Quite frankly, I’m surprised that they actually made a sequel to the abysmal first G.I.Joe movie. But here it is! In G.I. Joe: Retaliation, the very existence of the G.I. Joes is at stake, when a covert plot by the evil COBRA decimates the entire squadron except for a few survivors led by Roadblock, played by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. The existing Joes band together with the help of General Joe Colton (Bruce Willis) to amass a counterstrike and save the world against COBRA. Will the G.I Joes prove to be real American heroes? And is this flick worth your dollars? Read on!
The Good: This time, director Jon M. Chu (Justin Bieber: Never Say Never, Step Up 3D) sticks more closely to the original franchise’s source material instead of the futuristic tech-laden direction that the first film took. And for the most part it works. The epic, high-flying ninjas on the mountain battle scene is eye-popping. This film also boasts some notable cast members, such as stage and screen star Jonathan Pryce (Evita, Miss Saigon on Broadway), as the President, Arnold Vosloo (The Mummy, Blood Diamond) as villainous master of disguise Zartan, and rapper RZA as the Blind Master. Last but not least, Channing Tatum returns as Duke, the leader of the G.I. Joes.
The Gay: Johnson’s bulging biceps and amazing chest, newcomer D.J. Cotrona’s dreamy chiseled features as the handsome hunk Flint, and Storm Shadow’s (Byung-hun Lee) glistening abs all equal a big wowza! Throw in some Tatum and Willis and Voila! Beefcake smorgasbord. Plus, Joseph Mazzello (yes, the boy from Jurassic Park is all grown up) as Mouse is totally adorkable. Super cute! (I’m such a sucker for those cute, boy-next-door types. Too bad we don’t see him too long).
Oh yeah, and Adrianne Palicki (Legion) as Jaye was channeling Jessica Rabbit in that ravishing red dress. So glamorous!
The Bad: The plot is paper thin, and the narrative is unneccesarily convoluted at times. Do we really need the whole ninja subplot? Don’t try to make us use our brains just for the sake of trying to be an intelligent and witty movie. That’s just confusing. Just blow shizz up already!
Most of the screentime is spent on Johnson cavorting with a bunch of newcomers, which means fans of Tatum will be disappointed because he’s hardly around to give us his magic. Even Willis is barely in the movie! I wonder what their hourly rates are? Hmm.
The Fugly: Uh, the plot? I dunno, but sometimes this movie came off as slightly racist. I’m surprised, seeing that this movie is directed by an Asian-American director. The shame!
Go for Joe, or run for cover? Overall, this popcorn flick does what it’s supposed to. You want explosions? High-flying battle scenes? You got it! People who aren’t fans of the franchise or action films in general should stay away. If you do go to see it, apart from a few pieces of shrapnel and slain ninjas flying at you, you could do without seeing it in 3D. But, Scouts honor, this movie is rental fodder. And now you know, and knowing is half the battle!
The Grade: C+