080p Blu-ray and this 4K transfer is the image is a bit brighter, which isn't always a great thing. Other than that, there isn't much of a difference between the two images. Colors are a tiny bit richer in this 4K image. The use of silver in its steel and metal props look excellent that go well with the blue-tinted backgrounds and set pieces. Colors of green and pops of red look good here too and are a bit brighter with the Dolby Vision enabled. The black suits of armor don't have the necessary deepest of black levels and are a little brighter than they should be, which causes some murkiness and fantasy-like glares in darker scenes. Skin tones are more organic in this transfer though.
The detail reveals good textures in the actor's faces, including facial pores, hairs, and practical effects, but in wider shots, things aren't as vivid. CG effects of explosions and fire look soft too, even in the well-lit sequences. There are no major instances of banding or aliasing, but the only big upgrade here is a somewhat brighter image, which isn't exactly a great upgrade from one format to the next, especially since it's been almost a decade in between releases.
Paramount has imported the DTS-HD MA 5.1 audio track from the previous Blu-ray release. There is not a Dolby Atmos track included, which is unfortunate. Please CLICK HERE for the original DTS-HD 5.1 review on the Blu-ray.
The only bonus feature on this 4K release is the original commentary track from Stephen Sommers and Bob Ducsay, which is only on the Blu-ray Disc. On the original Blu-ray + DVD release, all of the bonus features were located on the DVD Disc solely. None of those show up here at all. What's the point of this? For a run-down of the original commentary, please CLICK HERE for the review.
G.I. Joe: The Rise Of Cobra was not the success both critically or financially everyone hoped it would be. With a convoluted screenplay, bad dialogue, ridiculous performances, and the inability to have fun, this was doomed from the start, not to mention keeping in line with the folklore of the characters and fan favorites, which were changed for this adaptation. The new 4K transfer is a little less than average and there is NO new audio presentation, but rather the original DTS-HD 5.1 audio track. The only extra on this release is an old commentary and it isn't even on the 4K Disc. All other bonus features from the previous release did NOT import over. For super fans of this franchise who do not own this already, this is for you. For Fans Only.