Movie Review: G.I. Joe: Retaliation

G.I. Joe: Retaliation is the sequel to the 2009 film, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra. In this new installation, the Joes, which include Duke (Channing Tatum), Roadblock (Dwayne Johnson), Flint (D.J. Cotrona) and Lady Jaye (Adrianne Palicki), are framed for stealing nuclear warheads from Pakistan by U.S. President impersonator Zartan of the terrorist organization of Cobra. After a brutal attack by Cobra, almost every Joe is eliminated, leaving only three alive. Together, the remaining Joes must bring the disguised Zartan to justice and destroy the newly built army led by Cobra Commander.

Overall, I thought this film did not live up to my positive expectations. As the reviews entailed, it was definitely bigger and badder than the first film, but probably not at all better. First of all, the plot was pretty dead from the beginning, killing off almost every Joe we knew and sort of loved. The film starts off well enough with an action-packed raid on the Pakistan nuclear supply, but then takes a wrong turn by killing off Duke (Spoiler!) and the rest of the Joes. Now, of who's left, we have Roadblock, played by the massive beast of Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, who is a promising character with a good back story, but leaves open a nice friendship between him and Duke. Then, we have newcomers Lady Jaye and Flint, who show some chemistry, but don't really keep our attention. These three Joe newbies head out with a limited supply of weaponry and tech towards a raging war involving a master of disguise, an orbital nuclear satellite, and also a couple of mountain-scaling ninjas.

Now, before you go yelling at the people who made this near-train wreak, let me tell you about some of the good things that came out of this film. For one, they had the decency to fix Cobra Commander and how he looked. Can someone tell me who's idea it was to put the character in that weird-looking gas mask? The clean silver face plate was a good sign that they didn't completely ruin the character. The next positive, and I can only describe this in two words, was the man that saved this film from its close downfall: Bruce Willis. Willis, who played Joe Colton aka the original "G.I. Joe", saved the show with his usual calm and cool lines and also his machine gun-wielding action scenes. Willis acted as a good enough replacement for the late Duke, leading the team into battle. And the final good notes in the film were the katina-weilding ninjas, Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow, who once again faced off and then joined forces to stop Cobra's team. These two have always been my favorite characters, with their slick martial arts and sword fighting abilities. Now, new ninja Jinx, joins in the fight as her and Snake Eyes battle swinging foes on a snowy cliff side in Japan. Being a overly action-packed film, this scene gave the audience a break from the guns and explosions, and let you enjoy some ninjas slicing at each other. Sounds fun, right?

In the end, Retaliation was a good sequel to its easily-forgotten predecessor, with its possibly overly dramatic action scenes (First the Eiffel Tower, now all of London?), its good character development (killing the franchise's best character and changing a villain completely), and its rightly-chosen "G.I Joe" Colton.

I gave this film a 7 out of 10 because it had a dead plot, almost none of the old characters, and maybe too much action for one to handle. However, the characters they did leave weren't horrible and showed the audience that the Joes could make a comeback worthy of the 3rd Dimension on the big screen.                      

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