G.I. Joe - The Movie was the second in a series of movies produced to cash in on the popularity of afternoon cartoons in the 1980's. The idea was to release the film theatrically, but after Transformers - The Movie
bombed at the box office, the feature length animated G.I. Joe
film was chopped into five half-hour segments and aired as a television mini-series
(much like the earlier Arise, Serpentor, Arise!
mini). Along with the usual cast, the vocal talents of Don Johnson
, Burgess Meredith
, and Sgt. Slaughter
were also employed... minor spoilers lie within, so beware.
After the film's opening sequence, featuring a new theme song and a battle by the Statue Of Liberty, Cobra Commander continues plotting to overthrow Serpentor, allowing an intruder to infiltrate Serpentor's throne room. The intruder, however, is there not to kill Serpentor, but to inform him of the Joe's latest project - the Broadcast Energy Transmitter, a power generator that pumps energy right from the air.
Although Duke is seriously wounded in the fight, Cobra's attempt to seize the transmitter fails, Serpentor is captured, and the remaining forces of evil flee to sanctuary through a mountain pass. There they discover the recently awakened civilization of Cobra-La, who have been at odds with humans for 40,000 years. Because humans have adopted inorganic technology to advance their culture, the Cobra-La civilization plans to destroy them by launching a series of spore pods into the upper atmosphere. When the pods ripen they will burst, raining spores down on every man, woman, and child, mutating them to the level of mindless beasts. However, they need the Broadcast Energy Transmitter to ripen the pods.
It is here that we learn the origins of Cobra and its Commander. He was sent by Cobra-La into the world with the task of conquering the world. He is condemned for his failure and is given the spores. At the same time, Roadblock and his men are captured while attacking the Cobra-La fortress. Cobra Commander is thrown with them into the brig.
Meanwhile, back at G.I. Joe Headquarters, a group of new recruits are being trained under the tutilage of Beachhead....
- Jinx (blindfolding herself before combat) "As my blind ninja-master used to say, the keenest eye is that which looks inward."
- Falcon (after being caught red-handed) "When I explain to you about Heather, you're going to feel so silly...
- Chuckles (after throwing a missile by hand) "Next time, Chuckles, use the rocket launcher!"
- Big Lob (who never became an action figure) - "Big Lob scores! And the crowd goes bananas!"
- Tunnel Rat (about Beachhead's training course) "Big deal! I got kicked outta kindergartens with tougher playgrounds than this!"
- Law & his dog Order (about his dog) "Hey, man, Law & Order's a team. He finds the bombs, I drive the car. We tried it the other way, but it didn't work!"
While these new rawhides are proceeding well in training, they aren't ready for combat yet. Add to that the fact that Roadblock's unit hasn't checked in yet, and Hawk has sent a search party after them, and the Joes are spread thin and undermanned. When the headquarters is attacked by the Dreadnoks
and Cobra-La agents Pythona
and Nemesis Enforcer
, there is little opposition to stop them from stealing the BET and freeing Serpentor.
Falcon is court-martialed for deserting his post and sent to train with Slaughter's Marauders, an elite team led by Sgt. Slaughter. The group infiltrates the Terrordrome for reconnaisance, where they catch wind of the plan and blow up the Drome. At the same time, Roadblock's team stages an jailbreak, but only Roadblock and Cobra Commander manage to escape... but Roadblock is blinded, and the spores have begun deevolving Cobra Commander into a snake.
When Roadblock is discovered by the rescue team, word of Cobra-La's nefarious plot is sent right away to General Hawk, who stages an all-out assault on the Cobra-La compound. Golobulus, the Cobra-La leader, remains at the controls of the BET while his forces defend the palace. This sets up the epic six-man showdown - Golobulus, Pythona, and Nemesis Enforcer versus Sgt. Slaughter, Falcon, and Jinx. With the fate of the world in their hands, they'll fight for freedom!
OK... so it plays better on TV... and you had to be ten years old when it came out to enjoy it... but some of you are with me on this one...