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Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Movie Review - G. I. Joe: Retaliation

G.I. Joe: Retaliation  $$   


110 Minutes
Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Jonathan Pryce, Byung-hun Lee,  Adrianne Palicki, and D. J. Catrona.
Director: Jon M. Chu.

            The first G.I. Joe movie proved a bit of a contradiction for me. Normally, I resist films that present action scenes that are beyond the scope of human capability, but accepted all the ridiculous stunts because they felt natural for a story based on a cartoon about humanity’s top heroes. The point being, I enjoyed the first movie.
            Sitting through the first ten minutes of the sequel I thought I was going to repeat my experience of the earlier film. But I was wrong.  

            Zartan (Arnold Vosloo) in disguise as the President (Jonathan Pryce) frames the Joes and then orders them to be destroyed by his very own Cobra forces. This includes Duke (Channing Tatum), who makes a very quick and unfortunate exit from the film. Only Roadblock (Dwayne Johnson), Flint (D. J. Catrona), and Jaye (Adrianne Palicki) escape the massacre. When they look into why they were attacked they determine that the President must be an imposter and go about finding hard evidence to prove it.
            Meanwhile, in what feels like a totally different story, Snake Eyes (Ray Park) deals with his arch nemesis Storm Shadow (Byung-hun Lee). An interesting turn of events leads us back to the incident in which Storm Shadow became a villain. Snake Eyes, with the help of Jinx (Elodie Yung) must capture Storm Shadow and bring him back to the Blind Master.  

            I’m not a fan of this movie, or should I say movies. The story-line for Snake Eyes was much more interesting than the main plot, but it felt as if it should have been a separate film. In fact, had it been a separate film they would have been able to fully develop the story they were telling.
            As to the main plot, I felt cheated. There is some great chemistry between Dwayne Johnson and Channing Tatum at the beginning of the movie. Then they pull the plug on Tatum and toss in two new Joes. Maybe they thought that the two-for-one swap would add up to more, but in this case losing one good actor to two mediocre actors did not increase the entertainment value of the movie. Both the lines the actors were given and the way they delivered those lines left me quite bored. (At least it wasn’t painful to watch like Die Hard 5.)
            And my hero, veteran actor Bruce Willis, turned in a disappointing performance as well. It felt as if he were there collecting a paycheck. He is capable of doing so much better.
            On the positive side, Firefly (Ray Stevenson) put in a noteworthy performance as one of the villains. Unfortunately, I found him more interesting than any of the heroes. Also, most of the scenes with Snakes Eyes are pretty entertaining. And there are plenty of explosions and fights for action fans.
This film earned two movie bucks from me. Most of the acting is flat as is the majority of the dialogue. There is not enough story to drag it along. Kids will probably enjoy it. Even though a score of two movie bucks indicates watching it at a discount theater, I think my recommendation would be to wait for it to come out on video.


                        Randy’s Rating System 

$$$$   = Full Price    See this movie right away and pay full price, it’s worth it.
$$$     = Matinee      Catch this as a matinee or other discounted showing.
$$        = Discount     Wait until this movie reaches a discount theater near you.
$          = Rental         Wait until this movie reaches your local video rental outlet.
0          = No Sale       Don’t see this movie at any price.


  1. As a fan of the show and toys in the 80s I didn't really like the first one and I doubt I would like this any better since they pretty much kill everyone. It seems Bruce Willis has been doing a lot of paycheck movies lately (many of them straight-to-Redbox/Netflix). He must have some gambling debts or something. That or he just senses he'd better get some money before the well goes dry.

    1. I would definately call it a paycheck movie for Willis.