G.I. Joe the Movie was originally intended to be released theatrically. However, with Transformers The Movie and My Little Pony not succeeding at the box office, Hasbro and Marvel decided to cut their loses and release G.I. Joe the Movie as a video and also scrap several other movie projects. So it released direct to video in 1987.
The Joes are now undermanned, missing Roadblock's unit,
and having to guard both the BET & Serpentor. Still, Hawk
sends Flint, Lifeline, & Iceberg to find Roadblock, and
orders Beachhead to speed up the training of the Joes' new
recruits, the Rawhides. The five recruits, save the "Gold
Plated Goof-off," Lt. Falcon, are put to the test by
Beachhead. Despite their quarks, they all pass,
frustrating Beachhead. Meanwhile, Falcon is showing off the
base to a young lady. He's confronted by Duke, who sends
the girl away, confiscating her camera. Unfortunately, Duke
puts Falcon on guard duty.
Falcon's girlfriend, Heather, turns out to be Zarana, who
has recorded enough information from her 'tour' for Cobra
to attack the Joe base and try to free Serpentor.
While Golobulus attends to the trial of CC, the Joes are busy with the preliminary court martial hearing of Lt. Falcone.
General Hawk, Wild Bill, Adm. Ledger, & General Flagg, go over Falcon's military records. Before throwing the book at Falcon, Duke offers the fact that he is Falcon's half brother as reason to keep him in GI Joe. Falcon and Duke step outside the court, and Falcon is not thrilled with Duke's help.
Instead of being court-martialed, Falcon is sent to the Slaughter House, Sgt. Slaughter's training camp. Meanwhile, in Cobra La, Golobulus explains the history of Cobra La, an ancient civilization driven underground by modern man. CC was a scientist sent by Cobra La to destroy the human's civilization. Golobulus now has a new plan; to launch spores into the atmosphere. The spores would be activated by the BET and rain down on the human population, turning them into mindless snakes. The spores are then demonstrated on CC.
Falcon is dropped off over the Slaughter House, where he gets a not so warm welcome from the Renegades, Sarge's Perfect Soldiers, who aren't quite perfect yet. Falcon gets put in his place, and his training begins. Back at Cobra La, CC is taken to the prison where Roadblock's unit is being held. The Joes rush the door, and Roadblock, though blinded, escapes with the help of CC, as the strange creatures of Cobra La re-capture the rest of the Joes.
Duke sends Sarge, Falcon, & the Renegades to Cobra's Terror Drome to find more information about Roadblock's unit. Though they blow up the Terror Drome, they are not able to warn the Joes about Cobra La or stop the Cobra attack the BET.
Cobra launches a massive attack for the BET, and the Joes are overwhelmed by Cobra La's strange weapons. Huge snake like monsters appear, crushing the Joes vehicles, and allowing Cobra to steal the BET. Sarge, Falcon, & the Renegades arrive, in a last ditch counter strike, nearly stopping Serpentor, who goes after Falcon. Duke runs to save his brother, only to be struck through the heart by one of Serpentor's snake javelins.
Serpentor escapes with the BET, and the Joes gather around Duke, who appears to be dying. Scarlett's line "He's gone into a coma" is ADRed (aka Looped, aka recorded to picture after the orginal Dialogue record session) For more details about the writters orginal thoughts and ideas about GI Joe the Movie, see the interview page.
When Golobulus activates the BET and thus the spores, Dial Tone picks up the energy transmission from the Himalayans. Even though Falcon wants revenge on Cobra for injuring Duke, Beachhead advises Hawk it would be best to leave the Rawhides at the base to try to contact Flint. Meanwhile, Roadblock wanders across the frozen terrain with CC, now almost completely mutated into a snake, mumbling "I was once a man", until they run smack into Flint's unit. Before Roadblock can warn Hawk, the Joes have already begun their attack, and are captured by the strange trees of Cobra La.
The Rawhides fly to the Himalayans, joining Flint's unit for an attack on Cobra La. Tunnel Rat finds an underwater river, and they pull a sneak attack and free the rest of the Joes. The new recruits prove useful in stopping Cobra. Falcon goes one on one with Serpentor, and is nearly killed if not for the intervention of the completely mutated Cobra Commander. Falcon get a ride on Serpentor's flying chariot to the BET, being guarded by Golobulus himself.
Even though Falcon turns the BET off, the spores have already matured, and Golobulus leaves triumphantly. Falcon tries one last thing to save the world, put the BET on over load destroying the spores, and sacrificing himself. Slaughter and Jinx insist they won't leave without him, and rescue him. All of the Joes make it out of Cobra La before the BET explodes, but LJ is nearly trampled.
Doc radios Hawk that Duke was okay. (Note: this involves no lip-sync, so Doc and Hawk's lines were ADRed about Duke being alive. My only question is what were they cheering about in the original version when Duke was still gone.)
The movie ends with Falcon and Jinx looking over the smoking remains of Cobra La, watching the spores fall harmlessly down to ear, and Falcon thanks his big brother.