G.I. Joe: Resolute DVD Review

Far superior to the deservedly maligned live action film, G.I Joe Resolute was originally a series of 11 short animated films shown on the net, before being shown in its entirety on TV. Now it’s available on DVD for those who didn’t see it on US or Canadian TV, or for those that did, because it is worth seeing more than once. Written with gusto by comics scribe Warren Ellis  (The Authority, Anna Mercury) and directed by Joaquim Dos Santos (Justice League Unimited), this is G.I. Joe as it should be. It respects the ‘80s cartoon series, but reinvents the franchise for a modern, tech savvy audience. Unlike the live action film, Resolute relishes in the military and technological aspects of the Hasbro property with greater realism, filling the screen with mature dialogue and dynamic action scenes.

Sabotaging the U.S.S Flagg, the Joe’s aircraft carrier base, Bazooka’s death, the destruction of Moscow and a 24 hour ultimatum to the U.N by Cobra Commander, and Snake Eyes infiltration within a Cobra base. That’s all in the first few minutes of Resolute. Old favourites such as Tunnel Rat, Roadblock and Flint appear, as does a new female Dial Tone, and of course, Duke, Scarlett, Destro and Baroness. Cameos by Ripcord, Zartan, Stalker, Wild Bill and a few unnamed others are present too, and though I had a heap of Joe toys in my youth I can’t recall all their names. More observant fans will notice more I’m sure.

Resolute never appears disjointed as a complete 1 hour film. In fact you’d never know it was originally a multi-part adventure. In the story, there’s also a look at the origins of the silent Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow and an awesome battle between them.  The bad guys are about good as shooting as Stormtroopers and the side missions such as Tunnel Rat’s destruction of Cobra’s satellites and Gung Ho and Roadblock’s battle with Destro and Baroness in Alaska to free a few hostages are all presented equally. No one character really steals the show, though Snake Eyes is cool as always.

The anime flavour and slight costume redesigns really work here and fans of the series need not be concerned. It’s in good hands.

The voice acting is great, the animation is fluid and the action is intense. There’s a final scene after the credits which hints at a possible resurrection of one of the characters who died. Hopefully that means more Resolute episodes on the way. There’s definitely a market for mature Gen X tailored entertainment treated with respect and maturity.

There’s a few extras on the DVD, including a 20 minute interview segment with executive producer Steve Drucker , lead art designer Dan Norton and director Dos Santos. Obviously Norton and Santos are long-time Joe fans. Norton mentions that his toy battles were intense, leading to the deaths of his Joes, complete with funerals. The trio answer a few fan questions and discuss the origin of the project as a desire to make something for the adult fans, and why Warren Ellis was “one of the wow names,” and his unfamiliarity to the Joe Universe, but familiarity with near future military tech helped the approach to the story.

The bonus called And Now You Know is a short action scene showing Snake Eyes dispatching some Cobra goons with ruthless efficiency, and a tongue in cheek nod to the old Public Service Announcements of the ‘80s cartoon series.

Rounding out the extras are a few storyboards and Joe Files offering short bios on Duke, Roadblock, Scarlett, Snake Eyes, Cobra Commander, Baroness, Storm Shadow and Destro.

Resolute is proof that good ideas don’t need to be stuck to the cobwebs of nostalgia, but can be given a new lease of life, pleasing the original fans while making a few more along the way.