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There's nothing I can do for the snake...,
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This review is from: G.I. Joe - The Movie  [DVD] (DVD)
Made in 1987, after the second (and final) series of Sunbow productions' animated favourite GI Joe: A Real American Hero had concluded on US TV, GI Joe: The Movie was supposed to have been released into cinemas, but because of the box office failure of its sister project, Transformers: The Movie, it went quietly to home video instead. Now it returns on DVD, to coincide with the UK cinema release of this year's live-action spectacular GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra.
Following directly on from the animated TV series, GI Joe: The Movie nevertheless bears little relation to the original show; most of the earlier characters are marginalised to make way for less interesting newcomers, and the fantastical but still reality-based plots of the earlier cartoons are junked in favour of a science fiction-flavoured story revolving around the ancient history of terrorist organisation Cobra. Most fans loathed the focus on new Joe recruits Lieutenant Falcon (voiced by Miami Vice's Don Johnson), Jinx, Tunnel Rat, et al, whilst the humourless new villains headed by the tedious Serpentor and the super-powered snake-man Golobulus (voiced by Burgess Meredith) quickly become tiresome. Old favourites are sidelined almost entirely; Duke and Roadblock have a reasonable amount of screen time, but Flint has only a minor supporting role, Gung Ho, Scarlett, Snake Eyes, Lady Jaye, and Quick Kick do nothing, and Shipwreck doesn't appear at all. Likewise, on the Cobra side, classic villains like Destro and Zartan (who previously played key roles in all of Cobra's schemes) are here reduced to the level of onlookers. But the really disturbing feature of GI Joe: The Movie is the fate that befalls Cobra Commander, which doesn't belong in a GI Joe cartoon at all, and seems more like something from a David Cronenberg `body horror' film. Blamed by Golobulus for all of Cobra's previous failures and poisoned with a toxin that causes him to mutate into a giant snake, fan favourite Cobra Commander suffers an undignified end that is liable to upset younger viewers; he's such a likeable and comical villain that watching what happens to him here is akin to stumbling on a scene from a Carry On film in which Kenneth Williams is beaten to death by muggers...