Bullet Points: G.I. Joe: Retaliation
When they started casting the 2009 G.I. Joe film I questioned falling on my sword. Between the Wayans guy and Channing Tatum, it was easy to see that my lifetime of loyalty towards the G.I. Joe universe was going to be tested. I mean, Channing Tatum, that guy is the absolute worst. Except for maybe Mark Wahlberg.
The Gist: After the Joe team was successful in stopping the Cobra Commander and his minions from destroying the planet, they find themselves face-to-face with the evil Zartan, who has used his abilities to turn the world against the Joes and make Cobra THE world power. The few remaining Joes must band together with the man who started it all in order to stop the newly freed Cobra Commander and Zartan from once again destroying everything we know.
The Cast: This film is all about Dwayne Johnson. They call him “franchise Viagra” because he gives guys boners or something but they should call him “franchise steroids” cause he makes these movies all meaty and veiny; but not in a boner way. His work in every single series in the past 10 years has shown that his time as a pro wrestler has made him the perfect man to take up the mantle of the great comedic action star Bruce Willis. Bruce always had that smart ass way about him and Johnson is absolutely great with that gimmick. This also just so happens to be my least hated Channing Tatum performance. Is it because he is only in the film for 30 minutes or is it because he dies in it? Probably both. Add in the super sexy Adrianne Palicki and I’m all in.
Yeah, they still have the stupid “muscle armor”, but it’s still better than the power suits.
The Villain: Cobra is the ultimate terrorist organization. They suck so bad at doing everything and constantly fail at every opportunity. They may elicit terror, which is why they are considered a terrorist organization but this movie succeeds in making the Cobra Commander not sissy Joseph Gordon-Levitt and someone else entirely. I wasn’t thrilled with the Storm Shadow swerve but it gives Arnold Vosloo a bigger role and I am all for that.
It was nice to see a film that wasn’t scared to go full-blown comic book.
The Action: Ninja battles, un-named Cobra soldiers getting killed at an insane rate, and enough explosions to make Michael Bay cream his pants; these are all things that any G.I. Joe fan would get excited about. The ninja fighting alone was almost enough to make up for the Marlon Wayans bit in the original movie and I have to say that I got pretty excited when they started talking about the man who started the Joes. I thought, of course, that it was going to be Sgt. Slaughter but instead we got a watered down John McClane. Not great but if you’re going to put in an old guy it might as well be Bruce Willis. Elodie Yung was pretty good as Jinx but I’m not as excited to see her as Elektra Nachios in the new season of Daredevil on Netflix. Sorry guys, she is definitely not Greek.
Fighting ninjas make any movie better.
Take it Home:
- Adrianne!: She might be the “it girl” when it comes to action films these days. She rocked it here and also in John Wick. Forget about that shitty Red Dawn movie she was in.
- RZA: He must have done the music for this as he again found himself acting on screen. He is absolutely terrible.
- Supes: D.J. Controna, who plays Flint, was going to be playing Superman in the George Miller directed Justice League film before it got canned.
The Verdict: G.I. Joe: Retaliation is far better than the first film. So much better, in fact, that I can even look past Channing Tatum being in it. He’s even a little funny in his own way. The Rock is great as Roadblock and the Storm Shadow/Snake Eyes war rages on.