“G.I. Joe is a highly trained, classified special operations unit composed of men and women from around the globe. Officially, these warriors don’t even exist. Few know the truth – that G.I. Joe fights a secret war, as the first and last line of defense against forces that seek to plunge our world into chaos. Wherever there’s trouble, G.I. Joe is there.
In ‘G.I. Joe: Resolute,’ the raging battle between G.I. Joe and Cobra Commander has never been more intense. Every life is at stake… and even the good guys can die.
All games end today… Now you know… and knowing is half the battle.”
“G.I. Joe: Resolute” is not rated.
Originally aired on Adult Swim as a series of 5 to 6 minutes individual episodes, they’re spliced together here to form a 58 minute movie. It takes many of the familiar elements of G.I. Joe like the trademark character looks, the cool vehicles, and the elaborate Cobra and Joe bases. It then departs from the original cartoon in a number of good ways. The animation now has more of an anime look. This brings dramatic camera angles, elaborately painted backgrounds, and fast paced action shots. Speaking of action, it is no longer bloodless. When Snake Eyes attacks someone with his sword, we see them cut down dead. While the blood isn’t gratuitous, there is blood. And the characters no longer fire red and blue lasers. They all fire real guns with real bullets and they have to dodge gunfire while reloading their ammo. It’s about time! After all, the toys carried real guns and ammo, didn’t they? They weren’t for decoration. The film also takes the dramatic step of killing off two major characters within the first four minutes. There’s one from the Cobra side and one from the Joe side. That immediately tells you the stakes have been raised and any of your beloved characters could be in jeopardy next. That certainly makes the story more interesting.
The story is written by comic author Warren Ellis. As you can see above, he does a good job building on the strengths of the Joe Universe while downplaying the weaknesses. The story features 3 main parts – Snake Eyes facing off against Storm Shadow, Duke and Scarlet raiding a Cobra base in Russia, and the remaining Joes raiding yet another base in North America. While Cobra offers a global threat in this story, the Joes are definitely American heroes out to save the world. I thought that was an interesting departure from the international, PC version in the live action film. I also found it amusing that the Cobra base was hidden under a Wal-Mart-like store. Ironic considering Wal-Mart probably sells more Hasbro toys than anyone else in the world. It’s also worth noting that only four actors did all the voices in the movie. I was quite impressed.
The only down side to the film is that it does feel like several short episodes spliced together. It doesn’t have the continuous narrative feel of a movie script. Also, the action scenes are the most interesting part of the story. As soon as it switches to exposition or dialogue between the characters, it gets a bit dull.
“G.I. Joe: Resolute” is aimed at older audiences, but the only thing that makes it “adult” is a little blood and some mild profanities. While the blood made the action more realistic, I don’t think the mild profanities made the film any better or worse. They were irrelevant. I think focusing on the quality of story, animation, and action were the best thing they could have done to make it appealing to older audiences, and they did that.
If you’re a fan of G.I. Joe or you just love action animation, this is a required addition to your DVD collection.
As for the bonus features, there’s a short 2 minute film called “Now You Know” showing Snake Eyes dispatching a group of Cobra commandos. The other feature is an interview with the producer, director, and art director. What makes this interesting is the host asks them questions sent in by fans online. They delve into actual questions about why they killed the characters they did, how they adapted the series, and more. It’s a lot more relevant than many behind the scenes featurettes you see on DVDs.