G.I. Joe’s movies are a perfect combination of action, adventure, and heroism all combined in one. Based on Hasbro’s G.I. Joe toy, comic, and media franchises, these movies became an instant hit since the release of the first installment back in 2009. In this article, we’ll see how many G.I. Joe movies are there and properly order them.
How many G.I. Joe movies are there?
There are currently three G.I. Joe movies. The first film, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra was released in 2009, and the second G.I. Joe: Retaliation in 2013, four years after the first one. This franchise follows a group of G.I. Joe agents, highly skilled and elite special force members whose job is to keep the world safe from various threats like terrorists, etc.
In the first two movies, G.I. Joe’s main enemy is Destro, an arms dealer and the owner of one of the main global weapons manufacturing companies, and Cobra Commander, a mad scientist whose main goal is to possess total control around the globe. There is also a G.I. Joe spin-off movie called Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins centered around the character of Snake Eyes.
G.I. Joe movies in order – at a glance
When the first G.I. Joe movie was released in 2009, it became an instant hit among the fans of G.I. Joe characters, but other movie lovers also enjoyed this action and adventure-packed movie. By the end of the movie, it was clear that everything is set up for a sequel and it was only a matter of time before that will happen.
Four years later, the sequel hit theaters and continued the story from the first movie. The storyline was well-rounded and some questions that remained in the open after the first movie were resolved in the second one. Several years later, the G.I. Joe spin-off movie called Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins was released as an attempt to reboot the franchise. These are G.I. Joe movies in order of their release:
- G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra
- G.I. Joe: Retaliation
- Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins
In the first movie, Destro is planning to arm the nanomite warheads and unleash them upon the world’s major cities in order to demonstrate his power. G.I. Joe must do anything in their power to prevent Destro from unleashing the destructive power of warheads and nanomites upon the world.
In the second installment of the franchise, Cobra Commander is at the peak of his power and G.I. Joe forces must stop him and Zartan from destroying the world with the new destructive weapon they have in their repertoire.
In the third movie, Snake Eyes is introduced with his own origin storyline.
What is the best way to watch G.I. Joe movies?
G.I. Joe movies are best enjoyed by watching them in order of release, in my experience. This means starting with the first movie, then watching the second movie, and then eventually the third, spin-off movie. By watching the movies in this order, you’ll be able to connect more with the characters and the storyline of the first two movies which is advisable, and the third movie can be watched as a stand-alone.
By watching it this way, you’ll be able to appreciate the events from the second movie more because in the first movie there is some character development going on, and Cobra Commander is gradually getting his plans in motion in the first movie. In the first movie, we also get to see most of the villains and their roles in this franchise, so the events in the second movie will make more sense if you watch the first movie before the second one.
As for G.I. Joe characters, most of the characters are changed in the second movie, but connections with the first movie exist, especially in the first part of the second movie where we get to see Duke who was one of the main characters in G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, so that is also well connected. If you watch the second movie before the first one, you will be able to understand the plot of the second movie rather well, but you’ll appreciate Duke’s character far more if you watch the first movie first.
Eventually, the spin-off movie, Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins can be watched at the end. Snake Eyes is in all three movies, and we get to see some other characters in this movie in their early days, but in this one there are new actors portraying them and the whole atmosphere of the movie is different than in the first one. These actors will probably continue carrying rebooted G.I. Joe franchise in the future so, it is best to watch this movie at the end.
G.I. Joe movies in order by release date
G.I. Joe movies are released as followed:
1. G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra ( 2009 )
This synopsis might contain spoilers if you hadn’t already seen the movie. James McCullen, a.k.a. Destro has developed very destructive warheads with the help of his mad scientist who used nanotechnology in their development.
When there is an attempt of stealing the warheads, G.I. Joe intervenes and secures the warheads only to learn later on that Destro was the one who wanted to steal them in order to use NATO’s funds in building them and keep them for himself eventually. G.I. Joe must do anything in their power to prevent Destro from unleashing the destructive power of warheads and nanomites upon the world.
2. G.I. Joe: Retaliation ( 2013 )
This synopsis might contain spoilers if you hadn’t already seen the movie. In the second installment, the mad scientist from the first movie, now known as Cobra Commander is set to continue with his plan to rule the world and destroy everything in the process if necessary.
The remains of the G.I. Joe forces must find the culprit guilty for the destruction of their team and prevent Cobra Commander and Zartan from destroying the world with the new destructive weapon they have in their repertoire.
3. Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins ( 2021 )
The movie is set as the origin story of Snake Eyes. After living his life as a loner, Henry Golding is accepted in an ancient Japanese clan where he is taught and trained as a ninja warrior. There he meets Tommy Arashikage who will later become known as Storm Shadow.
Snake Eyes’s past comes knocking and he must decide what kind of person he’ll be, whether to let his past get a hold of him or to embrace new ways taught in the temple.
Where to watch G.I. Joe movies?
You can watch all three movies on Amazon Prime Video. Other streaming platforms like Netflix are currently not available for streaming these movies.
Do you need to watch G.I. Joe movies in order?
You can watch each of these G.I. Joe movies as a stand-alone movie and you will surely be entertained, in my experience. But, in order to get the full experience of these movies, it is advisable that you watch them by their release date. That way, you’re really able to connect with the storyline and character development will make more sense.
Are G.I. Joe movies connected?
The first two movies are connected as the storyline from the first movie is continued in the second one. Some of the G.I. Joe characters are different in these movies, but the villains remain the same, and their plan on ruling the world doesn’t change in these two movies, so it is fair to say that the first two movies are well connected.
The third movie is a spin-off and a reboot attempt, so the storyline is not connected with the first two movies, but we get to see some familiar characters as in the first two movies such as Snake Eyes, Storm Shadow, and Baroness.
Will there be more G.I. Joe movies?
There is no confirmed information about this at the moment, only speculations. Paramount and Hasbro have been developing the sequel to the first two G.I. Joe movies called G.I. Joe: Ever Vigilant which should have been released in 2020, but they eventually decided to go with the Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins instead. Speculations are that there will be a sequel to Snake Eyes’s storyline, but nothing is officially confirmed at the moment.