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(2009), PG-13 [Hard R-13*] (2hr 28min)

Final Score
Analysis Date
Date Posted
Influence Density
December 24, 3009
December 27, 2009

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(While the Scriptural references are certainly not subjective, my commentary may be and sometimes is somewhat subjective.)

If Scriptural references appear, the full text appears at the end of the Summary / Commentary.

(2009), PG-13 [Hard R-13*] ... Kill, kill then kill some more. Cuss, cuss then cuss some more ... and the MPAA says it is okay for your 13 year olds.

Cast/Crew Details Courtesy Internet Movie Database
Production (US): Paramount Pictures, Spyglass, Hasbro, Di Bonaventure Pictures
Distribution (US): Paramount Home Entertainment
Director(s): Stephen Sommers
Producer(s): Gary Barber, Roger Birnbaum, Lorenzo di Bonaventura, Bob Ducsay, Brian Goldner, Erik Howsam, Cliff Lanning, David Minkowski, JoAnn Perritano, Stephen Sommers, Matthew Stillman, Matthew Stuecken, David Womark
Written by: (Story) Michael Gordon, Stuart Beattie, Stephen Sommers (Screenplay) Stuart Beattie, David Elliot, Paul Lovett
Cinematography/Camera: Mitchell Amundsen
Music: Alan Silvestri
Film Editing: Bob Ducsay, Jim May
Casting: Nancy Bishop, Ronna Kress
Production Design: Ed Verreaux
Art Direction: Greg Papalia
Viewed on Paramount Home Entertainment DVD

This analysis is sponsored by the generosity of E&HP.

The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) says G. I. Joe: The Rise of the Cobra is PG-13 for "strong sequences of action violence and mayhem throughout." That much is abundantly true, enough so for the film to earn a Wanton Violence/Crime (W) investigation area score of zero out of 100, making the violence content fully equivalent to R-rated films (54 and below out of 100) in the comparative baseline database.

But what about the profanity? The rating label says nothing about the 29 uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary. As the violence content earned the film an R-equivalent Wanton Violence/Crime investigation area score, the extent of profanity earned the film an R-equivalent score (19 out of 100) in the Impudence/Hate (I) investigation area. I guess 13 year olds have the blessing of the MPAA to talk that way since it is okay with the MPAA for 13 year olds (not that it is `okay' for any age) to watch this film and hear performers demonstrate profanity in and as entertainment without consequences. Well!? Performers don't get sent to the principal's office for such language, do they? But aren't we as adults supposed to set the example for wholesome speech and many other matters of morality? "Those adults on the screen 'set the example' loud and clear 29 times and they didn't get sent to the Principal's office once! Why should I have to go?" By the MPAA's "approved-for-13-year-olds" PG-13 stamp it is evidently okay with them that 13 year old kids talk that way. Many 13 year olds think so ... but not God. [Col. 3:8] I didn't write the Rules, folks. The One who spent three days in Hell so you and I would not have to spend one moment there did. And the Blood-red "ink" He used does not fade away. Ever. No matter what the pabulum-feeding, self-serving interpreters say; no matter what the ones who do not believe His Word say, we who use profanity will be sent to THE Principal's Office for an accounting of our choices of words. Unless, of course, we are forgiven.

To that one might say or think "Gimme a break! A lot of people cuss every now and then, many cuss every day and some cuss in every sentence." Understand that if e-v-e-r-y-o-n-e who ever drew a breath, who breathes or who will ever draw a breath cussed from their first breath to their last, it would still be a sin to cuss. The "majority" does not determine God's Standards. Understand also that the first time of a sin does not excuse the second, nor the third ... nor the thousandth. Nor does the thousandth foul word uttered excuse the first. But what amplifies the sin of profanity in entertainment approved for youth is that adult performers who teach profanity to youth by example risk the wrath of Luke 17:2 which warns that the one who teaches and/or causes youth to sin would be better off if a millstone were tied about the offender's neck then cast into the sea. And we who prepare such sin, we who make it available, we who receive gain from it and we who knowingly let youth be exposed to it risk the same. If you do not believe that then why are we to prevent youth from anything? How could the guidance "age appropriate" ever again be applied? If you want youth to have their way, make their "way" appropriate. By His Standards, not ours.

Again, folks, I did not write the Rules. If you have a problem with them talk to the One who did. He will give you a much better answer than I ever could.

PS: The "freedom of speech" does NOT trump God's Word. We who do not believe that will find out in no uncertain terms just on the other side of our last breath. Besides, the freedom of speech was never intended to apply to profanity in any form. Ten ex-flower children in long robes added the profanity. The freedom of speech guaranteed us the right to speak out against an oppressive government without retribution. Nothing else. It does not give us permission to cuss. Remember, Dr. Benjamin Spock admitted he was wrong and said that we have reared a nation of brats [because of his ultra-indulging philosophy about disciplining children].

In France of 1641 Scotsman James McCullen (David Murray) was an arms dealer ... for both sides. For his crimes against France he was fitted with an iron mask, still glowing from the furnace fires, doomed to disfiguration and hideousness the rest of his life. From that day the Clan McCullen was committed to getting even [Rom. 12:19]. James McCullen of today (Christopher Eccleston) carries on the clan tradition with his MARS Industries, makers of more than 70% of all weapons on the planet (shades of Ironman!) ... including nanomites. Nanomites were originally invented to kill cancer cells but "the Doctor" (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) reprogrammed nanomites to eat anything form tanks to full cities to human flesh. The only way to stop them is to use a special code to shut them off. Nothing else will. McCullen intends to use the nanomites to intimidate the world into submission with the nanomites by destroying Beijing, Moscow and Washington. If it were not for the Alpha Dogs McCullen would have succeeded.

Kill, kill then kill some more. Cuss, cuss then cuss some more. That is the basic theme of the entire show. And the MPAA says it is okay for your 13 year olds. There is not much more to tell you except too bad the MPAA does not have the authority to tell your kids what is okay for them. YOU do. There is no law: moral, ethical, legal in any state which requires you to let your youth watch any film. We have not yet reached a totalitarian, Orwellian, Asimovian or Clintonian culture and still have the authority to decide for ourselves what is best for our children without having to submit to the poisons of the "village" concept. The community [government] is not the parent of your child(ren) and will not be as long as the Constitution stands in spite of the gargantuan cultural reformists who sit in oval offices.

Wanton Violence/Crime (W) - Zero out of 100
The intensity of the violence is often saturating to the point of obliterating any story or plot. "Kill, kill then kill some more" is nearly all that needs to be said about the violence content of the film. People are incinerated, blown apart and beheaded. Battle sequences are like any seen in an average R-rated war film without all the gore. Human flesh is mutilated. I suppose "death, death and more death" would apply as well as "Kill, kill then kill some more." This film is a prime example of that which God warns us in 1 Cor. 15:33 and Prov. 16:29.

Impudence/Hate (I) - 19 out of 100
Twenty-eight times someone utters some form of the three/four letter word vocabulary. Defiance of lawful orders, lying and adolescents fighting with swords round out the majority of the content applicable to this investigation area. That which conjures arrogance, rebellion and other forms of impudence are despicable to our Father who warns us of such feeling in more ways than one. [Mal. 4:1, Prov. 8:13, Isa. 13:11]

Sexual Immorality (S) - 75 out of 100
No one gets in bed with anyone as is typical for PG-13 films but there are so many of the "lesser" kind of sexual arrogance to etch away 25% of the starting 100 points in this investigation area such as dressing to maximize the female form and/or skin exposure, excessive cleavage, exposure to below navel skin to tease of that which follows and an adult in underwear. [Gal. 5:19, Eph. 4:19]

Drugs/Alcohol (D) - 93 out of 100
The only matters associated with this investigation area are forced injections, not of illegal drugs but forced injections nonetheless. There is no smoking or drinking noted in the entire 148 minutes of the film.

Offense to God (O) - 71 out of 100
God's name is abused 9 times without the four letter expletive and once with it. He who spent three days in Hell so you and I would not have to spend one moment there is rather stern about abusing His name. [Deut. 5:11] And that includes the popular three-syllable sentence with His name tailing it.

Murder/Suicide (M) - 10 out of 100
Murder is nearly as rampant as defensive killing. While murder and/or suicide are incorporated into the scoring distribution by this investigation area, acts of war, police action and defensive killings are not. Acts of war, police action and defensive killings are incorporated by the Wanton Violence/Crime investigation area. It was, at best, difficult to determine which deaths were murder and which were by acts of war or defensive killing. Whatever the case may be, when someone is shot while simply standing in the background, it is murder. And when the "bad guys" traipse around slicing up anyone indiscriminately, it is murder. Such flagrant and indiscriminate murder, even in fantasy, will invariably desensitize the viewer (especially the impressionable young) Even in fantasy? Yes. A bad influence does not have to be real to influence badly.


If needed to focus or fortify, applicable text is underlined or bracketed [ ] or bold. If you wish to have full context available, the Blue Letter Bible is a convenient source. If you use the Blue Letter Bible, a new window will open. Close it to return here or use "Window" in your browser's menu bar to alternate between the CAP page and the Blue Letter Bible page.


  • Col. 3:8 But now ye also put off [rid yourself of] all these; anger, wrath, malice [kakia: ill-will, desire to injure, wickedness, depravity, evil, trouble, not ashamed to break laws, etc.], blasphemy [blasphemia: impious and reproachful speech injurious to divine majesty], filthy communication [aischrologia:foul speaking, low and obscene speech] out of your mouth.
  • Rom. 12:19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.
  • Prov. 16:29 A violent man enticeth his neighbour, and leadeth him into the way that is not good. [The issue is the violence, the 'way that is not good' no matter how "small" or "justified" it might seem, and its effect on the observer. "A violent man" can be any character(s) of any age, male, female or non-human in the act of demonstrating violent behavior/action whether for good or evil OR the violent behaviors/actions themselves. Such exposure can and does embolden the viewer into aggression, especially youth. It took years for American professional health agencies to finally affirm, probably without knowing it, that which God told us in 1 Cor. 15:33 below. See also Joint Statement on the Impact of Entertainment Violence on Children: Congressional Public Health Summit for more information. Further, God speaks darkly of violence 56 times in the Old and New Testament of the KJV.]
  • Mal. 4:1 For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch. ["Proud" - zed {zade'}: arrogant, proud, insolent, presumptuous; the arrogant ones.]
  • Prov. 8:13 To fear the LORD is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech.
  • Isa. 13:11 I will punish the world for its evil, the wicked for their sins. I will put an end to the arrogance of the haughty and will humble the pride of the ruthless.
  • Gal. 5:19 The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery;
  • Eph. 4:19 Having lost all sensitivity, they [the sinful] have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more.
  • Deut. 5:11 Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain: for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh His name in vain. [Vain is shav {shawv}: emptiness, nothingness, vanity, such as an expletive. With or without the four letter expletive, the use of God's name in any way other than respect, reverence or responsible discussion is in vain. That includes the popular three syllable sentence with His name trailing it AND the misuse of Jesus' name or title. So, trying to excuse such expressions with "I was talking TO God/Jesus when I said that" will not work with Him.]

    ***Selected Scriptures of Armour against the influence of the entertainment industry***
  • Jer. 37:9 This is what the LORD says: Do not deceive yourselves, thinking, 'The Babylonians [the destroyers from within] will surely leave us.' They will not!
  • Ps. 12:8 The wicked freely strut about [e.g., create progressively vile/offensive entertainment with impunity and no consequences and present it to younger and younger audiences every year] when what is vile is honored among men [when enough people continue to defend it, embrace it, enjoy it, want it, submit to it. I call attention to Ps. 12:8 to warn of the creeping desensitizing power of "entertainment."]
  • Col. 2:8 Beware lest any man [by his influence] spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
  • 1 Cor. 15:33 Be not deceived: evil [kakov: of a bad nature, not such as it ought to be] communications corrupt good manners.
  • Rom. 5:19 For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.
  • Jude 1:4 For there are certain men* crept in unawares [secretly slipped in among us], who were before of old ordained to this condemnation [whose condemnation was written about long ago], ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness [a license for immorality], and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. [*men: anthropos {anth'-ro-pos}, generic, a human being, whether male or female]
  • Matt. 25:40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
  • Luke 17:2 It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones. [Offend: skandalizo {skan-dal-id'-zo} - scandalize; to entice to sin; to cause a person to begin to distrust and desert one whom he ought to trust and obey; to cause to fall away.]
  • Ps. 119:133 Order my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me [let no sin rule over me].
  • John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
  • 1 Thess. 5:22 Abstain from all appearance of evil. ["Evil" includes all things that are sinful.]


    As always, it is best to refer to the Findings/Scoring section -- the heart of the CAP analysis model -- for the most complete assessment possible of this movie.
    (The objective heart of the CAP Analysis Model, independent of and insulated from the Summary / Commentary section.)

    G. I. Joe: The Rise f the Cobra (2009) CAP Thermometers

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W) - Zero out of 100
  • cruel confinement
  • hideous torture with red hot facial mask
  • heavy military armament throughout
  • battle violence of varying intensities, many with individualized deaths, repeatedly
  • individualized killing, frequent
  • dead body, repeatedly
  • assault to face
  • firearm to face
  • action violence of varying intensities, repeatedly
  • man aflame and head blown off
  • defensive killing, repeatedly
  • attempted murder, repeatedly
  • brutal adolescent fight
  • threat to kill many
  • long sequence of reckless driving
  • vehicle versus pedestrian incident, repeatedly
  • another man's head blown off
  • gunfire to intimidate
  • gunfire to kill, frequent
  • grotesque mutilation of human flesh, more than once
  • fighting deaths, repeatedly
  • incineration of humans, repeatedly
  • burn gore
  • long high attention blade fight with several slice injuries ending in death by blade impalement

    Impudence/Hate (I) - 10 out of 100
  • 28 uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary
  • lies
  • adolescents fighting with swords
  • defying lawful military orders and putting many soldiers in harm's way
  • order to kill hundreds

    Sexual Immorality (S) - 75 out of 100
  • dressing to maximize the female form and/or skin exposure, repeatedly
  • excessive cleavage, repeatedly
  • rude gaze
  • exposure to below-navel skin, teasing of exposure to that which follows, repeatedly
  • camera angle and/or pose to force attention to form
  • adult in underwear, brief

    Drugs/Alcohol (D) - 93 out of 100
  • forced injections, repeatedly
  • threat with forced injection

    Offense to God (O) - 71 out of 100
  • one use of God's name in vain with the four letter expletive and 9 without it

    Murder/Suicide (M) - 10 out of 100
  • blade murder, repeatedly
  • multiple murders with a single blast
  • murder by throwing stars, repeatedly
  • gunfire murder, repeatedly
  • adolescent murder of adult teacher by blade

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    There are some in the entertainment industry who maintain that 1) violent programming is harmless because no studies exist that prove a connection between violent entertainment and aggressive behavior in children, and 2) young people know that television, movies, and video games are simply fantasy. Unfortunately, they are wrong on both accounts." And "Viewing violence may lead to real life violence." I applaud these associations for fortifying 1 Cor. 15:33. Read the rest of the story. From our years of study, I contend that other aberrant behaviors, attitudes, and expressions can be inserted in place of "violence" in that statement. Our Director - Child Psychology Support, a licensed psychologist and certified school psychologist concurs. For example, "Viewing arrogance against fair authority may lead to your kids defying you in real life." Or "Viewing sex may lead to sex in real life." Likewise and especially with impudence, hate and foul language. I further contend that any positive behavior can be inserted in place of "violence" with the same chance or likelihood of being a behavior template for the observer; of being incorporated into the behavior mechanics and/or coping skills of the observer. In choosing your entertainment, please consider carefully the "rest of the story" and our findings.

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