G.I. Joe: The Movie
August 8, 2017
NC: Hello, I'm the Nostalgia Critic. I remember it so you don't have to. (long, awkward pause) Uhhh, I wanna talk about the G.I. Joe movie. (takes out the DVD for it)
(Titles and clips of movie are shown)
NC (vo): Yeah, there's no current tie-in, nobody asked for it. I don't really have any reason. I just wanted to talk about this awesome 1987 cinematic nonsense. Is that so wrong?
NC: (giving a military salute) NO, JOE!!
NC (vo): Based on the popular army toyline turned later into a hit 80s cartoon, G.I. Joe followed the adventures of Duke and his team of soldiers fighting the terrorist organization Cobra. You know, when terrorists were... snakes.
NC: I miss snake terrorists.
NC (vo): As their popularity grew more and more, even to the point of recruiting wrestlers into their line-up...
(Cut to a G.I. Joe commercial, with Sgt. Slaughter himself)
Sgt. Slaughter (Robert Remus): Sgt. Slaughter, here! And it does me proud to be a part of the G.I. Joe team for 1986.
NC: '86, eighty-shit. You were always G.I. Joe!
(Cut back to clips from the movie)
NC (vo): ...they decided to go to the big screen with G.I. Joe: The Movie. It was basically Team America for kids. So, no swearing or face-shiting, but just as much 'MURICA!
NC: Is it everything you'd expect it to be? HELL, YEAH! Is it any good? HELL, NO! But I don't want good, I want HELL, YEAH! This is G.I. Joe: The Movie.
(The film begins right when the second season of TV series ended, with Cobra's attack on the Statue of Liberty and Duke arriving with his soldiers to fight them)
NC (vo): It opens with what I can only describe as the most Americanly violent intro a kids' film could throw at you. The Statue of Liberty is under attack because, crashing through the sky, comes the fearful cry of Cobra!
NC: And if you doubt that, the 80s sing it!
(As the Cobra terrorists go down with parachutes, we are treated to the movie's title theme, which is composed in rock style)
Singers: Crashing through the sky, / Comes the fearful cry: / Cobra! (Cobraaaa...!)
NC: BOOOOO! BOOOOOO!
NC (vo): I love that one guy echoing "Cobra" in the background, like if he got lost from the group and he's trying to call for them.
Singers: Cobra! (Cobraaaa...!) / Cobra! (Cobraaaa...!)
NC: (imitating the "echoing guy", desperately calling out) Cobraaaa! Cobraaaa!
(Major Bludd's C.L.A.W. is shot out of the sky by Duke)
Singers: Panic spreading, far and wide / Who can turn the tide? (NC shrugs questioningly) G.I. Joe!
NC: (salutes) Send them to G-rated Hell!
(A big firefight is going on between the Cobra terrorists and G.I. Joe team on top of the Statue)
Singers: G.I. Joe! (A real American hero!)
NC (vo, chuckles): Oh, my God, this is way too much America to take in for only one minute!
NC: I need to calm down with some Canadian. (He takes out a bottle of Organics maple syrup, opens it and sniffs, smiling) Ah... (puts the bottle away) Okay, continue.
NC (vo): Look at this. It's the most amazing opening ever! Everybody is shooting, everybody is flying with fire, and all around Lady Liberty while an 80s theme song plays!
(Duke, the leader of the troops, pushes the Cobra Commander off the Statue; he falls and lands on a flight pod)
Singers: G.I. Joe! (A real American hero!) / G.I. Joe is there!
NC: If the American flag could lift a tank and eat bullets, this is the movie that would do it in!
NC (vo): The animation is spectacular: every moment leaping off the screen in a blaze of glory. This is the kind of military porn Michael Bay wishes he could make.
NC: You know, instead of...
(Cut to a clip of Pearl Harbor)
Rafe: They call it an homage, sir.
Doolittle: A what?
NC: Oh, shut the hell up and play my jam!
Singers: G.I. Joe! (A real American hero!)
(NC squeals in excitement, shaking hands)
Singers: G.I. Joe is there!
NC (vo): Oh, you think CGI Tobey Maguire posing in front of the American flag is iconic?
NC: Pussy, pansy, piss! We have Duke...
(The conclusion to the movie's intro is shown as described by NC)
NC (vo): ...picking up the American flag, rocket-packing it to the sky, following him all the way up the Statue of Liberty, and planting it on her head with his team, while cheering to their 80s theme song!
NC: All you need is (A Tweet from Donald Trump with Photoshopped text "Putin wood have dun this bett3r. sad" is shown) a Trump Tweet saying he doesn't like it, and it'll be the most American thing in the world!
Singers: G.I. Joe!
(A big caption "Amerigasm" in the colors of the American flag zooms in, and when the intro ends, the screen literally explodes! We then cut to a clip from Denny's Red, White and Blue Pancakes commercial)
Old Man: America.
NC: America indeed. I'm the Nostalgia Critic. I remember it so you don't have to!
(He gets up and leaves. The credits roll...but immediately stop when NC rushes back)
NC: Oh, that's right! There's more! Sorry, it totally couldn't stop there, or I would have been 100% satisfied!
NC (vo): The film opens with an evil Cobra...
NC (vo): ...as the metal-faced Cobra Commander is being talked to by the head of Cobra, Serpentor... (The said character is shown wearing a golden cobra-shaped costume and having a two-headed cobra (!) around his neck. NC breaks down laughing) Oh, my God...
Serpentor (Dick Gautier): Blunderers! Fools!
NC: (hand on cheek, smiling) I so miss snake terrorists!
NC (vo): He looks like a python choking on Archer! And what's with the snakes on his side? Is it like...one snake-human-centipede together?
NC: I have so many questions about these fashion choices!
Serpentor: ...your collective incompetence!
Cobra Commander (Chris Latta): (speaking in a shrill, screechy voice) Hogwash!
(NC gasps dramatically)
Cobra Commander: Your leadership has been pompous, pusillanimous, and pathetic!
NC: Oh, for those unfamiliar, there's nothing wrong with your computer; that is what he actually sounds like.
NC (vo): And, yes, you're allowed to laugh at it all you want. We have for years.
Cobra Commander: Go ahead. Make me the scapegoat.
NC (vo): Cobra Commander looks for people to back up his claims of Serpentor's incompetence, but they stab him in the back.
Destro (Arthur Brughardt): Buffoon!
Cobra Commander: What?!
Tomax and Xamot (Corey Burton and Michael Bell): Inexcusable!
Cobra Commander: Unsubstantiated fantasy!
NC: (as Cobra Commander) You're just jealous I do a better Rita Repulsa than half the women here!
(Pythona, an emissary for the kingdom of Cobra-La, fights her way into Serpentor's chambers)
NC (vo): But someone breaks into Cobra headquarters: a deadly snake knockoff of (picture of the Mortal Kombat character named...) Sheeva, known as Pythona.
NC: (rubs forehead) Can we just call these people what they are: Snake Thundercats?
NC (vo): She shows them a powerful device known as the Broadcast Enegry Transmitter, a device G.I. Joe has that can transmit pure energy anywhere on the world.
(Cut to the Joes testing the B.E.T. outside, in a snowy mountains)
Scarlett (B.J. Ward): Well, let's find out if we've wasted a billion taxpayer dollars.
NC: This country? (waves off) Naah!
NC (vo): Seeing how Pythona shows where it is, Cobra attacks, trying to get their hands on it.
Duke (Michael Bell): They're after the B.E.T.!
NC: (disappointingly) What will Croc watch in Suicide Squad now?
(The Joes are pushing Cobra back)
Cobra Commander: Stand your ground! Not there! There! No!
NC: (smiles) You know, I think everyone just needs a random Cobra Commander line generator app.
(NC gets out his iPhone and presses on said app)
Cobra Commander App (voiced by Doug): I don't... I ju... D'ooooh!
(Serpentor pulls one of his snakes from his suit and throws it like a javelin at Duke)
NC (vo): Serpentor does...that thing James Earl Jones did in Conan the Barbarian.
NC: For a guy who likes snakes, he sure does abuse them a lot.
NC (vo): But he gets launched into the device and knocked out.
Cobra Commander: Retreat! Cobra, retreat!
Roadblock (Kene Holliday): Cobra's through, what do we do?
(A clip from The Princess Bride is followed, showing the ship sailing away)
Fezzik: (offscreen) Anybody want a peanut?
NC (vo): They chase after Cobra, but they're attacked by henchmen from The Tick and are defeated.
Cobra Commander: Bravo, bravo, dear friends!
(And we cut to Cobra getting bitchslapped by Nemesis Enforcer)
NC (vo, as Cobra Commander): Bee-yotch! (normal) Cobra Commander recognizes Pythona and panics.
Cobra Commander: No! Noooo!
NC (vo, as Cobra Commander): I need to escape! (The Commander runs to a tank) If only it would stop snowing- (Suddenly, the snow stops) Oh, that works. (normal) They bring him back, though, and Pythona is now in command, demanding that Cobra get Serpentor back. But the Joes are concerned where their search team went. So they're ready to send their new recruits out into the field, and-
Duke: The sooner they can graduate, the sooner they can fight.
NC: Oh, no, they're gonna pull a Transformers Movie on us, are they?! They're gonna get rid of half the cast so they can introduce new characters! God help you if you destroy Sgt. Slaughter!
NC (vo): Maybe I'm jumping to conclusions. Maybe they're just extras for the mission... (The Rawhides, the rookie Joes, are lined up in front of Beach Head) Nope. Those are action figures. Just put their prices next to them right now.
Beach Head (William Callaway): Where is that gold-plated goof-off, Lieutenant Falcon?
Jinx (Shuko Akune): Terrific question!
Big Lob (Brad Sanders): Man said he had...
NC: No, I don't get to know you! The more I like you, the more I'm killing the original Joes! Something this franchise does very well! (The poster for G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra is shown)
(Lt. Falcon is revealed to be giving the tour of Serpentor's holding faculty to a civilian blonde woman named Heather)
NC (vo): It looks like Lt. Falcon, played by (picture of...) Nash Bridges himself, Don Johnson, is having trouble leaving his Miami Vice days behind him, as he sneaks in a girlfriend to top-secred areas.
(Duke appears and chastises Falcon)
Duke: Didn't it occur to you that a military prison is no place for a date?
Falcon: I'll take the lady elsewhere, sir. Come on, babe. This is starting to get boring.
NC: Oh, come on. It's not like she's a Cobra agent trying to get top-secret information- She's all those things...
NC (vo): ...isn't she?
(Heather, who is actually Dreadnok Zarana is disguise, takes off her blonde wig)
NC: Well, this is why we have rules.
(Falcon approaches Jinx reparing a machine)
Falcon: Nice legs for a grease monkey, soldier.
(Falcon slaps Jinx on her back)
Falcon: Want me to kiss it and make it better?
NC (vo): Okay...
NC: (takes out some papers) Pick your lawsuit! There are at least three offenses in there!
NC (vo): But Cobra breaks in through the magic of ironic dialogue...
(As Falcon and Jinx speak, the Dreadnocks, Pythona, and Nemesis Enforcer break into Serpentor's detention faculty, which was supposed to be guarded by Falcon, and get into a fight)
Falcon: (offscreen) Suppose our mythical intruders did make it all the way to Serpentor's cell block. They'd still have to blast through a couple of yards of super-hard concrete. Then they'd have to get past three of our best guys.
NC (vo): ...and they help Serpentor escape.
General Hawk (Ed Gilbert): Falcon! You deserted your post. You're confined to quarters until court martial.
(Jinx gasps, putting her hands on her cheeks)
NC: (as Jinx) Oh, that poor groping man.
NC (vo): And it's here that G.I. Joe, for a lack of better way of putting it, gets a little silly. Serpentor is taken to his true creator, a subterranean reptile man known as...Golobulus, voiced by Burgess Meredith.
NC: I have to say, for a man that played...
(The Penguin from 1960s TV series Batman, Ancient Elf from Santa Claus: The Movie, and Don's dad in form of a fly from Hot to Trot, all played by Meredith, are shown)
NC (vo): ...the Penguin, the world's oldest elf, and a fly...
NC: ...he, once again, gives ten times more than what's required for a batshit-crazy role!
Golobulus (Burgess Meredith): I implanted the idea and the skill in Dr. Mindbender's rather pedestrian brain with this, a psychic motivator. It is our greater destiny that concerns me now.
NC: How am I taking the king of the reptile people so seriously?!
NC (vo): Even the mention of his name warrants an Oscar nomination.
Golobulus: Know that I am Golobulus!
NC (vo): Falcon is about to be thrown out of the Joes, but Duke, being his half-brother, pleads with them to keep him around. Falcon shows his appreciation...
Falcon: I don't need your help anymore, Duke!
NC: ...like a total jackass.
Falcon: Get out of my life!
Jinx: Falcon, Duke's trying to help.
Falcon: By bustin' my chops every chance he gets?
NC: (as Falcon) I mean, constantly being told what to do, you treat me like I'm in the military!
(Cut to Cobra Commander being punished for his faliure: he's exposed to a strain of mutative spores that slowly transform him into a literal snake)
NC (vo): He's sent to what they call the Slaughterhouse, while Cobra Commander is being Cobra court-martialed himself, being told pretty much out of nowhere the history of the reptile people.
Golobulus: (narrating) 40 000 years ago, the glory of Cobra-La dominated this planet. But an age of ice destroyed much of what we had built. (And it's just icebergs appearing unexpectedly)
NC: It was a...fast Ice Age of destruction. I guess most are. (The poster for Ice Age: Collision Course is shown)
NC (vo): Mankind took over, leaving only a few reptile people left, and Cobra Commander, being one of the reptile people, becoming disfigured in a science accident. Nevertheless, he was put in charge of destroying mankind, but he failed, so he's given a spore that...distorts him even more.
NC: It's kinda like giving ugly glasses to (picture of...) the Elephant Man. I think he's kind of used to it.
NC (vo): Thus, he's thrown in prison with the captured Joes. But not before he calls him a fool!
Cobra Commander: (to Golobulus) FOOL!
NC: I...have no reason to bring that up. I just love hearing him say it.
Cobra Commander: FOOL!
NC: (as Cobra Commander) Break yourself!
NC (vo): While that's going on, Falcon is thrown into a punishment camp for misbehaving Joes, ran by SLAUGHTEEEEER!!
NC: The only guy aside from Burgess Meredith who can make everything sound awesome!
(The animated Slaughter gives Falcon a greeting speech the way only Slaughter could say it)
Sgt. Slaughter: You're going to work till you wish you were dead, and then keep goin', because you're afraid if you don't, I won't let you die!
NC (vo): Look at this! He even has to say the line "Itty-bitty ditty bag"! And, by God, he makes it sound amazing!
Sgt. Slaughter: On your feet like a man, or in a ditty bag! An itty-bitty ditty bag.
NC: (holding his phone again, typing eagerly) Please, G.I. Joe movie, there's only so many lines I can program as ringtones!
(Roadblock, having released Cobra Commander, is temporary blinded by Nemesis Enforcer)
NC (vo): One of the Joes escapes Cobra-La, but gets blinded, so Cobra Commander has to lead the way out.
Roadblock: I can't see!
Cobra Commander: I'll be your eyes! (Roadblock picks him up) Run!
NC: Wonderful direction. Thanks, GPS.
(Cobra Commander's costume gets damaged, and thus, his serpent form is revealed)
NC (vo): Commander loses his faceplate, revealing, honestly, exactly what you would imagine his face would look like.
Roadblock: Then let's move it! (He picks Cobra Commander up again)
Cobra Commander: Straight ahead...
NC (vo, as Cobra Commander): Come on, I'll sing for ya! (singing off-key) And IIIIII-EEE-IIIIII will always love youuuuu, fool! (normal) Meanwhile, Slaughter's men are called in to infiltrate Cobra's forces.
Sgt. Slaughter: Think of it as an extra-rough training exercise.
Falcon: Then why don't we leave our weapons behind and make it really educational?
Sgt. Slaughter: Now that's what I call a challenge. No weapons!
NC: Well, that makes a lot of sense. Next, we're gonna play darts with no darts. Dying just builds character!
(We go to a commercial break. After coming back, we cut to Falcon, Slaughter and the Renegades infiltrating the Cobra Terror Drome)
NC (vo): They break inside and try to contact G.I. Joe through Cobra's radio.
(Falcon runs to speak in the microphone, which is designed as, well, a cobra)
Falcon: Come in, G.I. Joe.
NC: Okay, is that a toy microphone or...
NC (vo): ...the tap you pull for (logo of...) Cobra beer?
(Serpentor's people arrive, and Falcon is knocked out and is brought by the Crimson Twins to Serpentor himself)
NC (vo): Falcon gets captured, though, and is questioned.
Serpentor: How many in your force? (slaps Falcon on cheek) What is the purpose of your mission? (slaps him again) You can't resist forever! (slaps Falcon once more)
NC: I think against your weak-ass slaps, he kind of can.
NC (vo): But the other Joes save him and blow up the base, resulting in a big battle between the two armies.
Duke: (driving a tank, crying out...) YO, J- (His tank is stopped by one of Cobra's weapons) Aaargh!
NC: (as one of the Joes) Is that the new battle cry? Okay. (starts raising his fist) YO, J- (suddenly startled) Aaargh!
NC (vo): The reptilian technology is too much for them, as Serpentor calls out to the reptilian people.
Serpentor: (behind the helm of a jet) Cobra-La-La-La-La-La-La-La-La-La-La-La-La-La-La-La-La-La!
(NC covers his face with hands, trying not to laugh at that)
NC: I wish I was a fly on a wall when that was being recorded.
NC (vo, as Richard Gautier recording the line): Cob-La-La-La-La-La-La-La-La-La... I-I'm sorry, I'm sorry, what...the flying shit am I saying?!
(A giant serpent-worm rises from the ground)
NC (vo): A giant snake monster rises...honestly, making me wonder why none of these things were ever used in the past...
NC: We'd all be singing "Trust in Me" if they used these things from day one!
NC (vo): ...as Serpentor summons them via Warrior Princess sound again.
Serpentor: (firing a weapon) Cobra-La-La-La-La-La-La-La-La-La-La-La-La-La-La-La-La-La-La-La-La-La!
NC: Just when I think that can't get any funnier, he goes total high-pitched scream on the last one!
(The scene of Serpentor's ululation is replayed)
NC: It's like Homer Simpson's scream took over at the end!
(The scene is repeated once more, with the quick clip from The Simpsons episode "Treehouse of Horror" ("The Raven" segment) showing Homer Simpson screaming and running away being shown on the last "La". Back to the movie: Duke rushes to Falcon, who is confronted by Serpentor coming out of the erupting fire, unharmed)
NC (vo): Duke tries to save Falcon from Serpentor, who wants him to see how sssssnake-like he can be!
Serpentor: Arrogant Earth scum!
(He throws one of his snakes like a javelin again at Falcon, but Duke blocks him)
Duke: NO!! (And he's impaled through the chest)
NC: NO, DAMN IT! I told you this would happen!
Falcon: Duke? (pulls the snake out of Duke's chest)
Serpentor: ...but his sacrifice will be in vain! This I command!
NC (vo): They steal the B.E.T., and Duke uses his final words to say goodbye.
Duke: Promise me you'll try to...get your act together. Be a credit...to your country.
Falcon: I-I'll... I'll make you proud.
(The clip from Saving Private Ryan is shown)
Captain Miller (Tom Hanks): (says his dying words to James Ryan) Earn this.
Falcon: You'll see.
Duke: Yo... Joe...
(Duke closes his eyes)
NC: NO, JOE! NO!!! (starts sobbing) Oh, Duke... You will be missed...
Scarlett: (offscreen, speaking softly) He's gone into a coma.
(NC stops crying and looks around)
NC: Wait, what?
Scarlett: He's gone into a coma.
NC: (utterly confused) ...You're a doctor now? W-W-Would even a doctor know that?
NC (vo): I-Is that the science of snake...spears that stab you through the heart? Have you done a lot of research on this?
NC: Please tell me what level of "pissed-off" I'm supposed to be!
NC (vo, sighs): Actually, fun fact: Duke was supposed to die, but after the backlash of Optimus Prime getting killed in The Transformers Movie, they backed out and threw in the...totally nonsensical line about him (Duke) going into a coma! Notice how you didn't see anyone's lips move when that was said?
Scarlett: He's gone into a coma.
NC (vo): It makes no sense.
NC: But...Duke is still alive! Sucking out, like...90% of the emotion we're supposed to be feeling here!
Scarlett: (sniffles) Duke...
NC: (as Scarlett, crying) Duke... (stops) He's probably coming back. (resumes) Duke...
General Hawk: (with tears in his eyes) Yo, Joe.
NC: (as Hawk, salutes sadly) Yo, Joe... See you on next season. (salutes again) Yo, Joe...
NC (vo): Cobra plans to use the B.E.T. to launch pods that'll turn the world into reptile folk. But Joes seem to have located them.
Dial-Tone (Hank Garret): (at the computer) General Hawk, I've identified that energy source!
NC: Did he say "energy sauce"?
Dial-Tone: I've identified that energy source!
NC: (as Dial-Tone) It's right next to the energy mustard and the energy relish!
NC (vo): Meanwhile, Flint and Cobra Commander find the other Joes, and they try to help them stop Cobra's evil attack. Metroid and Nausicaa tourist traps try to stop them, but they approach the... (Falcon points at the vertical radiant containing the B.E.T.) You know what?
NC: It's the 80s. For all we know, this could have been the first portal in the sky.
(On his flight pod, Serpentor lifts Falcon from the ground and sends him falling)
Serpentor: Your brother fell before my wrath, and so shall you!
NC: (calling out) He's in a coma! I really think we should make that clear!
NC (vo): One of the Joes (Jinx) fights Pythona blindfolded...
NC: (confused) ...Because she'll make less Freakazoid jokes? (The Cobra Queen from the mentioned animated series is shown)
NC (vo): ...and, surprisingly, she ends up winning.
(Pythona dives to attack Jinx, but she dodges, and Pythona flies off a cliff)
NC (vo, as Pythona): Oh, my God, how embarrassiiiiinng!
(Golobulus knocks Falcon off his feet)
NC (vo, as Golobulus): Come on, Falcon, show me your moves! Oh, my God, that was totally unintentional. But seriously, though, you're going to die.
(Falcon struggles to take a small spire, but he succeeds and stabs Golobulus...and the scene cuts off to Falcon doing it from the distance. Golobulus is heard screaming)
NC: (as Golobulus, covers eyes) D'ah! How dare you G-rated me!... (normal) Even though...
(The scene of Serpentor's snake javelin stabbing Duke right in the heart is shown again)
NC (vo): ...somehow, this was okay.
NC: That was magic "going into coma" juice!
NC (vo): Falcon stops the B.E.T. and uses it to fry the pods, as well as Cobra's headquarters.
Doc (Buster Jones): (via the walkie-talkie) Great news! Duke's come out of his coma!
General Hawk: Men, Doc says Duke's gonna be A-OK!
Joes: Yo, Joe!
NC: And in other news: Poochie went back to his home planet! (The character Poochie from The Simpsons is shown)
(Falcon and Jinx watch at the starry sky at night)
Jinx: Look at the sky. The last of the mutation spores are burning up in orbit.
Falcon: Thanks, big brother.
NC (vo): Who was in a coma, is no longer in a coma, and has no spiritual connections whatsoever.
NC: (arms spread out, smiling) EPIC!!!
(The footage from the movie is shown once more as NC says his final thoughts on it)
NC (vo): And that was G.I. Joe: The Movie! It gives you exactly what G.I. Joe: The Movie would give: a ton of action, a ton of great animation, a ton of badass moments, and a buttload of corniness. It is so ridiculous and over-the-top, but that's part of the fun: how aggressively American can a cartoon be about the military, while also being for kids. It's great 80s cheese for any G.I. Joe fan. So, give it a watch and enjoy the real American hero.
NC: I'm the Nostalgia Critic, and (cries out while getting up and leaving...) Cob-La-La-La-La-La-La-La-La-La-La-La-La-La-La-La-La-La-La-La-La-La-La-La-La-LAH!
(The credits roll)
Channel Awesome tagline - Sgt. Slaughter: An itty-bitty ditty bag.