G.I. Joe Resolute. This juncture of course is usually when the wheels come off. But not this time. I post my review right after the premiere airing of it on Adult Swim. There will be no moves And this is how I review to counter my review. I will be the first of course to beat everyone else to theirs‘. There will be no mistakes. THIS WILL BE DECISIVE REVIEW OF THIS CARTOON!
Right near the end of the summer last year we where greeted with a preview of what this one shot movie, G.I. Joe Resolute would be about. This wouldn't be just a re-imagining of the original series. There would be no lasers. There would be actual wounds. And of course, there will be blood. But for every new area covered in this series, there would be nods to the past of both comics and the first cartoon made by Sunbow. And thus is what G.I. Joe Resolute is.
For fans of the cartoon, comics, or both; this would be a visual feast upon the eyes combining both elements. The story, as written by comic guru Warren Ellis is pretty much the standard G.I. Joe plot; however with a more harden edge to it. Cobra isn't messing around in this movie, as they lay waste to a major city with only a single demand. That all world powers surrender to them in twenty-four hours. Of course, there's only one team to counter this, G.I. Joe. However before word hits them their command center, the USS Flagg is bombed by Cobra. Thus is the story for this animated movie that first debuted on the web in eleven parts before debuting on Adult Swim.
Given that, this is Warren Ellis and to my words previous paragraph, things do happen in this movie. Major characters perish at the drop of a hat, adding to the fact that no one is safe. So when our heroes are being outflanked and under fire the feeling that one of them might not make it out begins to creep into any fans' mind. To a degree this is the ultimate showdown between the two forces with both laying every card on the table to win. That said however, to me it does fall short just a little bit. Cobra essentially feels a little smaller here than it does in the cartoons and comics. Maybe it's due to only having one version of a trooper shown (Cobra Trooper) and thus they do suffer from Storm Trooper syndrome, given for all their training and firepower a platoon of troopers cannot stop two dual gun-wielding opponents. Not to mention much like the weakness of the original Clone Wars, this series suffers from a less than five-minute run time with each part. Scenes are lessened to a fever pitch and something you could have expected be drawn out for thirty-minutes some time ago isn't here. Quite simply put, there's too much going on when we're with Duke and Scarlet or with Roadblock, Gung-Ho, Beachhead, and Stalker.
But enough harping on the petty complaints, there is much good to be had here. The animation is four-star quality, something that is sorely lacking in current American Cartoons nowadays. If this is an animation-tie in to hype the live action movie, consider itself successful. The action scenes in Resolute are epic. From the simplistic gunfights Duke and Scarlet have with some Cobra Troopers to the confrontation between Snake-Eyes and his arch-enemy Storm Shadow. Every bit of action is of perfection and fans of G.I. Joe will be talking of some of the insane fighting that happens in Resolute.
As for Cobra's plot to take over the world. It's quite well thought out I must say. Everything is explained in extreme detail via the Joes trying to uncover how their foe can have a weapon that does so much damage and how they're so focused. As for how the Joes learn this, there is no deus ex machina to simply give them all this information. They find out all of this the hard way through the determination of beating the clock. So to that degree, Warren Ellis succeeds in explaining just how in the heck one side can do this, while the other finds out how.
Then, there are the characters. Unlike Sigma Six, Resolute is littered with characters from both sides. Fans of this series will literally be saying, "Hey it's ____!" and be gitty at their character getting their due (well except one character in the opening thirty seconds of Resolute who meets a very grisly end). Thus, when certain characters meet certain characters you know a good fight scene will be had. But again, with so little time there's just not much to savor a favorite character on the side of Cobra (unless it's Cobra Commander, Storm Shadow, and Zartan to a degree). Everyone else on the bad guy side really act as nothing more than the last stage to getting a task accomplished. And other members of Cobra appear but once and are never seen again. But again a minor nitpick.
Voice acting wise I must say I'm quite shocked that only four actors handled the variety of roles on Resolute. Three of them, are quite well known actors (Steve Blum, Grey Delisle, and Charlie Adler). The later two do quite well harboring their voices amongst the many characters they voice (of course Grey is used to this given she also voiced most of the female characters in the first Clone Wars as well).
Charlie Adler does a spectacular job giving the right degree of menace and charisma that goes with this Cobra Commander (as an added treat he also pulls a Chris Latta, voicing Gungho in this as well. Plus he pulls the hat trick by VAing Starscream in the live action Transformers movies). As for the Commander and Adler's portrayal of him. This Cobra Commander is no coward and allowing others to think for him. He completely rules his organization with an iron fist with no comments to the otherwise. Every action Cobra take's is by his word and mind alone. Of course we never see him with any other operative of the higher archery with him alas, but given what he does in this series will no doubt shock or please some fans with his attitude only a writer like Warren Ellis could provide. Though I know some will see a very Davros-like (Doctor Who villain) to his voice it didn't bother me. The voice fit the character perfectly.
Steve Blum on the other hand is a little disappointing. Most of the characters he voices sound the same, thus ruin the moment for a little bit (Grey does this once as well alas with Scarlet and Dial-Tone). But she corrects her mistake giving Scarlet a more distinct tone later on. Not to mention she make's up with her total unique voice for the Baroness, who I didn't even realize it was actually Grey's voice until reading the credits. Very nicely done indeed on her part. Blum on the other hand, well it's a little disappointing. I know the actor can do more distinct voices (as he did in the first season of Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex or in Spectacular Spider-Man), but here he seems to be phoning it in. Most of the characters he voices all have that Spike Spiegel tone (save for his voice of Doc and Ripcord, but that's not saying much given how not vocal either are).
Still do these negatives outweigh the positives? No, they do not. Will a fan who hasn't a clue of G.I. Joe enjoy this? Well Ellis does fill in the gaps and tighten the plot as best he can. New viewers shouldn't have much questions given they will be answered. As always when watching G.I. Joe or any action movie one must simply turn off the mind and enjoy the ride. I have to say the ride Resolute put me through was very thrilling and worthy of my time. The animation, plot, music, Easter eggs for fans, action, and characters all deliver one ultimate G.I. Joe adventure.
4.0 out of 5