G.I. Joe Retaliation

Summary:

G.I. Joe Retaliation features paper thin characters and weak story arcs. The fast pace of the film leaves things feeling chaotic and with the way the movie brushes over main events G.I. Joe Retaliation never reaches a satisfying end. Action sequences are chaotically shot and cut away way too quickly to enjoy or appreciate any of the action. Focusing on Roadblock (Dwayne Johnson) as the main protagonist was a step in the right direction but the movie never fully recovers from bad dialogue and an unbalanced campy feel.

Another year and another Hasbro branded film. I’ve seen four out of the five released and have only been impressed with Transformers (2007) so far. With the release of G.I. Joe: Retaliation I was hoping my impressions would change, mainly due to the addition of Dwayne Johnson and Bruce Willis. Does G.I. Joe Retaliation surpass its predecessor and break the mold of the last few Hasbro Films? Not really.

G.I.-Joe-Retaliation-International-Poster

Picking up where the last film left off, G.I. Joe Retaliation tells the story of eventual Cobra take over of the United States. Zartan has been masquerading as the president since the events of the last movie and setting his plan into motion. After framing the Joes for stealing nuclear warheads the Joes are faced with fighting off both Cobra and their own government. It’s up to the Joes to clear their name and save the world from nuclear devastation.

One of the few things I liked about G.I. Joe Retaliation was featuring Roadblock (Dwayne Johnson) as the main protagonist in the film. Johnson serves as a better lead than Channing Tatum did in the first one and it keeps things interesting. I did like the dynamic between Roadblock and Duke (Tatum), but it felt like it stuck out too much from the rest of the film. Scenes where they’re playing video games or trash talking each other are fun in nature but it just clashes with the tone of the rest of the film.

G.I. JOE: RETALIATION

Major Plot Spoilers

Surprisingly the movie kills off Duke within the first twenty minutes so the dynamic isn’t explored that much. My feelings are mixed with whether or not this was a good or bad move. However, given how ineffective the emotional impact of Duke’s death felt for me it does make it seem like he wasn’t that necessary of a character, least in the way he was written in this one.

End Spoilers

The characters are paper thin with no depth or any distinguishing factors between the simple good guys and bad guys. The film rushes past many of the plot points and doesn’t leave a lot of time to connect with the characters. There are significant moments that the main characters brush off, like a friend dying, or London being completely wiped off the map. Without seeing the consequences, the actions never reach a satisfying point in the movie.

The character arcs are weak and focus more on telling than showing any kind of progression. The movie jumps around the globe a lot but it’s too jumpy to be a strong-focused narrative leaving it feeling like these places are inserted in more for the wow factor than any narrative purpose. The middle of the film becomes an espionage like film with a Kung Fu subplot thrown in. This part of the film dragged on the longest and it kind of left me scratching my head.

The worst offensive is the incredibly bad dialogue that tried hard to insert pop culture references and product placements about every other scene. The performances and deliveries are honest but it doesn’t do much to help save the cringe worthy lines. All of these faults could have been forgiven, had the movie delivered on the action it promised in the trailers.

G.I. JOE: RETALIATION

Seeing as how the source material was a cartoon meant to sell toys I didn’t expect much from the narrative but I was hoping that the movie would at least feature more impressive action sequences with some cool effects thrown in. I’ll admit there is some cool gadgetry used throughout the film but nothing that’s memorable. Snake Eyes fighting on the mountainside is probably strongest point in the movie but it wasn’t anything more than what we got in the promotional ads. All the biggest action pieces are revealed in the trailer and even the ones that weren’t are too chaotically shot with quick cuts that make it hard to fully understand or appreciate what’s going on. Personally I was expecting some pretty exciting things from Bruce Willis but aside from one action shot he’s basically missing from the movie other than as a convenient plot progression.

There’s very little balance between the campy fun nature and the serious action aspect for the film to pass as a fun popcorn flick. Fans of the first will be pleased but with all of the recent action flicks that have been released this year it won’t be hard to find something better than G.I. Joe Retaliation.

G.I. Joe Retaliation features paper thin characters and weak story arcs. The fast pace of the film leaves things feeling chaotic and with the way the movie brushes over main events G.I. Joe Retaliation never reaches a satisfying end. Action sequences are chaotically shot and cut away way too quickly to enjoy or appreciate any of the action. Focusing on Roadblock (Dwayne Johnson) as the main protagonist was a step in the right direction but the movie never fully recovers from bad dialogue and an unbalanced campy feel.

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Twitter: @Treyrs20o9
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2 responses to “G.I. Joe Retaliation

  1. Pingback: Movie Monday Update Week of April 1st | Thinking Cinematic

  2. Pingback: Movie Monday Update Week of July 29th | Thinking Cinematic

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