Tuesday, March 9, 2010


Take Sylvester Stallone. Add aviators, a black trench coat, tons of guns and any disregard for human life. Cook on high octane for 90 minutes and you'll be enjoying a heaping helping of Cobra, the baddest snake to ever work for the LAPD.

Cobra (1986)
Directed by George P. Cosmatos
Starring Sylvester Stallone, Brigitte Nielsen and Reni Santoni
"I'm a doctor 'cause I chew on a matchstick...sucka!"

This movie had so much potential, since it took some of my favorite elements from the action movie genre and threw them all together. However, like a famous painting, lots of good colors combined may make the Sistine Chapel, but other times it may just make the color brown.

Cobra was all over the place! At first it reels you in with Sly's take-down at the grocery store, and although it delivers on the action, it takes advantage of the action movie fan's ability for cognitive thought. So, without further ado, let me introduce my companion through this review: fellow action movie lover, COBRA Commander.
"Greetings, worthless drones! On my downtime, when I'm not trying to takeover the world, I like to sit back with a couple of Mike's Hards © and enjoy a good Sylvester Stallone movie. Rocky was good, so was Rambo. And I have nothing to complain about from Cobra...EXCEPT EVERYTHING!!!!"

Well, COBRA Cmdr, we seem to disagree here. Let's break it down...

It starts out simple enough: Cobra's an out-of-control cop with the LAPD, and his "by-the-book" lieutenant is always chewing out his ass for destroying public property. It just so happens that the grocery store psycho was just the tip of the iceberg; a string of seemingly unrelated murders have been occurring for the past couple months, and of course the inept LAPD has been looking for ONE guy, while Cobra thinks it's a whole army of killers. Naturally, they don't believe him through the entire movie.

Enter Ingrid, a no-name model who becomes the psycho gang's next target...

"But why?? She's only portrayed as a M-List celebrity at best. It's not like she's on TV or anything, so why are these guys after her?? They don't even explain the killings that happen on-screen. What is the chain of events that lead the gang to this one, seemingly unnoticeable and irrelevant character. Ugh, my hood is getting all hot from my breath, I better calm down..."
Don't worry, we'll get to that. Cobra is put in charge of protecting Ingrid for the rest of the film after a failed attempt at her life by the main psychopath killer that dressed up like a hospital janitor.
"Wait wait wait...you're telling me there was NO ONE on her entire floor at the hospital to help her while she was being attacked? No guards, no security cameras? Nothing?!? I mean, I was kind of scared, but then I realized that I have no idea why they're after her. I'd prefer for her to get captured or killed so the story could unfold..."
Ah, but that never happens. For the entire film, you never know why the gang is around, their mission, nothing. The phrase "new world order" is thrown around maybe twice, but that could mean anything.
"Yeah, and what's the deal with the axes?? Every time the psycho gang meets they bang axes together for like six hours, then roll out on motorcycles and use guns?? Use a f*cking axe if you're so obsessed with them! Where do you store all those axes? So many questions!"

Stallone was pretty awesome as Cobra, with his Dirty Harry-esque approach to law protection. With the exception of a couple bad one-liners at the end (I guessed they thought saving them all until the end would save the lack of plot elements), I would say Stallone really packed a punch with Marion Cobretti.

"Cobretti? Cobretti?? My name is actually COBRA!! There wasn't even a cobra in the movie. You would think he'd have a pet or something, just for a realization that 'Oh hey, okay, that's how he got the name.' And what's the f*cking deal with all the health food talk. Was this paid for by the USDA? Do they show this movie in schools during Green Week or something. This GI Bloes!"
Now I've seen Brigitte Nielsen recently, and for whatever reason (drugs, alcohol, a fight with a rabid coyote), she looks absolutely awful. But in this movie, she was gorgeous. I can understand why Stallone fell for her, and it makes me all the more anxious for my viewing of Red Sonja (1985), regardless of how retarded it may be. As an actress, she did quite well; she never zoned out, forced out emotionless lines of dialogue or was just a pretty face. Other than her unknown motivation in the story, I'll give her props.
The dialogue in the film was also very good, up until the very end. The film really fell apart at the end. They had me for the first 75 minutes...
"And then the producers nut-shot you from behind. Why the hell does Cobra take her out of town, and bring along a no-name cop who inevitably betrays them (not a spoiler)? And for the love of Destro, WHY IS THE ENTIRE GANG AFTER HER?!?!? Nothing, they give you nothing. I mean, yeah the action was really bad-ass, but cripes, I get more story from my Great Aunt Marley, and she's been huffing arsenic since the 1940s!"
Final Thoughts
Overall, this was a high-adrenaline film with satisfiable action sequences topped off with a cool-looking Stallone and the "only hot in the 1980s" Nielsen. It's your archetypal cop movie with the stiff lieutenant who rides Cobra's ass about city property damage, but then pats him on the back at the end after completely leveling the motor home town. It works in elements of a thriller/horror during the murder scenes, and then really pumps you up during the chase/shoot-out scenes. With solid action, a cool protagonist but a very weak story and ending, Cobra deserves at least one showing in your lifetime. But make sure you don't watch it with COBRA Commander, he gets really pissed about it...

"What the hell? How is that 1950s hunk of junk still working? He intimidates people with that car? Seriously? And why don't those Hispanics kick his ass, I mean Stallone hit their car. And what's with the factory at the end, does everything just instantly catch on fire because people are walking around? There has to be a safety regulation for that kind of stuff... Wait, the bad guy is still squirming after having a HUGE metal hook dug into his spine? Really? No, really, you're joking right?"
Ben's thoughts on all Stallone movie names.
[2] Cobra was actually based on a book called Fair Game by Paula Gosling.


Jefferds Strollingstone said...

Stale-one is so a couple of decades ago. When are you going to get with the times, Trehern? You are either panhandling between the 50's and 90's and rumdicking eight G's into the future.

...The f*ck?!?

Executive Food Service said...

ALT 0169 will give you the symbol © in the stead of the (c)

Alan Trehern said...


I laugh everytime I read your comment. You're the f*cking sir, man.