Action Movie Fanatix Review: Cobra

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Crime Is A Disease.  Meet The Cure.

Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Brigitte Nielsen, Reni Santoni, Andrew Robinson, Brian Thompson

Director: George P. Cosmatos

1986  |  87 Minutes  |  Rated R

“Hey dirtbag, you’re a lousy shot.  I don’t like lousy shots.  You wasted a kid for nothin’.  Now I think it’s time to waste you.” – Marion Cobretti

Cobra is one of those movies that I missed in my youth and have only become a fan more recently.  It doesn’t need the nostalgia factor to make for a really awesome Saturday afternoon.

Lieutenant Marion Cobretti aka Cobra (Sylvester Stallone), is a cop who takes the jobs the rest of the force wont.  When a serial killer known only as The Night Slasher wreaks havoc in Los Angeles, Cobra is on his trail.

In the first 10 minutes we are told exactly who Cobra is.  The cops call him when they are in too deep and need help.  Many cops don’t like him and the press questions his methods but he gets the job done by any means necessary.  This is Stallone’s Punisher.

The first shot of Cobra as he steps out of his grey 1950 Mercury with the “AWSOM 50” license plate is, well, awesome.  It is a close up shot of his face with mirrored aviator sunglasses showing the landscape behind us.  He’s chewing a match stick for some unknown reason.

The writers went out of their way to create a last name that would justify calling this man Cobra but didn’t bother to give him a more masculine sounding first name?  Marion only reminds me of Maid Marian.  Now, of course, they try to joke this away but if the only reason to name him Marion was for this one joke in the movie then it was not even close to being worth it.

There are so many great action movie lines from Stallone in this one.  This is classic 80s badassery here.

“That’s bad for your health, ya know.” – Cobra
“What is, pinche?” – random thug
“Me.” – Cobra

To go along with the plethora of action movie one-liners we get an awesome 80s action movie score chock full of saxophone and synthesizers.  “Working too hard, trying to make a living…”

Brian Thompson is a perfect serial killer villain.  Real serial killers rarely look like killers but in the movies they have to look like creepos and Thompson looks the part.  If you’ve never seen Thompson’s face he just looks like a bad, bad man.  The Night Slasher looks like a guy who would cut people up for the fun of it as he spouts crazy stuff like “We kill the weak so the strong survive.”  The great action movie villain is becoming more and more rare but back in the 80s he was alive and well.

The opening scene gives us an awesome grocery store shoot out.  Later we get Cobra and his lady friend being chased by faceless motorcycle thugs while Cobra tries to pick them off from the back of a truck.  Then we are treated to a great final showdown between Cobra and The Night Slasher.  It is a great payoff after seeing how nasty The Night Slasher is to his victims.  He should have known better than to mess with Cobra’s city.

I love Cobra.  I don’t know if it is apparent from my review but I could really watch it over and over, weird Brigitte Nielsen robot modeling scene and all.  I feel like I am making up for all those years where I didn’t know about this Stallone gem.

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