‘G.I. Joe: The Movie’ is Goddamn Nuts

Posted: September 2, 2010 in Threat Quality
Tags: , , ,

Back when I checked out G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra and found it well, awful – despite the casting of Joseph Gordon Levitt as Cobra Commander and Ray Park as Snake-Eyes, which, in a just world, would have made it completely awesome – I also made a point to tracking down the 1986 animated movie.

Being that I was six when I last saw it, I had only vague recollections of it being a) kind of wild, and b) utterly baffling.

Turns out, utter bafflement is the only response to “G.I. Joe: The Movie,” because it decides to take the “highly trained special missions force vs. terrorist organization” premise and chuck it out the window, in favor of, “What if G.I. Joe fought a weird, insect-based secret society?”

This is pretty nuts. “G.I. Joe: The Movie” is like watching a “24” film where Jack Bauer fights werewolves. It makes that amount of sense. (Scratch that: I would watch the crap out of that movie.)

This is what it’s like to sit through a 23-year-old cartoon that makes no sense:

On the Opening Theme Song Sequence:
“Armies of the night/evil taking flight!/Cobraaaaaa (Co-BRAAAA!)/Cobraaaaa (Co-BRAAAA!)” Wait, snakes can’t fly. This movie doesn’t make any sense and we’re only a minute in! 

G.I. Joe – the “highly trained special missions force” – is just sitting on top of the Statue of Liberty shooting in random directions.

On COBRA’s Leadership:
“Destroy everything – except the [THING WE CAME HERE TO STEAL]! THIS I COMMAND!” That’s some good leading, Serpentor. Clearly that’s the DNA of Ghengis Kahn shining through.

Cobra Commander was originally an embittered car salesman. This movie retconned him into a mutant scientist from a hidden monster-city. That about covers it.

“I’LL be your eyes! Run!” He KNEW that last part, Cobra Commander.

On Cartoon Bad-Assery:
Duke just ran straight into laser fire and didn’t get hit. While smiling. I didn’t realize Duke was this cool.

“We all go home, or nobody goes home.” An early lesson in bad-assery.

On Rooting for the Wrong Side:
I want Destro’s winter coat of evil (see below) really bad.

Oh, Baroness. I am so in love with you.

On G.I. Joe’s Incredibly Specific Roster:
Wait, why does G.I. Joe employ a mountain climber, again?

And why would you bring the desert survival expert to a mission in the Himalayas?

And WHY would you let a shirtless, shoeless karate expert prone to awful James Cagney impressions drive a tank?

On new Joe CHUCKLES:
At the tender age of six, the idea of a taciturn undercover agent who always wears Hawaiian shirts seemed pretty cool to me. I think this sums up my entire life path.

Chuckles – rather than press the “fire missile” button on the tank, decides to get out of the vehicle, yank the missile from its housing, run into laser fire, and THROW it at an enemy vehicle. Chuckles is my favorite Joe.

On the Astonishing Weirdness of Cobra-La:
And here we 19 minutes in, and shit gets really, really weird.  “Insect men and mile-high tubers” weird.

See? Look at Destro's coat! Tell me you don't want that coat, and I will brand you a LIAR.

Pythona just used exploding crabs as a weapon. And now she’s flying home in a floating larva.

Aaaand their red welcome carpet is also made of crabs.

According to this movie, 40,000 years ago, a worldwide biological civilization was wiped out by the ice age, and then cavemen showed up. That doesn’t sound right, but now I’m wishing I paid more attention in school.

Ew, the gross mosquito fighter jets are…they’re ejaculating on the Joes. Ew.

“Cobra-la-la-la-la-la-la!” really doesn’t make any sense as far as battle-cries go. It’s kind of cumbersome, and how do you know when to cut off? But I can see the idea behind it: “Can we make the Cobra shout a little more ethnic-sounding?” “What if it sounded like a tongue-twirl?” “YES.”

“Die, arrogant Earth scum!” Dude…you’re from Earth, too.

Oh and now Cobra’s got a giant flying crab. Does this place have any tools that AREN’T crab-based?

On LT. FALCON, the take-no-crap new Joe (voiced by Don Johnson):
“I’m an officer and I’m pulling rank!” Not against your direct superior, Falcon. That’s…that’s not how we play.

Falcon just slapped Jinx’s ass. Tailhook Stage One: Completed. They let you do that on a kid’s show?

Falcon sees a guy with a crossed out Cobra emblem on his coat, gasps, “…Cobra!” and attacks. You think that X might mean something, Falcon? Gah, you are just the worst.

On High-Profile Voiceovers:
That’s Rocky-trainer himself, Burgess Meredith, as malevolent overlord Golobulus. Because Orson Welles wasn’t going to be tricked into doing this stuff twice. (Also he may have died by this point.)

“Yer goin’ nowhere, space-case!”Ladies and gentlemen…SGT. SLAUGHTER.

Sgt. Slaughter and his Renegades’ breakfast: a dozen plates of ribs. Like, DINOSAUR ribs.

On Cartoon Logic:
Apparently G.I. Joe knows where the Terror-Drome on Cobra Island is. Also, they know where COBRA ISLAND IS. I think G.I. Joe just isn’t very good at its job. YOU GUYS HAVE BOMBS, YOU KNOW.

Aww, the microphones on the Cobra communications panel are shaped like cobras. That’s just adorable.

Sgt. Slaughter don’t need no winter coat. In the Himalayas.

Seriously, someone else needs to watch this thing so I can be sure I didn’t dream it.

  1. Moff says:

    “Cobra Commander was originally an embittered car salesman.”

    WOW. Of this, I was not aware. I guess back in the ’80s, used-car salesmen were the embodiment of evil, though.

  2. Hairdo Selin says:

    Great movie and all, but do the Joes, Cobra, Decepticons, autobots, Rebel Alliance, and the Imperial forces all train in the same place? I mean, not one of them could shoot the broadside of a STAR DESTROYER, let alone a barn! Sure, Sgt. Slaughter was HARDCORE! And Nemesis Enforcer seemed to be the only competent one amongst that whole group, but, for the love of god, what backwoods half-baked military academy did these people graduate from? GI-Joe is America’s “Highly-trained” special mission force? Wow. The lesser-trained must be a bunch of blinded retarded monkeys shooting laser-firing M-16’s wildly!

  3. Jeff Holland says:

    I don’t know about you, but I’d love to see the course where cadets learn to yank a missile off a tank and throw it at the enemy.

    Since we’re all in a GI Joe state of mind, I’d like to direct everyone to this link, for TOTAL ADORABLENESS.

    “The Many Faces of Beachhead” alone is worth it.

  4. James McCullen XIX says:

    Okay let me clear a little bit up for you. Cartoon show, movie and Marvel comic story and modern movie are all different story lines… In the modern movie, Baroness is Dukes long lost sister etc.. which totally does not follow the comics or movie…so I wrote that movie off before it came out.
    Cartoon 80’s never says where C. Commander is from until the animated movie.. and I agree, weird… they should have been in line with the comic which stated yes, C. commander was a “imbittered used car salesman” who was tired of the bureacracy of the United States much like a lot of Americans today.

    Love the Comic story, which should and could have been the backstory for all the Joe stuff out now.. I don’t know why they had to mess it all up.
    Most of the Marvel movies that have come out are way better.

    So anyway, to sum it up the cartoon was a kids show so I guess they had to throw a lot of fantasy in there because kids have wild imaginanations so they really could have done anything, who would know that movies with talking transforming robots would be a hit today looking at it from a child kids show standpoint.
    In my opinion the Comics were way more in tune with the politics of the world and true to life events. The story, was also very interesting, but that is from the teenage to 35 year old standpoint. My suggestion would be to go and get some joe graphic novels and read up then tell those people in Hollywood to do a remake from that… I sure wish they would have consulted me first before that movie since I have been a joe fan for almost 29 years..

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