Thursday, December 25, 2014

Once bitten: COBRA (1986)

Every now and then I like to give a "shout out" to an action film I like. The "action" movie genre has provided me with a lot of thrils and fun over the decades and it's a film genre I like almost as much as horror and science fiction...almost.

The props in this post go out to the film Cobra, a co production of the Cannon Group, Warner Brothers and Golan-Globus which was originally theatrically released back in May, 1986. This action film is directed by George P. Cosmatos and has a final worldwide box office figure of about $160,000,000.

This movie's primary "star" is Sylvester Stallone. Stallone, who gained worldwide fame portraying boxer "Rocky Balboa" in the various Rocky films as well as ex Green Beret "John Rambo" in the First Blood films, was peaking in terms of his box office appeal by the mid 1980's. In Cobra(1986), Sylvester Stallone plays loner, tough guy Los Angeles Detective Lieutenant Marion Cobretti(nicknamed "Cobra"), a guy who relishes in taking on the cases that no other cop in the LA police department wants. Those cases typically involve tracking and stopping some of the city's most violent and psychotic criminals. As Cobretti declares to an armed criminal during the early part of this film: "You're the disease...and I'm the cure." You can be sure that Stallone's character "cures" a lot of people in this movie. The cast for Cobra(1986) includes Andrew Robinson, Reni Santoni, Brigitte Nielsen, Brian Thompson and Art LaFleur.

The film's story:

A lone figure clad in a dark overcoat walks in a Los Angeles supermarket and begins randomly firing off shotgun cartridges into any shoppers nearby. The L.A. police congregate outside the supermarket, contemplate a raid into the store but instead opt to call in their resident "cleaner", Lt. Marion Cobretti. Cobretti roars up in a vintage 1950 car. "Cobra" enters the supermarket and eventually dispatches the crazed shooter with his customzied 9mm Colt pistol.

Later, supermodel Ingrid Knudsen(played by Brigitte Nielsen) witnesses a brutal roadside murder committed by several masked assailants. Her problem: she sees one of them and these killers, who we learn are a radical group calling themselves the "New Order", make it their mission in life to hunt down and kill the supermodel who has witnessed their random attack on a motorist. Enter Lt. Marion Cobretti who, along with his partner Sgt Gonzalez(played by Reni Santoni), is tasked with protecting Ingrid Knudsen from the "New Order" killers. Actor Brian Thompson plays the leader of the "New Order" and is very effective in the role. Thompson's character is a worthy adversary for the "Cobra".

Lt. Cobretti, his partner Gonzalez and another female cop travel north of L.A. to try and better protect their witness, Ingrid Knudsen but the female cop with them is secretly in cahoots with the "New Order" and phones in their location(a motel along the northern California coast) to them. The "New Order" descends on Cobretti's location and all out war ensues. Cobretti and his "New Order" adversaries are all armed to the teeth. Cobretti employs grenades, his pistol and a machine gun as he battles it out with the killers. The body count definitely ramps up at this point in the film. Most of the deaths in this movie come courtesy of firearms but at least one individual(a bad guy) is incinerated alive and another "New Order" killer is doused in gasoline and torched.

A final showdown eventually ensues between "Night Slasher", the leader of the killers and Lt. Cobretti inside a giant foundry. (no other spoilers)

This movie has been put through a meat grinder by critics and I would be the first to admit the acting Cobra(1986) is rather pedestrian. Art LaFleur is fairly straightforward as Cobretti's boss "Captain Sears", a square jawed, no nonsense type who, while wary of Cobretti's "take no prisoners" method, also realizes that the "Cobra" is a needed resource for dealing with the criminal dregs of the city. Andrew Robinson plays smarmy, sarcastic "Detective Monte", a by the book cop who is more bureaucrat than police officer and who opposes Cobretti at every turn during the movie.

As average as the acting is in Cobra(1986) I don't watch this and other action films for the acting. I watch these movies for the action, fights and shootouts and in that regard this movie doesn't disappoint. Recommend any action movie fans who haven't seen this movie put it in your Netflix queue or rent it from your cable TV provider.

Cobra(1986) is available on single disc DVD and BD. To see them for sale at Amazon click the link: COBRA(1986) Blu Ray

A theatrical trailer: