G.I. Joe: Retaliation (2013)

2 Overall Score
Dialogue: 1/10
Action: 3/10
Directing: 2/10

It ends.

The dialogue, the action, you name it.

G.I. Joe: Retaliation

Dir: Jon M. Chu

Dwayne Johnson, Jonathan Pryce, Byung-hun Lee, Bruce Willis, RZA


Really… why?  Whose decision was it to take my childhood memories of blue and red lasers, followed by an informative PSA, and turn it into this horrid (at best mediocre) film franchise.  At least in this sequel some of the original cast had the common sense to not return.  Helmed by Jon M. Chu (Step Up: Revolution 2012, Justin Bieber: Never Say Never 2011), G.I. Joe: Retaliation proves that nostalgia and explosions are simply not enough to carry a film.

The story begins with a recap of what happened in the previous film, and the events that occur before the start of this one, with Cobra Commander (Luke Bracey) and Destro having been captured by the Joes.  From here the film opens on a covert mission lead by Duke (Channing Tatum) and Roadblock (Johnson).  After a successful field op the Joes await extraction in the middle of the desert, where they are inevitably attacked and left for dead.  Roadblock and two other are the only survivors.  They set out to avenge the deaths of their fallen brothers.  Meanwhile on the other side of the world Snake Eyes (Ray Park) is out in search of Storm Shadow (Lee) and fighting a great deal of ninjas.  Oh, and the RZA plays his Blind Master.  The rest of the film is part spy movie/kung-fu movie/action movie.

There was very little good about this movie.  The action was stale and lacking the excitement that it should have had, and the acting was campy in parts and serious in others.  The film seemed reluctant to accept and embrace the silliness of the cartoon it was based off, making the many moments in the film intolerable.  I don’t know how these actors managed to get through most of this dialogue.  To put it simply, I cringed any time the characters mentioned each other by name.  How could you possibly take anyone that calls himself Cobra Commander seriously?

The only interesting moments in the film were between Roadblock and Duke (Channing Tatum).  The filmmakers clearly tried to create a believable relationship between the two, and the humor in these scenes pay off at times.  Particularly in one where Duke and Roadblock are playing a Call of Duty type first person shooter.  The banter in the scene is definitely throwaway humor, but at least they attempted to change the usual pace of these types of films.  Unfortunately they quickly dispensed with these attempts of bonding and went back to formulaic action movie shenanigans.

To put it plainly, this is a terrible sequel to an equally terrible picture that of course will breed a third installment in the near future.  Check out the directors IMDB and you will see the horror for yourself, as well as plans for another feature based on an 80’s cartoon.  Hollywood seriously needs to stop messing with my childhood memories.  Do yourself a favor and skip this one.



Dan Folgar
Author: Dan Folgar View all posts by
Dan Folgar received a degree in Cinema Studies from the University of Central Florida in 2008, and is currently working on an MFA in Fine Arts. He is an avid film watcher and an enthusiast who is prone to ranting. Follow on twitter @grim842.

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