"G.I. Joe: Retaliation" (2013)
Directed by Jon M. Chu
Running Time 110 Minutes, Rated PG-13
1.5 Mitch’s out of 5
Not for one second did I care about anything or any character in this film.
You like stuff that blows up and people shooting bullets and throwing punches? This G.I. Joe sequel/reboot has plenty of that to spare, but be warned- what it also has to spare is the incomprehensible dizziness told through the voice of an 8 year old boy. I’m sorry, an 8 year old boy could have put together a more credible storyline and filled it with characters and dialogue that aren’t nearly as generic and cheesy as Step Up 3D and the Justin Bieber documentary director Jon M. Chu constructed with writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick.
I expected just as much. Last summer, Paramount pulled G.I. Joe Retaliation from the theatres just a month before it’s June ‘12 release. Paramount cited that the film was to go through a 3-D conversion and a Channing Tatum expansion. Now that screamed product weakness to me, but business wise it was probably brilliant getting that overseas 3-D money that they eat up, and this film likely would have been crushed in last year’s summer blockbuster fare. This Joe is just as dreadful as the original but it’s still gonna make that money.
So from what I could put together when the Pakistani president is assassinated, America’s fighting elite G.I. Joe’s are called on to retrieve their country’s missing nukes. Channing Tatum must have filled some contractual obligation to come back as Joe leader Duke and second in command is Roadblock played by the lovable, but poor script choosing, Dwayne Johnson. The two of them and the rest of Joe’s are double crossed and set up for treason when the evil Zartan- masquerading as the President of the United States (played by Jonathan Pryce) unleashes the even more evil organization known as Cobra’s on their patriotic butts. Almost all dead, the remaining Joe’s must save the world and they’re names at the same time- and if they have time maybe save all the other overused action plots that are recycled over and over and over.
For some reason Chu and screenwriters expect you to have an encyclopedic knowledge of everyone and everything that went down in the original. Characters are splashed on the screen and we’re expected to be able to pick up on their so-called drama from the first boondoggle. The side plot of the Cobra member and martial arts guru Storm Shadow (Lee Byung-hun) who frees his Cobra Commander from Hans Solo chamber, gets hurt in the process, takes time in the Himalayas to heal, and then decides to join the Joe’s is just as confusing to watch as this sentence is to read.
There are so many “what the what?!?!” moments whizzing at us like the automatic rifled bullets that I couldn’t help but give up on the film with the first 20 minutes. When our hero's are trying to figure out why and how they were betrayed by their government one of the surviving Joe’s Lady Jaye (Adrianne Palicki) notices within minutes of research that the president has been been making slight changes to his body language. So of all the countless possible explanations that there could have been to be deceived, her first guess was that the leader of the free world had a nefarious doppelganger- that’s one hell of a first guess.
There are too many of these mind numbing moments to count- Bruce Willis showing up halfway through to pick up a paycheck being one of them. I enjoyed Jonathan Pryce’s spirited performance and the ninja zip-line action sequence through the Himalayas was fun, but for the other 90% of the film I was planning my retaliation to the filmmakers for yet, another G.I. Joe debacle.
I was planning my retaliation to the filmmakers for yet, another “this” debacle.