G.I. Joe: The Movie (1987)

6.5 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 6/10
Visuals: 6/10

Darker than the TV series

Duke died...or should have

Movie Info

Movie Name:  G.I. Joe:  The Movie

Studio:  Hasbro/Marvel Productions

Genre(s):  Animated/Action/Adventure

Release Date(s):  April 20, 1987

MPAA Rating:  Not Rated


Hey guys…lets have a really intimidating “Cobra-la-la-la-la-la” to start out this raid!!!

Cobra is in turmoil after repeated loses to G.I. Joe.  When Cobra is contacted by Pythona, Cobra learns of the ancient civilization of Cobra-La has secretly been behind all their actions.  As the Joes prepare to reveal a world wide energy supplier called the Broadcast Energy Transmitter (aka the BET), Cobra-La has overtaken Cobra with plans of its own.  When Duke is taken out by Serpentor and the BET is stolen, Duke’s brother Falcon must rise above and lead G.I. Joe and Sergeant Slaughter’s Renegades to stop Cobra-La before they unleash their horror on the world.

Directed by Don Jurwich, G.I. Joe:  The Movie (known as Action Force:  The Movie in the UK) was released in 1987 near the end of the G.I. Joe TV series.  The movie was intended for theatrical release but ended up being released straight-to-video and then split up into five parts for syndication.


I have a poisonous snake coming out of my chest Hawk…but I’m good…

G.I. Joe:  The Movie was going to have a very different path.  It was planned for theatrical release before The Transformers:  The Movie but ran into production problems.  The Transformers:  The Movie was released (and faired poorly) and the same was true of the big screen version of My Little Pony:  The Movie.  The result was this film ended up being pulled from its planned theatrical release.  The other result was a major plot change.

It is obvious that the makers of G.I. Joe:  The Movie wanted the movie to be darker than the TV series it followed.  In The Transformers:  The Movie, Optimus Prime is killed…something that didn’t really sit well with parents.  The result is in this movie, Duke “slips into a coma”.  This was done so poorly because it is obvious from the animation that Duke is killed in his battle with Serpentor…instead the lame “he’s slipped into a coma” line is thrown out to keep parents happen (and Duke alive).  The movie was supposed to be darker.


Cobra Commander…do you want a body massage?

The story in G.I. Joe:  The Movie isn’t too bad with Cobra being lead by the pretty cool Golobulus, Pythona, and Nemesis Enforcer.  The idea of Cobra-La and the the plan to transform the world into serpents (just like Cobra Commander’s fate in the film) doesn’t seem to serve much purpose, but if you are a kid, it was pretty intense.  I still, however, cannot take the Cobra agents seriously when they scream “Cobra-la-la-la-la-la-la-la” at the top of their lungs as their battle cry.

G.I. Joe:  The Movie might be one of the best of the ’80s cartoon’s to make it to the big screen…yet it never did make it.  The “movie” was a big hit on VHS, and is definitely worth seeking out if you’ve never seen it and were a fan of the show.  It is G.I. Joe in all its ‘’80s geekiness, and maybe after their time together Roadblock could give Cobra Commander the body massage he’s been wanting to give.


Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

Leave A Response