Mindless Action Mondays: Cobra

By Drew Parton

Hey, everybody, it’s Monday again. So time to start the week fresh with mindless action.

This week, I’ll be discussing the 1986 Sly Stallone movie COBRA.

Warner Bros.

I’d like to start off by apologizing for the 1980’s. It happened. None of us are particularly proud of it.

That being said, Marion “Cobra” Cobretti (Stallone) is a no-nonsense cop who specializes in shooting up suspects and not giving a SHIT about the law. He must protect the only witness to a murderous cult that plans to make a new world order in their image…
or something. They never make it clear.

Universal Pictures

I’m not gonna lie,
I actually enjoy some of Stallone’s movies. I like “The Expendables”; “Rocky” is a classic; “First Blood” is wonderful;  “Demolition Man” is fun, and “Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot” is a sublime cinematic masterpiece from start to finish that has done for old lady action films what Platoon did to war movies.

Cobra is a bad movie. There’s nothing really redeeming about it and multiple times while watching it I pondered how it would feel to gouge my eyeballs out with potato peelers.

It started the instant the movie began.

Warner Bros.

Warner Bros.
Yes, the same lady who would go on to nail Flava Flav is in this.

Oh, man. I wish I were illiterate so I didn’t have to see that.

Warner Bros.

And, now the movie’s quality makes so much sense.


Although, maybe I’m being too harsh on Stallone as a writer, he’s done other things that were good, or at the very least palatable.

And the writing itself is not bad, there are some genuinely novel things going on. Cobra is a big health nut and is always harping on his partner to stop eating junk food and their banter is at least mildly amusing.

Stallone’s character always has a single match tucked in his mouth it’s never revealed why, maybe he’s trying to quit smoking or something, but mostly it’s just to look cool.

Warner Bros.

Warner Bros.
“You have the right to remain silent.”

But unlike the plethora of stupid, useless, superfluous things in this movie
(about 90% of the film), the match actually serves some use later on, as Stallone strikes it up and lights one of the cultists on fire.

It’s actually a pretty nice pay-off. Just not nice enough to have to sit through the whole movie for.

Warner Bros.
I’m serious. That’s the actual line he says.

I’m fucking serious. There is literally nothing redeeming or nice to say about the movie.

The action’s pretty dull, there’s no tension. No one gives a shit about anything that is happening. I didn’t even get a chuckle out of this one.

Like I said, the writing itself is not that bad I suppose. But it’s not good- it’s just bland and mediocre. And that’s the worst thing a movie can be. You remember good movies, and you remember bad movies. But you don’t remember Cobra.
(for good reason)

Warner Bros.
Just because they’re robots doesn’t mean they don’t cry on the inside.

I felt like I was taking fucking crazy pills when I was watching this film. In the scene where Brigette Nielson’s character is introduced, she’s in a photo shoot surrounded by an army of robots who just look so sad and bored from being in this piece of shit movie.

Half-way through the movie there’s a visual shout-out to Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining. Nielson’s character is hiding from the lead cultist (whom the police call the Night Slasher) in a bathroom when he starts hacking open the door with a knife.

Warner Bros.

It’s at this point in the film that I leaned back on my couch and wondered what the hell I was doing with my life.

Even the climax is boring- and it really shouldn’t be. It takes place in an inexplicably exploding foundry out in the countryside; Stallone shoots up a whole bunch of people, and the head of the cult gets fucking impaled on a giant hook and sent into the furnace!

Warner Bros.

Warner Bros.


But, alas. It’s just a relief to know that the central conflict (I use that term loosely) is resolved and that the credits are not too far away.

Warner Bros.
They’re just as shocked.

The saddest thing about this film- the thing that makes me weep for cinema as a whole, is that this film grossed $12,653,032 on its opening weekend, which, at the time, was the largest opening weekend for Warner Brothers ever.

I’m not even going to give a final verdict on this movie as no words in the English language can describe my dismay.

Next  week, I’m going to sit in on the new movie Taken 2 (Electric Bogaloo?)

20th Century Fox

Think that the 80’s were really the height of human culture or want to recommend movies for me to watch? Send me mail: dmpart10@stlawu.edu

2 thoughts on “Mindless Action Mondays: Cobra

  1. Pingback: Mindless Action Mondays Gets Meta | Rooster Illusion

  2. Pingback: Mindless Action Mondays: Demolition Derby | Rooster Illusion

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