G I Joe The Movie 1987: Done by Rancel
G I Joe The Movie 1987 Blu-Ray DVD
G I Joe The Movie 1987 is a animated film that spun off from the animated TV series. It was created at the height of the animated TV and toy series craze in the 1980’s. It was originally going to be released in the theaters before Transformers the Movie but production delays and the fact that the Transformers movie did not fare well at the box office. It instead led it to being released to direct-to-video and showing on TV also. The movie was produced after the third season of G.I. Joe.
G I Joe The Movie 1987 starts off with a bang with a spectacular intro with a cool new G.I. Joe/Cobra theme song playing in the background while the Joes defend New York City and the Statue of Liberty from Cobra Commander and the rest of Cobra. After the title intro, the plot starts at the Cobra Terror Drome with Serpentor berating his Cobra troops and accusing Cobra Commander, who is now second in command, of incompetence. This scene is very amusing with the verbal bashing that Serpentor gives Cobra Commander and with his reaction, which is really over the top highlighted in lines such as,
Cobra Commander: Go ahead. Make me the scapegoat. My loyal subordinates could testify to my superb stewardship of Cobra. But you don’t have the courage to let them speak!
Serpentor: Wrong again! Defend him if you can.
Cobra Commander: Indeed they shall, you first noble Destro.
Destro: Militarily speaking, it’s only fair to say that Cobra Commander is a world-class… Buffoon.
Cobra Commander: What?
Cobra Commander does all this while wearing ridiculous new accessories with his original blue outfit consisting of a cape and a scepter. Which I don’t understand since the guy was demoted and the new leader and now the Cobra Emperor is Serpentor. I guess it’s just another way to add more comedy to it and to highlight Cobra Commander’s insanity. I don’t know about you but it works, very funny scene. Soon after that sequence a mysterious woman breaks into the base with a bald head, pony tail, and strange skin. She also can cut through anything with her long sharp fingernails it seems. They appear to secrete some sort of corrosive acid. Also about the scene Cobra Commander notices her and lets her escape into Serpentor’s throne room. She confronts Serpentor and he somehow recognizes her and she tells him he must capture a new G.I. Joe technology called the B.E.T. Or Broadcast Energy Transmitter. After that scene the Joes are seen in the Himalayas testing their new piece of technology, “the B.E.T.”
The Joe’s capture Serpentor after he leads an assault on the Joe’s to capture the Broadcast Energy Transmitter. He gets his butt thoroughly kicked by Duke in this scene. Which is really cool since Serpentor is genetically made and superior to normal humans. Which until now I didn’t know anyone else but Sgt. Slaughter that has the physical strength and fighting skills to take on Serpentor, although much respect to Duke since he is the consummate soldier and professional.
Cobra Commander tells the now defeated Cobra troops where they can find some sanctuary in this weird hidden valley with strange plants and things. Cobra Commander announces with much glee that, “we are safe, we are safe ha ha ha ha”. Not knowing that the Joes are right behind and now have followed them there and resumed their attack on Cobra. The Roadblock led unit of the Joe’s are then soon overwhelmed by these strange masked beings that have jumped out of the snow and have attacked them. This is also the first appearance of the seemingly unstoppable mute giant bat-winged Cobra-La soldier called “Nemesis Enforcer”. After Cobra Commander says, Bravo, bravo dear friends, he is then slapped away by Nemesis Enforcer for a reason you will find out. When the mysterious woman from earlier in the film known as “Pythona” shows up and tells Cobra Commander you are going to be tried for crimes against the citizens of Cobra-La. Destro and the rest of the Cobra troops look really confused in this scene and just say, “he knows these people?”
Pythona and the rest then lead the Cobra troops further into Cobra-La’s home after Cobra Commander who tries to escape and is fetched by Nemesis Enforcer. Pythona says to the Cobra troops they must rescue Serpentor and retrieve the Broadcast Energy Transmitter. At first some of the Cobra troops protest such as Zartan, the leader of “The Dreadnaughts”. He’s like why should we risk our necks for you people and we don’t even know who you are but is soon persuaded when Pythona shows him a giant gem. Back at G.I. Joe base Duke and General Hawk decide to accelerate the new recruit training being done by Beach Head. Because Roadblock’s unit is missing they also send Flint and a few others to go search for them. As for the new recruits, Big Lob-the one who speaks in sports metaphors, a martial artist named Jinx who can only fight with her eyes closed, and a guy codenamed Chuckles who wears a Hawaiian shirt and who never talks, and the only one I liked called Law & Order-Law is the Military Police soldier and Order is his pet guard dog tag along.
Also among the new batch of Joe’s, but he is already finished training, is Lt. Falcon who is Duke’s younger half-brother. He is voiced by Don Johnson of Miami Vice fame. During one of Lt. Falcons attempts to get in Jinx’s tights which results in Serpentor’s escape from Joe prison via a joint operation between Cobra troops and soldiers of Cobra-La such as Nemesis Enforcer. Serpentor is then taken back to the secret Cobra-La home in the Himalayan valley where he is presented to Golobulus the leader of Cobra-La, voiced by Burgess Meredith who played Micky in the Rocky movies. We soon find out from him that Cobra-La is an ancient alien race that existed before human’s on earth and that Cobra Commander belongs to their species.
He announces their noble ways of using organic technology was supplanted by the human civilization and they were forced to retreat because of the Ice Age. He then tells the tale of Cobra Commander who was a scientist/nobleman of Cobra-La who was disfigured by these spores he was working with in his lab in the grove. “The Baroness” says some funny lines in this scene as she whispers in Destro’s ear by saying, “if you ask me some of them did not evolve.” While she and the rest of the Cobra troops watch and hear the story. Cobra Commander is then appointed by Golobulus to raise an army and conquer the outside world. After the tale of Cobra Commander is told during his trial for his failure to defeat G.I. Joe and conquer the world he is then exposed once more to the mutating spores that completes the process that started earlier which begins to turn him into a giant snake. He is thrown into a pit where the in prison Joe’s look on in horror. Golobulus then says he is going to expose the entire planet to the mutating spores turning the human race into mindless beasts.
All the while this went on which I think is very cool. Cobra Commander remained extremely defiant towards Golobulus and pointed the finger at him and his former Cobra troops he commanded for his failures. Also, Lt. Falcon is court martialed and sent to Sgt. Slaughter’s boot camp for his “AWOL” act. He has to redeem himself to rejoin The Joe team by completing Sgt. Slaughter’s boot camp known as “The Slaughterhouse” which also has some other new characters such as ex-football player Red Dog, former circus strongman Taurus, and ex-Cobra Viper Mercer. Roadblock soon escapes with the help of Cobra Commander who is now being slowly mutated into a giant snake. This sequence has some really great lines from both of them. I love it when Roadblock says to Cobra Commander as he agrees to accept the Commander’s help.
Roadblock: So what’s your fee? Snakes don’t give for free. Play it straight, or there’s no doubt, I’ll turn your eyeballs inside out.
Cobra Commander: Useless. It’s all useless.
Roadblock: Come on! Snap out of it! Neither of us will make it if you don’t hang together!
Cobra Commander: I was once a man. A man!
Soon after this sequence Serpentor is seen leading the assault on the Joe base to recapture the Broadcast Energy Transmitter for Golobulus to use in his plan. This time he is backed up by Cobra-La and their technology and is successful. He nearly manages to kill Duke in battle by throwing one of his snake javelins into Duke’s heart. An interesting note about this sequence is because the outrage over Optimus Prime’s death in Transformers the Movie. The original storyline where it had it that Duke would die from his battle wound was changed that he has just fallen into a coma and would come out of it at the end of the movie. Also the wound’s location jumps from side to side in the animation in the scene, as he appears to die in Scarlett’s arms. Not even the entire Joe team along with newcomers, like the “The Rawhides” mentioned earlier and the help of Lt. Falcon, Sgt. Slaughter, and his boot camp group could stop the combined Cobra and Cobra-La together in this sequence. I think this is the first time Cobra has ever gotten the upper hand on G.I. Joe in the series.
General Hawk, Falcon, and the other Joe’s are seen crying as Duke slips into his coma. All that is left for the Joe’s to do is invade the kingdom of Cobra-La and stop the spores from spreading across the planet and turning all of humanity into mindless beasts. The film then winds down with the Joes invading Cobra-La along with the new recruits and Sgt. Slaughter’s group. With the combined help and with some unlikely help from the now completely transformed into a snake Cobra Commander they manage to defeat Cobra-La and Cobra. Pythona and Nemesis Enforcer both get their asses handed to them by Jinx and Sgt. Slaughter. I assume they were killed too because Pythona was tossed by Jinx into some giant endless pit and Nemesis Enforcer was killed I think too by being tossed into one of the pits by Sgt. Slaughter. Lt. Falcon gets some unlikely help from Cobra Commander who somehow retained his intellect and his ability to speak even though he is now completely a snake. The snake Cobra Commander fights and kills one of Serpentor’s living weapon snakes he uses in an attempt to kill Lt. Falcon.
After the assistance from Cobra Commander Lt. Falcon finally defeats Serpentor by messing up Serpentor’s hover craft thingy he rides navigation system and Serpentor is flung out through one of the entrance doors of Cobra-La’s kingdom and he isn’t seen again till the DIC G.I. Joe animated TV series version that appeared on TV soon after this movie. Golobulus is defeated in battle somehow by Lt. Falcon but does not die he is just seen flying out of Cobra-La’s kingdom saying and you all have lost the pods with the spores have ripened. As for the pods that are in space, Falcon using the Broadcast Energy Transmitter destroys them.
G I Joe The Movie 1987 ends with The Joe’s celebrating with Falcon and Jinx together as boyfriend and girlfriend with Falcon saying, “thank you big brother”, as he learns that Duke has come out of his coma.
G I Joe The Movie 1987: The Review
G.I. Joe The Movie 1987 like Transformers the Movie is much darker in tone than the animated series where some characters end it up dying or not being seen again. The film is very entertaining with a great voice cast such as the mighty Chris Latta as Cobra Commander who also you can tell if you grew up in the 80’s is also the voice for Starscream in the Transformers series and movie. Cobra Commander in this film I guess they really wanted to humiliate him because he is more over the top and ridiculous than he was in the TV series and is pretty much a clown like Destro is seen saying early in the film. He also seems to become more ridiculous in an almost Gollum like way when he turns into a snake.
The original run of the TV animated series ended after this film and was rebooted by a company called DiC starting with a 5 part TV special called “G.I. Joe: Operation Dragonfire” in 1989. A lot of the characters returned and Cobra Commander regained control as the leader of Cobra. The Baroness transforms him back from a snake into a humanoid in the 5-part TV special. Although for some reason or another they dropped the alien background for Cobra Commander and just left him as human like in the comic books. I did watch the newly rebooted DiC G.I. Joe series and it was not up to par as the original series but it was watchable. That series lasted from 1989-1992 and if I remember correctly it appeared on the USA Network’s Cartoon Express. It was less serious in tone I believe from what I remembered and also it was a continuation of the original series but focused on a lot of new characters. The cool thing about it is Storm Shadow in this series is now a member of G.I. Joe after he defects from Cobra. Due to budget cost the animation quality was not up to par with the original Sunbow produced TV series.
My closing thoughts on G I Joe The Movie 1987 are, it is somewhat similar to how the world faced a new threat during WWII that was supposedly superior to everyone else but yet was still defeated through determination, heart, and never giving up. This animation is another example of showing the triumph of the human spirit. The Joe’s were real good moral heroes for all us 80’s kids growing up. You can buy the movie on Blu-Ray now too, which I will be doing to replace my regular DVD version.
G I Joe The Movie 1987 cool intro and some clips from the film for you to watch.
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