* AlternateCharacterInterpretation:
** Was [[spoiler:Rex's mutiny against [=McCullen=]]] simply the seizing of an opportunity, or had it been part of the plan all along? [[spoiler:Rex already had a special nanomite solution prepared for [=McCullen=], as well as his own sub already branded with the Cobra insignia.]] It's worth noting that, in [[Film/GIJoeRetaliation the sequel]], [[spoiler:both Zartan and Storm Shadow, who were previously loyal to [=McCullen=], serve Cobra Commander without explanation, and nobody seems to have a problem when Cobra Commander abandons Destro, implying that Rex had quietly secured the allegiance of [=McCullen=]'s lieutenants, and had been planning to hijack his TakeOverTheWorld plan all along.]]
** When Zartan destroys the mind control chip during his surgery, [=McCullen=] looks concerned for a moment, while the Doctor doesn't even blink. Was this just Zartan being GenreSavvy and the Doctor not caring, or a sign that [[spoiler:Zartan is already loyal to the future Cobra Commander]]? Either way, [[spoiler:guess who's Cobra Commander's [[TheDragon Dragon]] in the sequel.]]
* ClicheStorm: The film is chock-full of every action movie cliche most people have ever seen. If you want an explanation, look no further than Christopher Orr's review of the movie, in which he decides to just let it speak for itself by providing 40 of the lines that sum up the plot and all of the typical one-liners and plot points it has. It's really a shame though, considering it had some great actors who did the best they could with the material they were given. Then again, for fans of the movie, this could be exactly what they liked about it.
* CompleteMonster:
** [[FromNobodyToNightmare Once a U.S. soldier]], Rex Lewis was apparently killed in a failed mission, but had survived, secretly joining [[CorruptCorporateExecutive James McCullen's]] MARS Industries to research advanced nanotechnology, adopting the alias "[[MadScientist The Doctor]]". Testing the mind-control application of this technology on his sister, Ana, the Doctor brainwashed her into aiding in his and [=McCullen's=] crimes for the next four years. Under [=McCullen=], the Doctor developed the Neo-Vipers, brainwashed super-soldiers meant to do his bidding, and whom he [[BodyHorror horrifyingly]] killed if they were captured. After aiding [=McCullen's=] plan to wipe out four heavily populated cities, the Doctor used Ana as a hostage to cover his escape from the G.I. Joes, attempting to kill the Joes and his own allies alike as he fled. [[TheStarscream Betraying McCullen]] and taking control of MARS (which he refashioned as Cobra), the Doctor forced him into servitude, dubbing [=McCullen=] "Destro" and taking the identity of [[BigBad Cobra Commander]] for himself.
** Helping to steal [[WeaponOfMassDestruction nanite warheads]] for MARS Industries, [[MasterOfDisguise Zartan]] takes great pleasure in murdering any G.I. Joes who get in his way, notably [[ImpaledWithExtremePrejudice stabbing Cover Girl through the back]] and taunting [[NobleDemon Storm Shadow]] for his [[WouldntHitAGirl refusal to kill women]]. Escaping from the Joes' headquarters, Zartan murders an innocent traveller for a disguise. At the end of the film, Zartan captures and [[PresidentEvil impersonates]] the President of the United States.
* DracoInLeatherPants: Storm Shadow is ''very'' popular. Doesn't hurt that he's hot and can kick your ass from here to next Tuesday.
* EvilIsSexy: [[SpyCatsuit Baroness]].
* FashionVictimVillain: [[spoiler:Cobra Commander. After switching to the metal full-head helmet, suddenly his skinniness becomes more apparent and he looks like a bobblehead or lollipop.]] One of the few cases where ShouldersOfDoom might help.
* HamAndCheese
** Christopher Eccleston as Destro.
** And Joseph Gordon-Levitt as [[spoiler:Cobra Commander]]. Both of them know exactly what kind of movie they're in, and that makes their scenes together the most interesting.
* HarsherInHindsight: The attacks and destruction in Paris after the real-life terrorist attacks on Paris in 2015 makes watching the ''entire'' movie ''far'' less enjoyable.
* HilariousInHindsight:
** Creator/ChristopherEccleston's character designed the bunker under the White House. Did you know that as [[Series/DoctorWho The Doctor]] he operated the bunker-like office in 10 Downing Street (the Prime Minister's place)?
** Snake Eyes is a ninja trained in martial arts. Young Snake Eyes was played by Leo Howard. Leo Howard and martial arts? [[Series/KickinIt That sounds familiar...]]
* {{HSQ}}: Snake-Eyes is so awesome that Storm Shadow has developed an innate "Snake-Eyes just did something awesome" sense.
* MagnificentBastard: The Doctor [[spoiler:AKA Rex, AKA Cobra Commander.]]
** Arguable since the Doctor is such complete sleeze that he lacks the flair of a typical Magnificent Bastard. Destro is much closer to the traditional view of the trope, pulling off his schemes with all the flourish of a Bond villain.
* MoralEventHorizon: The Doctor crosses it when it's revealed that [[spoiler:he brainwashed his own sister (who, it should be mentioned, is in mourning because he allowed her to think that he was dead), and is ready to kill her to save himself and spite Duke]]. While he was already a sadistic MadScientist helping in a plot for world domination, this revelation puts him over the line from bad to pure evil.
* {{Narm}}: [[spoiler:Cobra Commander]] does a grand entrance... and is caught and put to jail few seconds later.
* NarmCharm:
** Most, if not all of the dialogue from the Doctor ([[IThoughtItMeant no, not]] [[Creator/ChristopherEccleston that one]]) is incredibly hammy, but Creator/JosephGordonLevitt makes every single bit of it work. The crowning moment has to be when he [[spoiler:declares himself Cobra Commander]]. Could have been ''very'' ridiculous (especially with [[FashionVictimVillain that look]]), but it manages to be a SugarWiki/MomentOfAwesome.
---> '''The Doctor''': The time has come for [[spoiler:the Cobra to rise up and reveal himself]]. You will call me... [[spoiler:'''Commander''']]!
** The entire movie is blocked with cliché's, and is burdened with a fairly thin plot and an overabundance of special effects, but despite or even because of that, it's extremely entertaining.
* OlderThanTheyThink: The movie pulls ideas from several different toy lines, comic books, and animated series. Many of the details that fans complain about the movie "changing" are taken right from the source material ... just not an iteration of the source material the complainer is familiar with (e.g., you don't have to like the powered suits, but if you know the ''GIJoeSigmaSix'' line, you know the movie didn't make them up).
** Likewise "International Heroes" was part of the ''Action Force'' theme, and even briefly adopted in the [=DiC=] series. GI Joe also worked for the UsefulNotes/UnitedNations in ''Sigma Six''.
* OneSceneWonder:
** [[Film/TheMummy1999 Kevin J. O'Connor]] as Dr. Mindbender in [[spoiler:Rex]][=/=]The Doctor's FlashBack.
** Creator/BrendanFraser as Sergeant Stone.
* TheProblemWithLicensedGames: The game wasn't well received.
* RelationshipWritingFumble: Yeah, Storm Shadow, you're killing the Baroness' husband on "Destro's orders." Sure...
** Doesn't help that they come off of as more of a BattleCouple than Scarlett and Snake-Eyes, the ORIGINAL pair of leading lady and badass ninja.
** The novelization seems to add considerable mutual witty banter and, yes, flirtation and, it also offers HoYay for Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow, who seem to be matching OfficialCouple (sort-of) Duke and Ana/The Baroness flashback for flashback, meaningful look for meaningful look. (Bizarrely carries over to the ''Ninja Showdown'' kid's book.) Oddly out-of-place due to the gist of their past relationship being "We really, ''really'' don't like each other."
* RetroactiveRecognition: What the HELL happened to [[{{Film/Inception}} Arthur]]?!
** Wait, Snake Eyes used to be [[Series/KickinIt Jack Brewer]]?
* RomanticPlotTumor: The Baroness and Duke is pretty central to the storyline, even if it feels unnecessary to the mythos. G.I. Joe, after all, has no small shortage of improbable relationships across every canon. Ripcord and Scarlet, however, seems to have drawn almost universal scorn.
* RootingForTheEmpire: Part [[DracoInLeatherPants Baroness in Tight Asshugging Leather Pants]], part dislike of the comparatively flat characters of the Joes, and part [[HamAndCheese wonderful performances]] from Creator/ChristopherEccleston and Creator/JosephGordonLevitt.
* SnarkBait: Many of the film's cliches, but when the movie opens with "[[Series/MysteryScienceTheater3000 In the not too distant future...]]", you get an inkling about what you're in for.
%%* SoBadItsGood
* SpecialEffectsFailure: While a majority of the special visual effects were well done, a CGI cobra at the beginning of the film sticks out like a sore thumb.
** Rex's "Cobra Commander" helmet. Whoever was in charge of costuming either had no idea what the Commander looked like besides "shiny helmet", or tried to somehow combine Rex's look before he revealed his true colors with the look commonly associated with CC. [[http://thesecondtake.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/Cobra-Commander-Rise-of-Cobra.jpg The result]] was...interesting.
* WTHCastingAgency: You'd never imagine Marlon Wayans and specially Joseph Gordon-Levitt in this movie. Surprisingly, Joseph Gordon-Levitt really pulls it off, and Marlon Wayans... [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin is, well, Marlon Wayans]], although even he tones down his fundamental Marlon Wayans-ness a bit.
** Channing Tatum as the leader of the Joes? Seriously?
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