Sunday, April 26, 2009

TV Review - G.I. Joe : Resolute

So, I’m checking Facebook, as I typically do a few times a day, and Brian (from Pendragon's Post) links to a video I hadn’t heard of called GI Joe : Resolute Part 1 of 10. I check out the 6 minute clip, and then watch it again, and again, and again, then I make my wife watch it, then I watch it yet again. This is not the GI Joe I remember! No, it most certainly is not...this is so much better.

The first clip of the series, which played in full over 90 minutes last night on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim block, begins with Major Sebastian Blood lying dead at the Lincoln Memorial. This scene is important because it sets a standard here…people can (and will) die in this version of the classic cartoon.

Those that remember the 80s toon might remember that no one ever really dies in those shows; there is a lot of punching and knocking out, but no killing. The episode then cuts to New York where Cobra Commander delivers a speech via Hologram Rocket (that’s right, I said Hologram Rocket) to the UN about how they should take Cobra more seriously and he wants control of the world in 24 hours. This is typically where the old cartoon would cut to a commercial advertising the GI Joe or Transformers toys so you could beg your Mom for whatever was being pimped that week, but not here. To show how serious he is, he unleashes a new weapon on Moscow right after the text on screen shows us there is a population of over 10 million people. Cobra Commander kills 10 million people in the first 5 minutes!!!!!!

The rest of the chapters are absolutely action packed and brutal. One thing that I enjoyed about the show was that there is little to no backstory to slow things down. We do get a fairly quick Snake Eyes / Storm Shadow flashback story but it does tie well into the overall story. This was made for the fans who watched it in the 80s and collected the personnel file cards on the back of the boxes, those that know all of the mythology and backstory already.

All of the favorite characters are there : Cobra Commander (whose voice has become much more menacing), Destro (sounding, like he should, like Sean Connery), Baronness, Duke, Snake Eyes, Storm Shadow...even Zartan. Written by comic book superstar Warren Ellis and directed by Justice League Animated veteran Joaquim Dos Santos, this was an extremely pleasant surprise and was immensely enjoyable. I’m hoping that they at least release this on BluRay, since Cartoon Network doesn’t offer an HD channel on my cable provider. This could also open the door for a regular, mature viewer oriented series on CN’s Adult Swim block, which I would definitely watch weekly.

Great job guys, this is what I always wanted to see from GI Joe. So, now you know that people love this...and knowing is half the battle!

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