September 17th, 2009


A ninja and a timberwolf walk into a bar...

Perhaps I was too hard on this summer's GI Joe movie. I'm rewatching the original cartoon series and it's just... gah. I feel so bad about it, because at the time it aired I deeply loved it.

Episode one: Cobra's plan is to set up a grid that will stop all electricity on the planet. This will, somehow, allow them to take over the world.

The plan: Attack the space shuttle. While the battle is going on, they use a pair of hands made out of beams of light to open a hatch on the shuttle to put a box in. Because I'm sure the space shuttle has tons of unlocked hatches.

This box is no small box! In it are four men, four personal vehicles, and a collection of monsters. Yes, monsters. Little creatures called "Fatal Fuzzies" that start out looking cute (one of the female Joes hugs one) and, when a whistle is blown, they transform into eight foot tall, fire breathing, English-speaking monsters able to use weapons (guns and whips). Okay, stop right here. So Cobra has the scientific know-how and power to do some serious genetic work... strong enough to make monsters that transform from two foot tall cute things to eight foot tall monsters at the sound of a whistle being blown. I'm sorry, but why aren't they ruling the world now? Why not just release a bunch of these monsters instead of attempting the illogical plan of blocking all electric power from working?

For lord knows what reason, Snakeyes the ninja has a timber wolf. It not only follows him like a dog, it can do any human task (climb a ladder, pump on one of those railway hand-pumping car things, and save a guy's life all in the first ep). In this first ep Snakeyes and Shipwreck are together, so we get to see a lot of the Timber the wolf and Polly the parrot. I swear to god, this parrot is smarter than the two men put together. Of course it talks like a person, and it, too, saves their life.

What does the parrot save them from? All Cobra workers (working on making the cubes needed to stop the electricity) have to go through a voice scanning thing to go to work. They have to say a long bit "Hail Cobra Commander! The great snake rules forever!" or something along those lines. It's not enough to just get the wording right, Shipwreck can't get the tones perfect, so two walls full of spikes and 10 saw blades through the floor come at them as he frantically retries the phrase. Finally Polly the parrot gets it right. Now think about that for a moment. You have thousands of Cobra workers -- probably the lowest ranking of them all, just physical labor people. People at my job, high tech and highly educated people, have trouble with a badge system to get in the doors. You're going to expect these little workers to not just remember a multi-sentence pass-phrase, but to get the tone exactly right? Why isn't the floor covered in blood where all the workers who failed the phrase got killed?

But that's hardly the worst of the painful logic bits. At one point a Cobra on the ground says something. A Joe flying in a fighter jet overhead hears him and responds... then swoops down and cuts the tank in half with the jet's wing. *pulls hair out*

Then there are the little things. Two Joes sneaking up on one Cobra guy, intending to shoot him. Right before they fire, they yell their battle cry "Yo Joe!", which of course gives the Cobra guy heads-up on the sneak attack... *facepalms*

There's an amusing bit where a captain won't let the female Joes onto his ship because women are bad luck at sea. (How well would that fly in a cartoon today? Ha ha.)

All this is in the very first ep. I'm not going to stop watching it, even though it's so very painful. Embarrassing, too. For the longest time, I thought this was the best thing to ever be shown on TV... (At least I was a young kid when I thought that! Gah!)