Average User Score: 5.3Apr 2, 2013This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. So, I went and saw G.I. Joe Retaliation last night. The cinema should've handed out free gravy, to go with this turkey. Don't get me wrong. I expected precious little from this movie, & was really in the mood for some brain softening violence, & pointless explosions. On that level, it delivered, but much like the first movie, it could've been so much better. Mentioning the preposterous nature of just about everything in the film is kind of a moot point, considering the fanciful nature of the cartoon it was inspired by. So, let's just break this thing down to its bones.
1. Intent. This film serves but one function: Selling a ton of toys for a zillion dollars. We can all thank Hasbro for that, & I don't fault them for it one bit. It's a very honest approach, but it tends to make this movie feel a bit soulless.
2. Channing Tatum. I never thought I'd say it, but the filmmakers killed off his character way too soon. There are reasons for this, but none of them are very good. He was the main character, & although they tried to give him a hero's death, & pass the torch to The Rock, his death creates a huge vacuum in the movie, since his is the most developed character in the whole picture.
3. The Rock. He actually did a decent job, considering what he was working with. Oddly enough, the scenes where he is not acting like a roided out WWE meets USMC hybrid reveal that he is capable of much more depth than this script allows.
4. Cobra Commander. Although no one seemed to have the budget for Joseph Gordon Levitt this time, aesthetic changes were made to his look. This was a positive change. He still sounds wrong. Part of what made Cobra Commander such an endearing character, on the cartoon, was not his seriousness. He was supervillain evil, but also petty, arrogant, whiny, spoiled, and blaming when the situation would eventually go sideways. In this movie, he leaves Destro IN THE FREEZER! Huh? What? You remember Destro? He's the guy supplying all the weapons to COBRA. wtf?
5. The ninjas. Retaliation seems like a patchwork of market research results from Comicon. You know...press the buzzer when you see something you like. Any woman made to watch this film was probably pressing the crud out of that button while Channing Tatum was still alive, while every male was pressing it during ninja fight scenes. Psst...we're also fond of bacon. It's so hot right now. So, absolutely no effort, at all, was put in to sharing with us how Stormshadow survived being ginsu'd up and tossed in to a fusion reactor. He was just back like nothing ever happened. Now, don't get it twisted. I like Byung-hun Le, and he looks really cool doing all this dope ninja stuff. Unfortunately, the writers of this thing really messed up the whole Stormshadow backstory, to the point that we're supposed to believe that Zartan duped him, and RZA's whole ninja order, into a life of evil. You can't even make up incoherent tripe like this.
6. Bruce Willis. I love him, but he really needs to choose better projects, or just call it a day. He comes off as broken in Retaliation, either by age induced apathy or the harsh toll of his Demi Moore court battles. He just seemed like he was there for a paycheck, which is truly a waste of his talents.
7. The female leads, while incredibly easy on the eyes, were totally forgettable. I'm not blaming the actresses for this one at all. Their performances strike at the very heart of an empty script. The only memorable thing about Jinx was her inability to remember if she was faking an Asian, Mexican, or English accent.
8. Jonathan Pryce. I will never understand how a quality actor, like Jon, got mixed up in this grab-bag. He's fantastic, & while this film is certainly nowhere near the quality of 'Brazil' or 'Tomorrow Never Dies', he still manages to squeeze some fun out of this schlock.
9. The plot. Now, I've already mentioned that picking apart a franchise like G.I. Joe for outlandish plots is a fool's errand, but this film had some plot holes so huge, Dora couldn't explore them. The G.I. Joe team used to consist of more than 5 people, even if you account for the troops slaughtered in the beginning. What happened to that big base, staffed with hundreds, in the Sahara? Dennis Quaid? Marlon Wayans? Baroness? wtf? After Cobra Commander leaves Destro on ice, he just waltzes in and assumes control of his whole company, & everyone is fine with it. Huh? Cobra can just launch 7 SDI satellites undetected without anyone noticing? Does anyone believe that a sword through the chest would do anything to a human infested with nanotech, other than cause some brief discomfort? How did the rec center computer screens change from some beat up CRTs to state of the art hacker powerhouse CPUs with flatscreens? Does anybody care that London was just obliterated? These are the sorts of novice problems that serve only to distract the audience, and foment massive amounts of confusion.
Please don't make a third.… Expand