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Review Cobra (1986): Stallone's version of Beverly Hills Cop!

genre: action, crime, thriller

Now I love Beverly Hills Cop and Beverly Hills Cop II. And I can't honestly imagine anyone else than Eddie Murphy to play the role of Axel Foley. However, after having seen Cobra properly this time around I can say that Sly's vision on the film was a very compelling one. In hindsight I would say that they should have allowed him to make the film he wanted, it would have been a hit.

Cobra did quite well overall. But for some reason never got the recognition it deserved. Perhaps maybe because Cobra is very misunderstood. If you pay close attention Cobra starts out as a giallo / slasher film. It's incredibly atmospheric, dark and super stylish. But along the way it becomes lighter in tone and more action packed. Director George P. Cosmatos was very on board with the earlier tone and even states in the commentary track of the Blu-ray that he thought that some of the action scenes were too much. He wanted them shorter and faster. As a big fan of action I disagree with him on this. But yes, I would have loved it had Canon films dared to take a chance and focused on the suspense and thrills a little more and then combine them with the action scenes present. Cosmatos does seem to have a real good eye for good action since most of sequences are very exciting to watch.  He even has implemented some elements never seen before (at the time of course). That is if you are willing to take his commentary as truth. Apparently Cosmatos was a famous director for hire where a ghost director would call the shots. Meaning he was a director in name only where someone else truly had the reigns. In this case Sylvester Stallone. I don't know the exact reason but it must be politics of some kind. To ensure the studios don't intervene or something like that. Does make you wonder. If it wasn't Cosmatos who thought of the darker tone why haven't we seen more of that in the other films directed by Stallone? And what would possess Cosmatos to get himself hired for this? Solely for money? Surely not. Really makes you wonder about all the other films he was attached to as a director and why it's so hard to find information about this?

If there is one flaw is the lack of backstory on the Night Slasher and the New World. Apparently the original cut was over two hours. But because of fear of being overshadowed by Top Gun they re edited the film to ensure extra screen time in the cinemas. Too bad the original cut has never been released. I would have like to have seen how much more we would get to see from the Night Slasher. 

In any case Cobra is fine piece of cinema that has to be seen at least once. So please do so!

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