‘G.I. Joe: Resolute’ – The Best G.I. Joe movie you’ll see in 2009?

So there I was last Friday laying on the couch, looking for something to entertain me.  I was scrolling through the on-screen guide and whenI hit the Cartoon Network I saw something called G.I. Joe: Resolute was going to start in two minutes.  I saw that it was 90 minutes, but other than that had no idea what it was.  I assumed it was one of those cheapo (and terrible) follow-up G.I. Joe cartoons that were always popping up.  I put it on anyway, figuring that it was as good of a choice as any to have on while I scrolled through the guide.

And then it started.

About two minutes in, I put the remote down and didn’t pick it up again until the movie was over.

What the hell was I watching?  I found out during the second commercial break when, after turning my laptop on during the first commercial break and waiting for it to finally boot-up, I did some quick research.  G.I. Joe: Resolute is an original G.I. Joe animated movie, commissioned by Hasbro and written by Warren Ellis as a fresh, PG-13 take on the classic characters.

And it was great!

I had somehow stumbled backwards into perhaps the greatest 90 minutes of G.I. Joe I’ve ever witnessed.  What we have here is a serious, modern take on G.I. Joe that still manages to hold on to the charms of the original cartoon.  It’s very much like the current G.I. Joe books coming out of IDW.  The tones are very similar, as are some of the concepts (i.e. Dial Tone now being female).  Bullets replace lasers, it’s really quite bloody, and people, big name people, die.  And yet, most of the characters are running around in costumes very similar to those from the original cartoons.  It’s an amazingly well-executed melting pot of the original Hama comics, the original cartoons, the new comics and Warren Ellis.

Not so much a reboot or a reimagining, but more of a modernization, G.I. Joe: Resolute is a movie that can be watched and enjoyed by anyone, from people completely unfamiliar with anything G.I. Joe related, to those steeped in all things Joe.  The latter will enjoy the little nods to the original cartoon. For instance, even though everyone in the movie shoots real guns that shoot bullets, the muzzle flashes are red for the Joes and blue for Cobra, just like the old cartoon laser colors.  There’s also a sly reference that sort of keeps the old cartoon/comics in continuity, if not literally than at least in spirit.

Oh, and did I forget to mention the completely badass Snake-Eyes and Storm Shadow fight?

If you’re a G.I. Joe lover like me, or if you are reading the current IDW books, you absolutely need to watch this movie.  If you’re a fan of more adult-oriented animation you should do yourself a solid and check it out as well.

And rest easy that even in a more serious and modern world, Cobra troops still can’t shoot worth a damn.

Part I:

Part II:

These are just the first two parts.  You can easily find the remaining parts online, but I would recommend trying to catch the whole thing on television, if you can.

The live action movie can’t hope to be this good. It’s possible it’s screwed.


  1. Yeah I had heard about the webisodes and just don’t like sitting in front of my computer, so I was so happy to see it shown on cartoon network. The fact that they put it on late night so they wouldn’t have to edit anything out was great to. I would love a regular series like this.

  2. Holy crap!




  3. Have this on my DVR – plan on watching it to-niiight. 

  4. Great stuff! GI Joe can be really entertaining when done well. No way the live action movie will be anywhere near this good.

  5. This was definitely a upgrade from the past GI Joe cartoons, but there was only one slight glitch. Comcast turned on the Cartoon Network HD channel just three days after this was shown. I’m hoping that I catch the repeat on HD and see if it looks any better. What happened to Sgt Slaughter? His death scene could have been epic!

  6. Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    I LOVE that there are extended sequences of near silence in this. Smart stuff.  

  7. Oh!

    I didn’t know it was gonna be on TV. The prospect of watching the little nuggets in the window there didn’t excite me, but a full length, full screen experience is a horse of a different color.

    Mind you, I don’t see it on the schedule any time in the next week or so, but I’ll be keeping an eye out now. Good looking out!

  8. Sick!

    I see Bazooka. He looks glorious!

  9. Its amazing that it hasn’t dawned on anyone until 2009 to do an adult themed G.I. Joe! I mean all the themes of the old kids cartoon are basically adult themes toned down for children (evil terrorists, killer ninjas, paramilitary themed characters and all sorts of weapons!). It was very refreshing to finally see this, as well as it was awesome to FINALLY see Roadblock mow down a bunch of those Cobra bastards with his machine gun!!!

  10. I really hope this was something of an extended pilot and not just a one off.  It’s everything one could hope for in a modernization of a childhood favorite.

  11. I totally recommend watching a repeat on CN HD instead of trying to find it on internets. Looks much betters!

  12. This is the single greatest G.I. Joe related product ever produced.  My wife (who knows nothing about G.I. Joe and laughed at me for recording it) sat entralled after walking in on the Snake Eyes jungle throwdown shown in the second video provided above.  I thought the stuff with Tunnel Rat near the end was a bit goofy, but its goofiness was overshadowed by the awesomeness of the rest of the movie.

    I agree that the live action movie was rendered irrelevant as soon as this aired.  I may go see it, but only if the ifancrew gives it a decent review.

    Between this and the decent to very good G.I. Joe comics that are coming out is making this an exciting year to be a Joe fan.  If only IDW could consistently ship their books nationwide.

  13. …..It was okay….

  14. It was pretty great but admittedly all the Cobra troops do suffer from Star Wars Storm Trooper syndrome and can’t shoot anything nearby.  The main story was very cool and the Snake Eyes fight was classic.  Good stuff and I agree that the CN HD version made it very enjoyable.

  15. I loved it. The animation was spectacular. The characters were pitch perfect. Cobra was a proper badass. And most importantly, we learned (again) that a Joe never leaves a man behind.

  16. Found this by accident on the Cartoon Network and it is great.  One of the best GI Joe stories ever.  Even made Cobra Commander kinda scary.

  17. See I told you these were great

  18. I watched them as they were coming out on I loved it. If only they made the live action movie like that.

  19. I want a show of this.  This was so spectacular.

  20. The live action movie is totally screwed. It was pretty screwed from the get go.

    This was one of the best GI: Joe related things I’ve ever witnessed.

  21. Crap, I havta find a place to download this, so I can watch it on the T.V.

  22. this was really good. one thing that bothered me was the voice acting. I come at this as more of an Ellis fan than a Joe fan, and a big recent Ellis hallmark is hiding big emotions behind terse, ultra-logical, ultra-scientific dialogue. i think it would have benefitted a lot from less over-the-top voice acting.

  23. also good spoiler filled statement by ellis on aintitcool: http://www.aintitcool.com/node/40881.

    favorite bit: bejing no, moscow ok. guess somebody knows where their toys are getting manufactured.

  24. Even with your rave review did I expect it to be that good.  Just watched it online on adultswim.com and they streamline it all together so you don’t have to keep selecting the next chapter.  It would be nice to have the dvd of this and for this become a new show or at least a few more movies.  Word kept coming to mind while I watched it was "finally".  They got it all right and things we have all wanted to see.  Love that Cobra Commander was awesome and loved that he acknowledged why he was a wuss in the cartoon.

  25. I watched it and then immediately called my brother to tell him as well.  It was awesome.  I’d love to see more.


    Anyone know if more episodes are in the works? I’d hope so with three comics and a movie coming out.

  26. As a hardcore Marvel Joe fan, and this being and "adult" version of the cartoon, I thought it was pretty okay. 

  27. @John42: I linked that statement from Warren Ellis in the article itself.

  28. I’m so glad this was mentioned. I was a huge GI Joe fan as a kid, I littered my house in action figures every weekend. Though I was not too excited when I saw the footage from the live action movie, but I LOVED THIS! When i caught this last weekend I wasn’t expecting to be wowed but it was great. Oh and the Storm Shadow vs. Snake Eyes fight was one of the best animated fight scenes I have seen. GI Joe: Resolute recaptured my interest in GI Joe. I might have to try out the new comic books.

  29. Damn, that was badass.  I’ll have to track the rest of them down, since as far as I know, they haven’t aired on our Cartoon Network up here (and they definitely don’t have an HD channel).  I’d pick up that on DVD.

  30. Ellis claimed somewhere this was a sequel to the Hama comics. It was WICKED SWEET!

  31. http://www.warrenellis.com/?p=6147 – This is a post Warren Ellis made about how the story came about. Also Conor was lucky finding the full 90 mintues of it…I had to wait every day for my next 10 minute fix.

  32. @Heavyj: Yep, it’s the same post that’s linked in the article and above again by John42. 🙂

  33. stupid ecomnomy, I’m so broke I can’t even pay attention….


  35. @Parker: Yup. Watched it, same place @ same time, just when you did. I went to sleep thinkin’ "I need to learn that 7 touch technique".

  36. @ conor– Thanks a lot for posting this, I really enjoyed it!

  37. Conor,thanx for postings this. I discovered it a week before it came on tv at the adultswim website. Gotta say it toom me back and made me realize why GI Joe is so awesome. I was glad to catch it online(the finale 20 minutes u had to watch on tv)


    By the way did anybody catch when Cobra Commander told everyone he acted stupid to get them to get up and act like a real group. And that he gutted Baron Blood in front of them. Then 20 minutes later when he is confronted by the Joes he acted like his old self. Priceless. I loved it.