Monday, July 5, 2010

My fondness for G.I. Joe: The Movie

This 1987 film is either loved or hated by G.I. Joe fans (Larry Hama for one loathes everything associated with Cobra La as do many fans who despise the revision of Cobra Commander's origins). I personally have a fondness for this film and enjoy it. I do prefer the comic's origin of Cobra Commander better- but when complain about the science fiction aspects of this movie, please remember that there were already mermaids and killer Tribble knock-offs already on the television series. So, the show was already quite fantastic.

I love the opening sequence of the movie and think it's still one of the best openings ever- as Serpentor chastises his Cobra underlings, and Cobra Commander (dressed with a royal robe- and scepter no less) makes his push to reclaim his position as the head of Cobra, by putting the blame on Serpentor. However, when the Commander asks his "loyal subordinates" to praise his worth, it blows up in his face with the Crimson Twins, Destro, Baroness and Dr. Mindbender telling how inept he truly is. Which results in Cobra Commander screaming to Serpentor that the stories are all falsehoods. Probably my favorite scene of the power struggle within Cobra.

And the opening really gets exciting with the mysterious intruder, Pythona, making her way through the Cobra forces in the Terror Drome, using her claws to get inside and also massacring the Crimson Guard forces (and all Cobras for that matter). Very exciting and it's perfect as Cobra Commander leads Destro, Mindbender and Baroness away from the assassin in hopes that she will get rid of Serpentor for him. Gotta love that treacherous snake.

However, things don't go according to plan for Cobra Commander and by the end of the film, he is mutated into a snake for his failures but I (being in the minority) enjoyed this story arc, as it gives nice insight into the mind of the Commander as he devolves into a pure serpent. And I can never forget Chris Latta's delivery of, "I was once a man....a man...". It was a mixture of sadness, insanity and just pure brilliance. Again, another reason why Chris Latta is a truly missed talent.

For all its flaws, there is still much to love about this film, and that is why I encourage everyone to buy this film since now a special edition on Blu-Ray has been released with audio commentary by Buzz Dixon that I'm sure will be informative.

Any movie that makes me feel pity and root for the Commander more than already rooted for him and features Zarana in a swimsuit kicking Thrasher's ass is instant coolness. Not to mention the character of Pythona was terrific and this movie features one of the great bad-asses in Nemesis Enforcer (I still want to name my first-born Nemesis Enforcer).

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