Picks and Pans Review: G.i. Joe: the Movie

updated 09/07/1987 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 09/07/1987 AT 01:00 AM EDT

All you kids out there who know your Joes will have no trouble telling Mom and Dad about Roadblock, Duke, Lady Jaye and the other heroes of the animated TV series. But what do you know from Don Johnson? Stubble, surly voice, no socks—pretty weird character, right? Sounds like he ought to be hanging around with those nasty COBRAs. As it happens, though, Johnson—yes, the Miami Vice Johnson—provides the voice for Falcon, a new Joe added for this feature-length, original videotape release. Animated adventure purists—both of you—may be disappointed that the plot lets in a lot of fantasy the series has avoided. COBRA Commander, the bad guys' leader, is superseded not only by super-villain Serpentor, but also by an accomplice named Pythona, a flying hulk named Nemesis Enforcer and the multilimbed Golobulus. It's no wonder the COBRAs have a tough time, what with deciding who's in charge. Still, the regular Joe writer, Ron Friedman, who injects more personality into the series than is typical for the genre, provides some unexpected turns. COBRA Commander gets turned into a real snake and slithers around moaning, "Once I was a man," sounding sort of like a Tennessee Williams character. Falcon turns out to be a dissolute ladies' man, though his idea of a hot date—a guided tour of a G.I. Joe base—seems a little slow. When Falcon is reprimanded by his half brother, the Joe leader Duke, Johnson gets to grumble. There are plenty of bloodless battle scenes and much ruthless villainy. Parents who don't veto such cartoons can rest assured that good triumphs and Falcon sees the light. (Celebrity, $79.95)—Ralph Novak (Thaddeus Novak, 7, comments: The suspense and action are pretty neat. And I kept wondering what the blazes was going to happen to Serpentor.)

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