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G.I. Joe: The Movie - None may challenge Serpentor!
Presented by Matt on 04/05/00

There are some things in this world that never get old....Gary Coleman jokes...Goldfish crackers...and yes, the occassional freakout by Cobra Commander.

And that's what makes the G.I. Joe Movie so damn good. I've got one of the strangest video collections you could imagine...the flicks I choose to invest money in are eccentric to say the least, but of all of them, GI Joe has one of the best lifespans. It just never gets old. So on the heels on the new live action major Joe flick set to come out, here's a review of the '87 animated cult classic.

In what was deemed one of the more 'normal' of the 80s cartoons as far as fantasy went, the GI Joe Movie took a different route - a route that included strange alien creatures who really enjoyed cashing in on those 50 cent words.

'May your words, match you deeds, Serpentor' was one of chief Cobra-La ruler, Golobulous', favorite cryptic sayings. While many people cried foul over the insertion of the more sci-fi oriented Serpentor to the series, making Golobulous the Cobra leader was basically burying the G.I. Joe legend altogether. A bald, part-cyborg, huge monster with a giant snake tail, the only thing that could make this guy worse was a celebrity voice over. And he got it! Burgess Meredith (Penguin of the old Batman series) did the deed.

Then, of course, there was the simple issue of removing Cobra Commander from 'office'. No, they didn't kill him or lock him up. The new bad guys, infuriated with Cobra Commander's past failures, mutated him into a snake. During the mutation process, Cobra Commander teamed up with that black dude on the Joe team who always spoke in rhymes, which led us to some *very* classic scenes where the Commander started losing his mind. Here's a sample dialogue, and yes, these are direct quotes:

Cobra Commander: 'I wasssss a maaannn.....oh yeeesss...wassss a maannn..

Black Dude: 'Dude! You're going snakehouse man, you gotta resist!

Cobra Commander: 'Oh yesss....was once a mannnn!'

Black Dude: 'Stop stranglin' meeeee!'

Following this, they'd fall down a hill directly into Joe territory. None of the Joe members seemed too shocked that their decades-long sworn enemy was A) with one of their guys, or B) fastly mutating into a snake.

Before we go further, here's the general plot:

* GI Joe has created the 'B.E.T.', the Broadcast Energy Transmitter, which is able to create pure energy. Cobra wants it.

* While in battle, Cobra escapes and lands in Cobra-La, some alien deal. Golobulous, Scorpina, and the too-cool Nemesis Enforcer lead the crew. They have a trial for Cobra Commander's failures, telling us that he is actually part of their race, and mutate him with genetic spores into a snake. Serpentor is revealed to be a creation of Golobulous, who remains in charge of Cobra staff.

* Falcon, a new Joe recruit, keeps getting in trouble for irresponsbility. Despite being sexily voiced by Don Johnson, he gets in enough trouble to warrant being thrown into a hard training camp with Sgt. Slaughter and some other assholes.

* Battles ensue. Cobra-La and company get the B.E.T. They plan to use it to send the spores into space and effectively mutate the entire human race.

* Falcon becomes responsible after seeing Duke take a snakebite from Serpentor for him. Destro and the Baroness are secretly upset over their small part in the film.

* Serpentor yells 'This I Command' a few times more, and a final battle ensues. Falcon saves the day, all rejoice.

The End.

Forgettable plot, but a lot of stupid things make it a great flick. Firstly, there were severe overacting issues by the new Cobra villains. There was also the minor issue of the three lead bad guys looking NOTHING like the rest of the Cobra-La race. Compile this with the fact that a flashback shows Cobra Commander having bluish skin, causing a major continuity flaw in the series, and you've got some new elements to the story that really should've been inspected more closely.

On the plus side, the animation was done terrificly, and the opening sequence is heralded as the best-drawn GI Joe sequence ever. It's also got a really catchy theme song that emphasizes the 'Co' in Cobra to an unimaginable degree.

The G.I. Joe is also the only animated movie I've seen where you actually feel embarassment from some of the cast. The original bigwigs of the series are completely downplayed in favor of the new guys, and you can literally see the dissapointment on their faces. Falcon looks like a younger, hipper version of Flint, and during the scenes where the two are talking...I swear to God, Flint looks like he's about to cry. Also of note is the pissy faces of most of the old Cobra head guys due to their lack of scenes. Dr. Mindbender looked especially distraught.

There's also some cookiness to the plot. Conveniently, torwards the end of the battle, we find out that the kingdom of Cobra-La is made up of living organisms to spice up the action, and all these pieces of furniture turn into monsters. Monsters, mind you, that were easier to defeat than a Super Mario Goomba.

Was it cute that the credits listed Sgt. Slaughter as playing Sgt. Slaughter? No. No it wasn't.

Is it still a good movie? Definitely, if you go for this sort of thing. It's the kinda movie that grows on you, because most of the new characters are actually endearing after repeated viewings. It's also one of those movies with quotes that stick in your head like a bad car commercial. Some might even call it an impressionalist film!

This movie *is* available at most net retailers, usually around 10-15 bucks. It's worth it for children of the 80s... I wouldn't go as far to say it's better than it's sister flick of 80s toon movies, Transformers the Movie, but it's got a charm of it's own.

- Matt