Cobra (1986) 3 ¼ out of 4 stars
The following is a transcript of the April 24, 1989 Los Angeles Police Commissioner debate between candidate Detective Monte and candidate Lieutenant Marion “Cobra” Cobretti.
Moderator Jim Neal: Welcome, gentleman, I want to thank you for taking the time this evening to give the voters in Los Angeles County a more thorough understanding of your views on crime and how you intend to make the city more safe for women with strollers and children on bicycles, as well as last-minute holiday shoppers and models of unspecified European descent who have late-night conceptual photo shoots involving robots. Now, we went over the rules earlier. You each get one minute to make an opening statement. Det. Monte, you won the coin toss backstage, we will start with you.
Det. Monte: I just want to start by saying that my opponent—the Cobra—is a real loose cannon. He plays by his own set of rules and I don’t agree with you bringing him in here. I just want you all to know that. It’s nothing personal, we just have different styles. As I said; a real loose cannon. Own set of rules. That’s all.
Neal: Thank you. Cobra? Your opening statements?
Cobra: Hey. Dirtbag.
(72 seconds of silence)
Neal: (Throat clearing) OK…Uh, first question goes to Det. Monte: What is your plan to stop the unrealistic, and often quite ludicrous, crime waves that seem to be constantly gripping the city?
Monte: Frankly, I don’t know how anyone could vote for my opponent. I mean, look at him; he wears those ridiculous aviator shades at all hours of the night. He’s chewing on a matchstick and he drives a ’30s gangster-style car, when clearly his persona is better suited for a motorcycle. And isn’t it a bit incongruous that he’s a health food nut? Where and why did that little personality quirk develop?
Neal: Detective, you have 60 seconds remaining. Perhaps you’d like to address the ques—
Monte: And that ‘Awsom 50’ vanity plate. So cheesy. Am I right? (chuckling) Smith there in front knows what I’m talking about. Thanks , Smitty.
Neal: Cobra, you have 60 seconds for a rebuttal.
Cobra: You’re a lousy shot. I don’t like lousy shots.
Neal: You have 55 seconds remaining.
Cobra: You wasted a kid. I don’t think you’re nothing.
Neal: Would you like me to read the question again, I—
Cobra: Now I think it’s time I waste you.
Neal: Right. Next question. Cobra, this time we’ll begin with you. The people of LA are demanding safer streets. What’s the first thing you will do if elected Commissioner in order to accomplish this goal?
Cobra: You wanna talk? I’ll talk. I’m a sucker for good conversation.
Neal: OK, Cobra. I’m going to just go ahead and assume that’s your plan and pass the question to the Detective. Sir?
Monte: Before you get all excited about electing Cobra as your Commissioner, might I remind you of what happened when Det. Axel Foley was named Police Chief in 1985? Pandemonium. Or Sgt. Martin Riggs as Commissioner in ’88? Utter chaos. And need I mention the short-lived mayoral run of a certain Officer John McClane? That didn’t end well for anyone, least of all those poor gentlemen carrying those large panes of glass across the busy streets of downtown Los Angeles. If you elect Cobra as your Commissioner, what’s next? Senator Gabriel Cash? Governor John Kimble? Wake up, people.
Neal: Cobra. You have 20 seconds for a counter back.
Cobra: Go ahead. I don’t shop here.
Monte: Doesn’t anybody else see what he’s trying to do here? Stop speaking in one-liners, Cobra. No one wants to pick up any of your stupid “catch phrases.”
Cobra: I don’t deal with psychos. I put them away.
(15 seconds of indecipherable raised voices, followed by a gavel)
Neal: Order! Order! Gentlemen, please. Next question goes to Monte. And sir, please, try to answer the question as it is posed: Do you intend to cut the budget for lone night patrols to underpasses, back alleys and college campuses during times when bizarre mass serial killings bring the city to its knees as the previous administration did for the last 10 years standing?
Monte: Am I the only one who remembers Cobra’s little “run in” with those supposed “ax-wielding maniacs” he wouldn’t shut up about a few years ago? You remember; the avant garde dance troupe that was auditioning for Stomp? It took us 6 days to clean up the body parts from the highway. And he still hasn’t paid his ticket for blowing through the tollbooth. Is that really the kind of Commissioner you want? The kind of cop who takes a protected witness to a motor inn called The Crossroads? Why didn’t he just hand the killers a road map with a large “X” marked in the location where he would be hiding with his nondescript European girlfriend and those hand grenades that appear to have been made out of napalm?
Neal: (low muttering) Jesus Christ. (slightly more audible) Cobra. The floor is yours.
Cobra: Tell it to the judge. We put them away, they let them out.
Neal: How does that at all answer the question? Are you gentlemen even listening to me?
Cobra: I always look this way before breakfast.
Monte: I want to know how my opponent got the Night Slasher of ’86 to do a final battle with him in the fires of Mordor. Didn’t anyone else find that a little odd? I mean, that warehouse with all those strategically placed hooks and fire pits. A little obvious, no? I will concede though, that your primary foe that year was one of the more unattractive mongoloids ever to unveil a thinly fleshed-out plan for mass mayhem in the city.
Cobra: This is where the law stops, and I start.
Neal: Fuck you people. I’m done. (A loud bang followed by footsteps and a door slamming. Muffled audience reaction.)
Monte: You kind of overdid it. I personally look for a more subtle solution, but that’s not your style. No hard feelings.
Cobra: You’re a disease and I’m the cure.
(End of tape)
Rental Rehab review by Tricia