Review: G.I Joe – Retaliation


I was never a fan of GI Joe when I was growing up (Transformers were my thing) and I can hardly remember much of the first film, but what I can gather are some huge glaring inconsistencies in an otherwise big, dumb, cliched action flick.

The sequel to GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra, shows the Joes being framed and left for dead by their own government when the President of the USA is replaced by a Cobra spy. In efforts to unmask the villain, The Rock teams up with John McClane and characters not seen in the first film, while fan favourite “Snake Eyes” does ninja stuff on the side. Cobra’s plan, to free the imprisoned super villains Cobra Commander and Destro, who has a plan to… you guessed it… take over the world.

Wow, there’s an interesting mixed sensation of desperation and damp squib about this movie. Okay, okay, its a big dumb action film and if that’s all you want that’s fine, but if there’s one thing I hate its inconsistencies. Another thing I hate is ineffective villains, especially when they are supposedly running the show (see Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen) this is rife in G.I. Joe 2.
I had some high hopes at first, okay so the acting is below par jargon spouting, the sets are quarries and warehouses, but it had potential. Nice political undertones, some loss and tragedy on our heroes, a cool redesign on Cobra Commander (the only character I picked up on in my childhood) but it all descends into a rampant action sequence that is not particularly glorious or over the top like the first film, nor gripping as our heroes never seem to be at risk.

We have characters emerge who we’ve never met yet have to relate to. Dwayne Johnson shows up and takes over (much like he did in the Fast’n’Furious films, what’s up with this guy?) and they toss Bruce Willis in for… well… being Bruce Willis. He does nothing to the film, apart from saying that he’s old… AGAIN.
Villains become good guys, characters in the first film vanish from sight and memory (I’m looking at you, Baroness) a huge reset button was hit between films, with only a strenuous link holding them together.

I haven’t even mentioned how every scene has glaring plot holes and stupid movie logic, ie: why would Cobra Commander have a giant “foil my evil plan” button on the master control for his entire operation? Why? Just in case he had a change of heart? There are dozens of problems.

Sure, the first film had those stupid tech armour suit things, and a ridiculous underwater battle, but at least I remember those (unfortunately I also remember Brendan Fraser…)

Ultimately, I feel there was a missed opportunity here. Which sounds silly as it is a film based off a toy line, but Dwayne Johnson fits this universe better than the Fast films, the visuals can be good, but it is so clustered and messy that it doesn’t have any stand out moments. A lacklustre action sequel clutching at straws


Additional Marshmallows: Not to mention delaying the film’s release by a year so you could shoehorn a 3D version in…

Additional Additional Marshmallows: Did you forget that Joseph Gordon Levitt was in the first GI Joe film… as the man who becomes Cobra Commander?? I know I did (no he isn’t in the sequel).

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