Film Reviews

G.I. JOE: RETALIATION

By • May 1st, 2013 •

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What does one expect of a film director whose resume consists of a Justin Bieber documentary and a couple of STEP UP dance films? Definitely not the turbo pounding action adventure of G.I. JOE: RETALIATION. For director Jon Chu, the choreographed battles, martial arts, hand to hand combat, and “aerial-batics” are more passionate forms of dance amplified by the integration of heavy artillery and weaponry yielding smashing results that elevate the previous G.I. JOE film and will no doubt enlist other Joes to a third installment.

The story centers around the Joes facing off against their nemesis Cobra as they must stop Zartan and company from ruling the world. Prior to seeing the film, armed with the knowledge that the screenwriters Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick were inundated with numerous alterations, casting and location changes, etc., the film seemed doomed to nothing more than a series of loosely connected big budgeted scenes. The writing team made it work favorably. Of note, Channing Tatum’s limited schedule gave rise to Dwayne Johnson’s Roadblock and Bruce Willis’ last minute addition honored him with the character of Joe Colton, the original G.I. Joe. This is a movie based on a comic book based on a toy. Anyone looking for Joseph L. Mankiewicz should take their haughty ass out of the theater and quit the criticizing.

Although there were a lot of characters and it became confusing for a bit as to who was who, the developed personalities helped elevate characters from the 2D comic world of caricatures. They were not paper cutouts with different physical attributes and cute one-liners. Jonathan Pryce’s portrayal of the U.S. President as captive and as the imposter had a broad range and delivered the goods. Walton Goggins as Warden Nigel James was entertaining and Byun-hun Lee as Storm Shadow displayed dynamic stealth.

The Good: A dazzling whirlwind sequence takes place on a mountain range that can be likened to a Frankenheimer action scene. This alone is worth going to see the film. Fans of extreme sports and James Bond will thoroughly enjoy it. The Bad: 3D. It was an executive decision to convert this film to 3D after it was shot. Why? The Ugly: RZA as the Blind Master. Awful. Was this performance under Jon Chu’s direction or did he intimidate the director and do as he pleased? If so, why didn’t Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson step in?

Producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura has brought other Hasbro toys to the screen such as TRANSFORMERS and the sunken BATTLESHIP. G.I JOE: RETALIATION may take the lead at the box office this weekend and make a huge profit while Hasbro will push its movie line of toy products on kids. This should green light productions on the much rumored Monopoly and Candyland.

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