The 2009 G.I. Joe film was poor; in fact, the film has all but been wiped from my movie memory bank. Wasn’t that Brendan Fraser in quite an interesting cameo and Dennis Quaid trading quips with a raw Channing Tatum whilst Joseph Gordon-Levitt looked on in bewilderment? Apologies to fan boys, it was rubbish, but still made millions of dollars so another installment was always going to happen. Luckily, G.I. Joe Retaliation is okay, much better if viewed as simple popcorn entertainment.
Following on from the events in Rise of the Cobra, this belated sequel was due for release last year until it was hauled back by Paramount Pictures ordering it into a 3D conversion and adding some scenes with Channing Tatum.
There are some action scenes which are undeniably well done, orchestrated to perfection by elite stunt people; it is a shame the plot suffers. Remaining spoiler-free, I will try to explain the lame scenario, a backdrop if you like, for reasons to fight.
A small team of ‘Joes’ go rogue to clear their name after a corrupt government frames them as traitors. The evil corporation, Cobra, is the new protectors of the nation, but America is not the only target. Infiltrations on a much higher level with global attacks are about to be executed. Going undercover to fight back becomes treacherous business but a great excuse for explosive situations.
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson leads the military wild bunch as the beloved character Roadblock; his presence alone makes this a better movie. Snake Eyes (Ray Park) and Lady Jaye (Adrianne Palicki) are natural in their samurai fighting skills to say the least, offering more than a few heart-stopping duels with Cobra henchmen. Essentially a glorified cameo, Bruce Willis pops up as old school G.I Joe with plenty of amusing one liners and a shared moment with Roadblock, which will please the fans.
There is a Himalaya sequence that makes best use of the 3D; smart visuals are gloriously filmed with breathtaking high-flying swordplay is actually exciting. However, unless you are a collector of the Hasbro toys and know G.I. Joe’s origins, retaliation is the reaction most audiences may feel after watching this underwhelming waste of Hollywood dollars.
G.I. Joe: Retaliation 3D hits theaters Friday, March 29th.
Shane A. Bassett is a contributor for TheYoungFolks.com. Read more about him on our Partners & Contributors page.