Just watching “Cobra” and it seems to me that it is the most 80s film ever made. Not because it is set in the 80s (obviously it is) but the style, the characters, the script… just about every trope and cliche that it is possible to put into a film makes it into Cobra.
So far we have
- Sylvester Stallone as the title character which is a cop. A cop who doesn’t play by the rules, but god-damn he gets results
- Brigitte Nielsen
- Stallone’s boss hates him, but tolerates his methods, because of the aforementioned results.
- Cobra lives in a beach front property.
- And entertains himself by cleaning his gun.
- While wearing his mirrored shades
- Having first shifted a load of Latinos out of his parking space. They were just sitting there. In a car. Next to a beach. For no reason.
- His partner wears a flat cap. Unironically. He almost dies.
- The bloke who played Sledge Hammer has a minor role. Can’t get more 80s than Sledge Hammer.
- Prominent pictures of Ronald Reagan
- The soundtrack appears to consist of power ballads and saxophone solos
- There is a montage.
- Accompanied by a power ballad.
- Ultra-violence, which is commented upon by one of those liberal media reporter types.
- Who gets punched in the face. Because this is the 80s, God-dammit.
- Cobra never takes his gloves off. Even when in his own house.
- OMINOUS SYNTHESIZER CHORDS!
- Lots of sounds of guns being lovingly assembled and reassembled
- Including an entire montage
- Also accompanied by a power ballard.
- Cobra drives his own customised car. Which makes lots of noise, but doesn’t actually go all that quickly.
- As evidenced in a car chase where it can’t catch one of those Tetris shaped US sedans of the 80s.
- The solution to everything is shooting people.
- Each bad guy is offed with a one-liner
- 87 minute running time. (3 minutes longer than Evil Dead II, 8 minutes less than Mad Max 2. When did films get so long?)
- Cobra shows his sensitive side and romances the girl by putting a ballad on a jukebox.
- Fashion shoot! (For character development reasons, of course)
- Female lead character invites male lead character to bed – soundtracked by yet another power ballad
- It is dumb. Like, really stupid. You know how Arnie and Stallone were one man armies in the 80s? It is because extras would line up to be mowed down. Literally, just running in front of machine guns. There is a bit where Stallone is on the back of a pick-up, killing everyone with one shot.
Basically, the only film that can match it for 80s-ness is Police Academy 3. Because that features not only jet-skis, but is quite blatantly shot in a location other than that depicted – unless they’ve moved the CN Tower* without anyone noticing.
Shame Cobra isn’t, on just about any level, a decent film.
* Easier to see in the film itself, but in that image, you can see the concrete structure of the CN Tower in the background behind the white building