80s kids will know the nostalgia of settling in for G.I. Joe cartoons. I’ll age myself and say it was my favorite cartoon growing up. Since the show first aired, there have been several movies, both animated and live-action.
Here’s how and where to watch the G.I. Joe movies in order.
G.I. Joe Animated Movies
Let’s knock out the animated movies first, as they are extensions of the cartoon tv show.
- G.I. Joe: Arise Serpentor, Arise (1986)
Originally a five-part story within the animated series, it was eventually packaged as a movie and sold via VHS. It told the story of a new enemy, Serpentor, who supplanted Cobra Commander. Clocking in at just over 22 minutes per episode, the total runtime is at 110 minutes.
Where to Stream: YouTube
2 . G.I. Joe: The Animated Movie (1987)
The first true feature-length movie was destined to be a theatrical release, but after Transformers bombed at the box office, the film was ripped from the schedule and released as direct-to-video. Unlike the five-part, the full-length movie has become a fan favorite and a cult classic over the years, with releases on DVD and streaming platforms such as Amazon VOD.
Where to Stream: Amazon, and if you’re good at searching, Youtube has several copies that can be found.
G.I. Joe Live Action Movies
After the success of the live-action Transformers franchise, it was only a matter of time before movie studios dug through the 80s archives to take advantage of 80s nostalgia. That came with three movies starting in 2009.
- G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra (2009)
Considering the cast, the movie was destined to be a financial success. It tells the story of Channing Tatum’s Duke and Marlon Wayans turn as Ripcord, who lost a weapons package and were saved by a secret outfit known as the Joes when Cobra attacked. The film continues with the two being recruited into the organization, and Cobra, with M.A.R.S.’s help, develops a weapon that can essentially dissolve whatever it hits and is programmable to attack infrastructure or enemy vehicles.
Critics savaged the film, but it was a hit worldwide, grossing over $300 million and spawning a sequel.
Cast: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Channing Tatum, Rachel Nichols, Sienna Miller, Marlon Wayans, Dennis Quaid
Runtime: 118 Minutes
Director: Stephen Sommers
Writers: Stuart Beattie, David Elliot, Paul Lovett
Where to Stream: VOD – Amazon & Apple TV
- G.I. Joe: Retaliation (2013)
A direct sequel to the Rise of Cobra, it follows some of the original cast as they look to secure nuclear warheads in Pakistan. Zartan, who is still impersonating the President, orders the Joes to be taken out, leaving us with our new leads in the film, Dwayne Johnson as Roadblock, sniper Flint, and Adrianne Palicki’s Lady Jaye. They return to the states to clear their name and eventually pair up with Bruce Willis playing General Joseph Colton. The redeeming part of the film is the action sequences, but as for the plot, it’s best to just think of it as a popcorn movie.
Cast: Bruce Willis, Channing Tatum, Dwayne Johnson, Ray Park, Adrianne Palicki
Runtime: 110 Minutes
Director: John M. Chu
Writers: Rhett Reese & Paul Wernick
Where to Stream: VOD – Amazon & Apple TV
- Snake Eyes (2021)
Dubbed a soft reboot of the franchise, Snake Eyes tells the origin story of the ninja assassin, Snake Eyes, who played a pivotal role in the first two live-action films. It diverges from the flashbacks we saw in the first two films, showing Snake Eyes working for the Yakuza after his father was murdered to seek revenge. He meets Tommy, a member of an ancient ninja clan, and works with him to pass the trials.
The film eventually introduces Scarlett, a member of the G.I. Joes who is working with the clan to recover weapons from Cobra. While Snake Eyes fails the test to join the clan initially due to hiding the secret that he wants to avenge his father. Eventually, he is judged pure of heart by refusing to kill his father’s killer, but Tommy is stripped of his birthright for using the clan’s sacred jewel and breaking his vow. This leads him to Cobra, where he takes on the moniker Storm Shadow.
Cast: Henry Golding, Andrew Koji, Ursula Corbero, Samara Weaving, Iko Uwais
Runtime: 121 Minutes
Director: Robert Schwentke
Writers: Evan Spiliotopolous, Joe Shrapnel, Anna Waterhouse
Where to Stream: HBO Max
Watch the G.I. Joe Movies Chronologically
- G.I. Joe: Arise Serprentor, Arise
- G.I. Joe: The Animated Movie
- G.I. Joe The Rise of Cobra
- G.I. Joe: Retaliation
- Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins
Will There Be Another G.I. Joe Movie?
With the Snake Eyes film being a financial failure, the talks of a follow-up film have died out. But, this is Hollywood. Studios love a good reboot, and it wouldn’t be shocking to see something get announced in the next few years, either through a major studio or via a streaming platform.
Image Credit: Paramount / GI Joe / Hasbro Entertainment