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What-if Fridays: Christopher Nolan Directed G.I. Joe



G.I. Joe is the epitome of Summer movie madness complete with explosions and big budget CGI. But what if a director liked Nolan wrote and directed a G.I. Joe movie? Most likely it would look like this.


G.I. Joe: Insurgency (Written and Directed by Christopher Nolan)

We open to Cobra Commander, the leader of the largest sleeper terrorist group on American soil. In a hidden bunker, Cobra Commander is on his death bed with his closest confidant: Baroness.


Cobra Commander: "I am dying, but the name of Cobra Commander must live on. I will need a successor to the throne."


Baroness: "I would be honored to carry the name of Cobra."


Cobra Commander: "Not you, Baroness. It will be Destro. Only he has the focus and leadership that Cobra is looking for."


Baroness, devastated by the rejection, smothers Cobra Commander with a pillow. She calls in Destro to announce that the commander's last request was for her to pick up the mantle. Destro at first, congratulates her, but later he finds out that Baroness killed him and lied. A civil war breaks out between the Cobra cell.


Baroness, fearing that her throne would be challenged, decides to rush a military campaign that would solidify Cobra's power forever. Cobra's highest ambition was to decimate Malaysia and claim it as a Cobra nation, locking them in as a geopolitical power. She assembles her armies.


Meanwhile, the Joes are on a stealth op in Afghanistan. Cobra has been supplying arms and weapons to the local militia to weaken the nation. The Joes need to find out who the main supplier is and expose Cobra red handed. Fortunately, the Joes have a mole inside the local militia: Tunnel Rat. Tunnel Rat gets outed as a mole and now the Joes have to extract him. Duke, Scarlett, Barricade, Snake Eyes, and Torpedo run the op. They manage to get deep within the terrorist compound before the bullets start flying. Tunnel Rat is found tied to a chair with explosions on his chest. His last words are:


Tunnel Rat: "Operation Cobra Nation is coming. Stop it at all costs."


Baroness starts her invasion of Malaysia, bombing the government buildings and executing its leaders. The country was under corruption and oppression before so the Malaysian citizens welcome their new invaders. She sets up talks with the UN demanding that they respect the sovereignty of the new nation.


Destro is now a fugitive from Cobra. He meets with a retired Cobra Officer, Zartan. Zartan says that Cobra has a secret installation of nukes that only two people know about. If he were to take control of them he would force Baroness from her throne. Destro gives Zartan a chest full of Cobra gold coins, but gives him one more task.


At Tunnel Rat's funeral, Duke meets up with a new recruit who was Tunnel Rat's brother, Ratchet. He begs to be put on the team to stop Baroness, saying that he even has a strategic map of an island they can reclaim. Duke welcomes him aboard. With his team assembled: Duke, Barricade, Scarlett, Snake Eyes, and Ratchet must infiltrate the new nation of Cobra and dethrone Baroness.


When they arrive at the cover of night to the island, the Joes are able to knock out a communications array. By seizing the small island they are hoping to put pressure on the Baroness and get her to negotiate.


All goes to heck when Baroness introduces the team to Storm Shadow, the secret weapon of the Cobra. Storm Shadow, brother of Snake Eyes, single handedly blindsides the team and captures them, but not before seriously wounding Snake Eyes and leaving him for dead.


Duke: Snake Eyes is dead.

Scarlett: If he is still alive, then I pity his brother. That man will move Heaven and Hell to get his revenge.


Destro uncovers the secret artillery base. He finds that these state of the art bombs can be flown in on jets and decimate strategic areas. They can't be stopped by anti bombing measures. He decides to do a test run.


The Joes are being tortured by Dr. Mind Bender. Duke is a bloody pulp. He can hear Scarlett's screams in the next room. Suddenly, Destro's bombs go off and the underground prison is in a panic. The Joe's meet up and escape.


Baroness contacts Destro who demands that she hand over the Cobra Nation to him or he will blow it up. Both stubbornly tell the other where they can stick it. Destro sends his whole entire fleet of bombs to enact punishment.


The Joes call in support from the military. their primary mission is to infiltrate the governor's mansion where Baroness is held up. Between them in the mansion is a whole army of Cobra. A skirmish of gun fire and explosions open up. The Joes are pinned down, but they are able to strategically cut through. Reinforcements come: Ripcord, Torpedo, Flint, Freefall, etc. They are the Calvary coming by land, sea, and air.


Duke gets in the mansion where Shadow Storm is their to welcome them. Snake Eyes comes in and makes himself known. Both brothers take off their stealth suits and begin to spar. Shadow Storm tries to reason with his brother.


Shadow Storm: You were the one who destroyed our family. We were destined for greatness in the hands of Cobra. I would be the successor when Baroness and Destro kill each other.


Snake Eyes wins the fight, but surprisingly takes the Cobra emblem and pins it to his suit. He is defecting to Cobra to reunite with his brother.


Finally, The Joe's confront Baroness and arrest her. Then Ratchet removes his disguise to reveal that he was Zartan the whole time. His plan was to lead the Joes to dethrone Baroness. Zartan tells Destro that he no longer needs to bomb the nation. He hits the off-switch on the kill order console. He shoots Baroness and Duke. Baroness, before she dies, grabs the switch that gives the order and turns it back on and smashes the console.


Baroness: If I will not be Cobra Commander, neither will you.


The planes are coming to bomb the nation out of existence. Central intelligence in America is refusing to give aid because the bombing of Cobra Nation would actually stop the threat. The Joes are collateral damage. Duke commands his team to hijack four Cobra jets and stop the bomb carriers at all costs. It's an intense dog fight. Missiles will not stop these carriers so the Joes have to hang glide into the carriers and hijack them by force. The final carrier is dispatched when Scarlett sacrifices herself by crashing her jet into the carrier and killing its crew.


Destro goes into hiding when the UN puts a manhunt on him. Snake Eyes and Shadow Storm find him and Zartan and execute them in cold blood. The brothers are the new leaders of Cobra Command and they will run things very differently. The UN accepts the shadow brothers as leaders of Cobra Nation, but they will keep an eye on them.


Duke is at Scarlett's funeral.


Duke: A Joe doesn't retire. A Joe gives their life.


Behind him is the entire G.I. Joe regiment to support him.



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