A gang of neo-fascist thugs, led by the self-proclaimed 'Night Slasher', are breaking into people's homes & cars, then killing them at random. When of of these thugs holds up a food store & takes hostages, Lt. Marian Cobretti - an intense, take-no-prisoners cop, is brought onto the scene to end the hostage-taking. Ranting bizarrely about a 'New World', the man levels a sawed-off shotgun at Cobretti, who hits him with a knife, then guns him down when the man refuses to put down his weapon. Later that night, another murder occurs, attributed to the Night Slasher - and the next day, another one. This one is witnessed by a young woman, Ingrid Knutsen. She drives away before the thugs can kill her, but it isn't long before some creepy-looking people start making attempts on her life - and Cobretti's. Cobretti plans to move the only witness to the blood spree upstate, but with inside information, the thugs follow them. And a battle for survival rages between Cobretti and the thugs... Written by
Body count: 52. 41 of them are killed by Cobretti. See more »
In the sedan/pickup chase, both of Cobra's headlights are shot out at the start with pinpoint accuracy. A minute later as the cars race down the freeway, the holes where Cobra's headlights used to be are filled with black plastic discs. See more »
Let me start by saying that I fully understand all the people who hate this film. After all, it is a violent, often extremely stupid macho-actioner which falls apart if you start to think it's contents for a second. Its characters are one-dimensional and there's really not much plot or dialogue. But while many others think of the above as a bad thing, I think I've just described the recipe for a perfect action film.
I recently watched "Vampires" on DVD and listened to John Carpenter's commentary and one comment amused me. When James Woods and his crew were outside a building supposedly filled with vampires, everyone was wearing vests and neckpieces which protected them from being bitten except James Woods and Carpenter said about this something like "You can see how everyone is wearing vests except James Woods because he's so tough". Such is the case with Cobra also. All the other cops are dressed like...well, cops, but Stallone, he really stands out from the crowd in a positive way with his tight jeans, T-shirts, a pair of really cool (and very 80s) sunglasses and a match in his mouth (which I thought was a very nice touch). And why does he look like this? You guessed it - because he's so tough.
As I said before, there's not much plot and what there is, is pretty stupid and generic. We have seen it many times before and we will (I hope!) see it many times in the future but hey, if it ain't broken, why fix it? Of course there are several people who think it has always been broken.. There are some sequences and dialogue in Cobra which are almost embarrassingly stupid such as the opening shot where the team of killers are weaving axes to the air and then there are the legendary lines "The court is civilized, isn't it...pig?" "But I'm not.. This is where the law stops..and I start..sucker!" but I'm just so glad that they included these scenes (even though they probably knew that the critics wouldn't like them) because they are my favorite scenes in the movie.
This is a movie which has a very, very specific target audience and the reason for all the bad reviews is probably the fact that unlike other movies like this, this was for some reason targeted to a wider audience and of course, many people didn't like it. Not because Cobra is a bad movie but because they just don't like films like this. Surprisingly the other movie which was also based on Paula Gosling's novel, the William Baldwin-Cindy Crawford -actioner "Fair Game" suffered the same fate. Needless to say, I also liked that film a lot.
I know most people don't like the movies that I like and that's OK but I want others to know that I personally have seen probably over a thousand action movies and this is one of my all-time favorites and that there are many, many others who have truly enjoyed Cobra and it has become a cult classic to action fans worldwide. And when everyone starts to really think about it, Cobra may just be the perfect movie. There are so many films made in the 90s which are OK. They are not great but they don't suck either. Cobra, however, has all the ingredients that action fans love and others hate. It doesn't leave anyone cold, you either love it or you hate it. But I'll say this: If you like films like "Schindler's List" or "Shakespeare in Love" and you rent a film with a tagline "Crime is a disease. Meet the cure. COBRA", you truly deserve what you see!
Cobra is an excellent action movie because of a great macho performance (I loved the deep voice!) and screenplay from Stallone, a truly phenomenal score from my favorite composer Sylvester Levay, tight editing by Don Zimmerman and good cinematography by Ric Waite (who was also the director of photography in my other favorite, "Marked for Death" starring Steven Seagal). I also praise the director, George P. Cosmatos, although I haven't liked his other movies as much as this.
Anyway, the name and the tagline really says it all. You're either going to love or hate this and all I can say is, if you look for any intelligence in a movie, don't see it. I do, but not in an action movie. Actually, I don't even want action films to be smart or sophisticated. For me, Cobra delivers! I give it a full 10/10.
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