Tuesday, March 16, 2010

"Cobra" (1986)

"Cobra" (1986)
Starring Sylvester Stallone, Brigitte Nielsen and Brian Thompson
Written by Sylvester Stallone
Directed by George P. Cosmatos

Sylvester Stallone stars as Marion "Cobra" Cobretti in this mediocre mid-80s action flick about a cop trying to protect a witness from an evil, murderous cult.  With a slim runtime of only 90 minutes, "Cobra" moves at a brisk pace, leaving no time for any real development of character or even its own paper-thin plot.  The movie is loaded with every kind of cliche, from the macho lone-wolf cop to the antagonistic by-the-books detective, the spineless captain, the innocent blonde witness... It never ends.

There are a few reasonably well-made action sequences to prop up all the nothing going on here, but for the most part, "Cobra" is definitely a lesser entry into the 80s action genre, and in Stallone's filmography.  Probably the only bright spot to "Cobra" is Stallone himself, who gets in a few good cheesy one-liners here and there.

Unfortunately, nothing else really works.  Stallone has no chemistry with Nielsen, who is a flat-out terrible actress.  The other characters in the film are flimsy, and not even really all that well cast.  Andrew Robinson ("Star Trek: Deep Space Nine") does admirable work in a cliched but stupid role as another detective opposed to Cobra's methods.

The plot, as I said, is paper thin and still under-developed.  If the origins of this cult (or any explanation as to how they recruited police officers as well as street thugs and what appear to be respectable businessmen) were revealed, I must have missed it.  Why any of the other police officers have trouble believing Cobra's "theory" that there is more than one killer is also beyond me, since Cobra has left a string of bodies in his wake that should prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that something's going on here.

Sadly, despite some promise, "Cobra" just isn't all that entertaining.  There's nothing particularly special about it.  The cast doesn't gel, none of the characters or plot are given any development, and logic flies completely out the window in certain parts.  A well-meaning Stallone and some decent action sequences can't save this one.

Unless you need to see every Stallone movie ever made, there's not much reason to bother with this one.  Or unless you're trying to choose between this and "Stop, or My Mom Will Shoot."