Cobra (1986)

Sometimes you just need to watch a really dumb action movie, but you generally still hope it’s entertaining. Not me! I see Cobra on the shelf of Best Buy for $5 and say “I gotta get me some of that.” So let us learn about one of the most revolutionary movies never, Cobra, starring Sylvester Stallone, Brigitte Nielsen (when she was still hot), Reni Santoni, Andrew Robinson (the guy from Hellraiser), and of course Shao Khan himself Brian Thompson.

Sly plays Marion Cobretti, a totally over the top cop with a totally realistic name that has somehow earned him the nickname Cobra. He is a revolutionary character that you’ve never seen in a movie before: the cop that knows what’s right and plays by his own rules. Well he’s investigating a series of murders by the Night Slasher (Brian Thompson). There are no real clues and no witnesses, even though he’s killed a whole heap of people. Ingrid Knudsen (Brigitte Nielsen) happens to drive by one of these murders and sees his face, so she must die. Although, technically, she didn’t see the murder so all she knows is a creepy guy and some friends were at the side of the road one day. Well they try to kill Ingrid but she survives and that puts her under the protection of Cobra. For more surprising, non-cliche things, Cobra and Ingrid fall in love, there’s a corrupt person in the police department that betrays Cobra, and Cobra wins in the end.

I know the joys often felt by stupider people when it comes to an action movie. I don’t feel like every movie needs to revolutionize the genre in some way or have a great story or great performances. That being said, the combination of the 3 problems, and others, kinda makes a bad movie, even for a big dumb action movie. As I’ve indicated, almost every inch of this movie is derivative. Everything happens exactly as you would expect if you have seen at least one action movie before. It’s all laid out in the very beginning when a guy pulls a shotgun in a crowded supermarket and, even though he is murderous, as he does kill one guy, he decides instead to unload most of his ammo into the produce. Of course, everyone else in the LAPD is ineffective so they call in Cobra. He shows up in his car he stole from L.A. Noire with ‘Awsom 50’ on the plates, goes in there, takes a sip of a beer off the shelf, and kills the guy with extreme prejudice. You’ll be surprised to hear that one of his superiors (Andrew Robinson) does not approve of his methods. Cobra has a hard time responding to his criticisms because Cobra only opens his mouth for one-liners, and “Yippe Kai Yay” was taken.

If there was writing in this movie, it was not good. I already said that it was derivative and Sly only spoke in one-liners, but there was plenty else wrong with it. For one, when the Night Slasher goes after Brigitte in the hospital because she knows his face, he totally would’ve gotten her if he didn’t feel the need to kill EVERYONE on her floor in the hospital and leave her for last. If he got his head in the game and went in there and just killed her, he had ample time before Sly figured out that her protection had been called off suspiciously. The ending is also problematic. It’s completely anticlimactic. It gives you the over-the-top shooter that it should have, with a hefty body count, but I felt like there should’ve been more to it. Usually in this type of movie you’d expect to see the person in charge of the evil posse to be a higher up in the LAPD like Andrew Robinson or something. He was douchey enough through the movie that you’d like to see him die, but he just gets punched for being a douche instead. The crazy and stupid Night Slasher is in charge and is the final battle, which would totally work because stupid people are the kind you need to outsmart the police.

The performances are nothing special, but they’re pretty much what you expect. Sly is pretty uninteresting throughout the movie and there are parts where he makes awkward attempts to get Brigitte’s favor that seem completely out of character. Nothing else of note there.

Even for a big dumb action movie, this movie’s pretty dumb. There’s plenty of other watchable big dumb action to watch, so you don’t need to see this. I give this movie a “You’re the disease, and I’m the cure” out of 757.

And, as always, please rate, comment, and/or like this post and others. It may help me get better.