The sequel to G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, the elite team finds themselves framed as terrorists and assaulted by their own people, killing most of their numbers. Cobra has slipped moles into the United States government and are now in control from behind the scenes. With manpower and supplies limited, they have to strike back and undo what has happened.The film is clearly marketed to be a change of pace from Rise of Cobra, dealing with more close quarters fights and infiltration, less (though not no) extravagant technology and submarine battles.The trailer can be viewed here. Was originally slated for release in June 2012 in North America, the film was rescheduled and released on March 29, 2013 to add 3D and pad out Channing Tatum's role in response to his recentpopularity surge.
Artistic License - Military: The 'Nuclear Football' is not a high tech computer designed to let the president of the US essentially play Defcon with the nuclear arsenal. All that's in the briefcase are papers with nuclear deployment plans, classified launch sites, bunker locations, and authorization codes. The ACTUAL capability of launching a nuclear missile falls under the purview of the person directly in charge of the missiles themselves (ie submarine captains, base commanders, bomber captains) not the president. This probably works in a similar way for other countries. Which means nuclear strikes can't be ordered at the push of the button. Additionally, many countries, such as the United Kingdom, allow their nuclear submarine commanders independent command of their nuclear missiles, which means that in the event of a launch directed at their country, a captain would order a retaliatory launch and might not be in a position to receive a 'stand down' order.
As a secondary note. Every single country maintains a lot of redundant nuclear warheads which are perfectly usable, but not in immediate readiness status to be launched. Even if every country simultaneously launched every single warhead possible (which is completely unlikely, given that a lot of them would have platforms not in position to immediately launch) and then immediately killed their own warheads...they would still have nuclear armaments left over.
Even allowing that, it also ignores the U.S. and Russian nuclear bombers that couldn't possibly have launched their weapons at that point, as well as the Russian ballistic missile submarines that would not have been in launch position at the time. The British Navy likewise only keeps one of its Vanguard-class missile subs at sea at any one time, leaving 3/4ths of the British nuclear deterrent intact at the time of abortion. China doesn't even keep its nuclear arsenal in a launch-ready state at all. India can't even reach the United States.
Ascended Extra: Roadblock isn't exactly one of the leading members of the G.I. Joe team, but plays a big role in the movie.
As Himself: James Carville plays himself at a White House party.
Retired Badass: Joe Colton. The last scene of the initial trailer features Colton kicking ass by shooting at Cobra mooks with an assault rifle while in the bed of a fishtailing El Camino. Considering he's played by Bruce Willis, this comes at no surprise.
Black Dude Dies First: Reversed, unlike most action movie examples. Instead of Roadblock (the sidekick) getting killed off first, Duke (the heroic leader) dies first and Roadblock is the one determined to get revenge.
Breaking Out the Boss: Storm Shadow busts Cobra Commander out of Einsargen Prison at the start of the film.
Broad Strokes: It's a sequel that ditches as much from its predecessor as possible.
Snake Eyes, Storm Shadow and Jinx are easily able to mow through the other ninjas in the film en masse. The trope is played extremely straight with how every time some of the ninjas in red get killed, the rest seem to become more competent. By the end, the last one left is actually able to give Storm Shadow a pretty good fight one-on-one.
Roadblock drives a small scout tank and absolutely demolishes three fresh-off-the line advanced armored tanks without much difficulty.
Continuity Snarl: The opening narration has an image of Destro wearing a business suit and the signature metallic mask. This image of Destro was actually taken from the action figure card illustration and not from any scene in first film. In the original film he didn't assume his metal head appearance until minutes before he was captured. For most of the movie, he was just plain old James Mc Cullen played by Christopher Ecclestion without a mask.
Cool Bike: A motorcycle that splits apart and turns into explosive projectiles is used by Firefly to help break Cobra Commander out of prison.
Cool Mask: Cobra Commander's mask. Even elicits a reaction from President Zartan: "Cool mask."
Co-Dragons: Firefly and President Zartan to Cobra Commander.
Crazy-Prepared: General Coulton's house, which has armaments stored all over the place, ranging from handguns to assault rifles, to a grenade launcher and a light tank.
Snake-Eyes is American but is played by the Scottish Ray Park.
Lee Byung-Hun is a Korean actor playing the Japanese Storm Shadow.
Johnathon Pryce (Welsh) plays the American president as well as Zartan (an Australian) who was disguised as the president.
That said, the "real" Zartan was played by a South African actor.
French actress Elodie Yung plays the Japanese Jinx.
The Irish Ray Stevenson plays a Southern-American Firefly.
Fate Worse Than Death: The strange prison Cobra Commander and Destro are in. They don't qualify for the death penalty, but for some reason it's okay to put them in an And I Must Scream situation until presumably their natural life runs out. This includes trying to revive them if their heart stops.
Irony: During the end of the first film when Cobra Commander was captured, he proclaimed to Duke that it wasn't over between them. Duke responded that he'll be waiting for him. He then gets killed during the beginning of the second film without so much as a single confrontation with him.
Improbable Aiming Skills: Snake Eyes shoots every throwing star Storm Shadow hurls at him, from a rather short distance. And somehow doesn't hit the latter with stray bullets.
Storm Shadow, after aiding the Joes in foiling Cobra Commander's scheme and helping avenge his and Snake Eyes Master's murder, is allowed to walk away by Snake Eyes even though he murdered several Joes and innocent people in the first movie and the President of Pakistan (while disguised as Snake Eyes) in this one, not to mention breaking Cobra Commander out of prison.
Kill Sat: Cobra's Zeus satellites. giant tungsten rods dropped from orbit. They're a frighteningly accurate depiction of how such a weapons system would work in reality, which have been under development in real life for years before this movie, nicknamed The Rod From God.
Lock and Load Montage: The Joes (and Storm Shadow) go to General Joe Colton's house to arm themselves. We're greeted to a montage showcasing his over-the-top stockpile of weaponry concealed in his suburban kitchen.
Loophole Abuse: When Roadblock asks General Coulton if he would serve in the military again, the latter states that the DOD note Department Of Defense doesn't allow retirees to "un-retire". However, he states that they say nothing about re-enlisting, so he uses that to get back in.
A Million Is a Statistic: With London basically being blasted into the bottom of the ocean, millions of people had to have died. While people are terrified when they see the attack, it's soon forgotten once the Joes save the other cities.
Monumental Damage: One of Cobra's Zeus satellites turns the entire city of London into a crater, with Big Ben and the Eye/Millennium Wheel smack in the middle.
Mr. Exposition: The warden describing the prison to Snake Eyes, who is actually Storm Shadow in disguise. One of the things he mentions is a cooling tank which keeps the underground prison at a cool 68 degrees Fahrenheit (about 20 degrees Celsius). Without it, he says it would be about 250 degrees (121 Celsius), which is higher than the boiling point of water.
Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Though their way of doing it was a bit...unorthodox, and it was intended mainly to make it impossible for anyone to retaliate against them, Cobra didmanage to achieve the decades-long dream of universal nuclear disarmament—at least until everyone can build their arsenals back up again.
Not quite. Rogue warheads are likely still out there, specifically the ones the Joes retrieved at the beginning, and which were likely stolen by Cobra. Which is one real-life reason that major countries getting rid of their nukes doesn't get rid of the nuke problem.
More straight example in the fact that Cobra Commander helpfully installed a remote, working abort and self-destruct button on his Zeus weaponry, which Roadblock takes full advantage of at the end of the film.
And some much briefer but more explicit Ship Tease between Snake Eyes and Jinx.
No Name Given: The President. Even in the credits, he's simply listed as "President".
Not Quite Dead: Storm Shadow is seen clearly alive after a Disney Villain Death in the previous movie, although he now has a scar along his stomach. The scene where he slows his heart-rate may also count.
Outrun the Fireball: Storm Shadow, Firefly, and Cobra Commander do it when the prison explodes. Subverted, in that Storm Shadow fails to fully outrun it and is very badly burned on his back.
Artistic License - Physics: A tungsten rod traveling "eight times faster than a bullet" would not have more energy than a nuclear weapon. That is, unless we're talking about an extremely huge rod and tactical nukes.
Pineapple Surprise: In the final battle, Firefly pulls out one of his special bombs to use on Roadblock, only to find that Roadblock is holding the detonator. Boom!
Playing Sick: Storm Shadow lowers his heart rate to get the guards to open his tank. He then proceeds to use this opportunity to escape and free his leader.
President Evil: As shown in The Stinger for Rise of Cobra, Zartan is pretending to be the President of the USA. He even puts Cobra banners on the White House, since Cobra is now the "official" ruler of America.
Race Lift: Flint is played by Hispanic actor D.J. Cotrona. Meanwhile, Dwayne Johnson, a man of mixed heritage, plays an African American. Also, Elodie Yung plays a Japanese woman, although she is of mixed French and Cambodian heritage.
Real Life Writes the Plot: Retroactively applied; North Korea is depicted as one of the nuclear powers, complete with missile launch capability, and several jokes are made at the country's expense. The film was released as a real-life missile crisis was underway involving North Korea.
Recycled IN SPACE!: Compare and contrast G.I. Joe: Renegades, which featured Duke, Tunnel Rat, Snake Eyes, Roadblock and Scarlett trying to clear their names after being accused of a crime they didn't commit, fighting a guerrilla war against COBRA forces and the authorities.
Red Shirt: The ninja troops Snake Eyes and Jinx fight on the mountain cliffs are wearing red uniforms. True to this trope, many of them die by falling (having their grapple ropes cut, being pushed off by a small avalanche).
Refuge in Audacity: How do you push for full denuclearization? Launch all your missiles, get the other guys to launch theirs, then abort the launch to get the others to do the same. Bam! Nukes gone.
Schedule Slip: Of 9 months from June 2012 to March 2013, so the film could be converted to 3D & more scenes could be shot with Channing Tatum, after the main complaints from test screenings were that the film wasn't going to be in 3D and audiences weren't happy with how little time was spent on the development of the friendship between Duke and Roadblock before Duke's death. It was also announced a month before the films release, and roughly a week before the toys were due to be released.
Schizo Tech: Storm Shadow is healed by an old woman using what appears to be a combination of ancient Japanese medicinal secrets and a DNA reconstituting laser array.
Sequel Non-Entity: Ripcord, Scarlett, and General Hawk, three characters who were an integral part of the G.I. Joes in the first film, are nowhere to be seen in this film and we don't get an explanation as to why. Their absence becomes particularly noticable when it's stated that every Joe (except for Roadblock, Flint, Jaye and Snake Eyes) is supposed to have been killed in the Cobra attack. However, it's possible they retired and therefore were no longer targets, as was the case with Joe Colton.
Sequel Hook: Cobra Commander is still at large and there's a possibility that Destro, who was left in the Prison by Cobra Commander, may return as a threat in a possible sequel. Plus, Jinx is made a member of the Joes and there's the promise of Roadblock and Colton rebuilding the team.
Ship Tease: Flint and Lady Jaye, as a nod to their relationship in the comics and cartoon.
Shoot the Hostage: Done by Lady Jaye to save the President, who was held at gunpoint. He's a pretty good sport about it.
Shout-Out: Ever notice how there's no dialog whatsoever during the mountain battle? That's because it's a deliberate homage to Larry Hama's "silent" issues of G.I. Joe, which always featured ninjas.
Show Some Leg: Lady Jaye dresses in a skimpy jogging outfit to distract the White House Chief of Staff.
Shown Their Work: Storm Shadow's origin story follows his arc in the Marvel Comics very closely, especially his relationship with Snake Eyes, and the events surrounding the death of the clan's Hard Master.
Spanner in the Works: Storm Shadow teaming up with the remaining Joes to stop Cobra's plans. Had he not of done Enemy Mine, the Joes probably couldn't of launched their assault, since they needed him to get in close proximity of the briefcase.
Storming the Castle: Colton and Jaye attacking the Cobra-controlled Presidential retreat to save the real President.
Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome: Out of the five characters who returned for the sequel, Duke dies. Part of the reason for the delay was that test audiences weren't happy that there wasn't much development of the friendship between Duke and Roadblock before Duke's death early in the film.
Tailor-Made Prison: Cobra Commander and Destro are being kept floating in suspension tanks, pumped full of a drug that allows their eyes and their breathing to function, but nothing else.
Taking You with Me: After Cobra's prison breakout, the warden attempts to do this by shooting at the cooling tank. He doesn't manage it however, and on Storm Shadow suffers any serious injuries.
Tank Goodness: Roadblock drives a tank-like dune buggy built by Coulton to battle some Cobra tanks.
When the Joes are ambushed in the desert by Cobra helicopters, they blow stuff up pretty good. Then foot soldiers go around shooting any remaining survivors, and one of them even shoots into the well where some of the Joes took refuge. Thankfully he missed.
When Cobra does a test firing on London of their new Zeus weapon. It also showed the leaders of other nations what Cobra Commander was willing to do if anyone objected to his demands.
This is helped by the fact that publiclyG.I. Joedoesn't exist, and the facts behind the terrorist attack in the previous film aren't public information. The Joes were blamed for that, and briefly arrested. Additionally, Cobra Commander only referred to the group as COBRA in conversation with himself or his inner circle; the public face would have been M.A.R.S. Industries.
Interestingly, despite being a maniacal world-conqueror, Cobra Commander is apparently well-liked by his subordinates. When he returns to his headquarters after being broken out of super-high-security prison, several workers say things like "It's good to have you back, Boss!"
We All Live in America: Notice how all of the world leaders were wearing flag pins? That just doesn't happen outside of America. In most of the countries represented in that scene, wrapping yourself in the flag is a not-so-tacit signal that you're astoundingly xenophobic, racist, and/or nationalistic.
Would Not Shoot a Good Guy: Sidestepped. The film avoids the issue that loyal secret service and US military, not realizing that the president has been replaced, would continue to protect and serve as necessary and not all be Cobra infiltrators. Therefore during the final battle when the Joes are shown ruthlessly killing these men, the film avoids addressing whether this trope is actually being averted in some cases. The inclusion of the new "Cobra" military division and the Cobra Secret Service are presumably supposed to Hand Wave this fact.
If you look closely, most of the Secret Service killed are wearing Cobra lapel pins, indicating that they were Cobra. Also all of the soldiers killed at the end had Cobra patches on their uniforms. It is unlikely that Cobra Commander would have had anyone but his people there since he was getting ready to possibly start a nuclear war. You wouldn't want confused soldiers who might question the direction of things in the midst of that plan.
Xanatos Gambit: The US President well, Zartan disguised as him anyway does this with the other nuclear powers, casually launching the US nuclear arsenal and daring them to do the same. He then destroys the nukes mid-air to see if they'll do the same, or go down in history as the idiots who launched nuclear war. It was all part of Cobra Commander's plans to have them get rid of their nukes, so he could then threaten to use his Zeus weapon system to destroy countries not willing to submit to him, without the fallout issue nukes have.
You Are in Command Now: Happens to Roadblock after the Joes lose their leadership chain of command to Cobra's ambush.
You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: In a nonfatal example, Cobra Commander leaves Destro to rot in prison, telling him he's "out of the band". Then again, given the damage to the prison, it seems unlikely Destro lived much longer after that.
Except that he's a supervillain. Does anyone seriously believe Destro died while there's sequels to be made?
You Killed My Master: Storm Shadow finds out that Zartan, one of his fellow Cobra members, killed off his master, and framed him for it. He did it so that he could then mold and shape the former into a lethal killing machine for Cobra. Unfortunately, once Storm Shadow finds out the truth, he ends up killing Zartan for it.
You're Insane!: The real president to Zartan. That's after he used a combat knife to slash his face, only for the nanomachines to heal it up. And for added bonus, Zartan has a "Yes, I am insane" face afterwards, with him being a Smug Smiler to boot.
Same stated by the world leaders during the nuclear arms summit when he launched all U.S.'s nuclear missiles at the other countries and resulting in them firing their missiles as well.