Homefront movie
7.25 out of 10
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire movie
8.75 out of 10
Disney's Frozen movie
10.0 out of 10
Delivery Man movie
6.75 out of 10
8.25 out of 10

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

G.I. Joe: Retaliation


Knowings Half The Battle

7.8 out of 10 | DVD or Rental

Rated: PG-13 Intense sequences of combat violence, brief sensuality, language, and martial arts actin
Release Date: March 28, 2013
Runtime: 1 hour 39 minutes

Director: Jon M. Chu
Writers:  Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick
Cast: Dwayne Johnson, Channing Tatum, D.J. Cotrona, Adrianne Palicki, Ray Stevenson, Ray Park, Bruce Willis, Jonathan Pryce, Byung-hun Lee, Elodie Yung, Luke Bracey, Walton Goggins, Arnold Vosloo, Joseph Mazzello, RZA, Jim Palmer, Matt Gerald

SYNOPSIS:  The G.I. Joes are not only fighting their mortal enemy Cobra; they are forced to contend with threats from within the government that jeopardize their very existence.

REVIEW: Director Jon M. Chu, known for his choreographed films such as Step Up 3D and his rockumentary Justin Bieber: Never Say Never, may not have been the first choice for an action/adventure genre film, but he is versed in 3D. Written by Zombieland scribes Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, we can only hope that the Joes are in good hands.

After the fall and capture of cobra commander the G.I. Joes, led by Duke (Channing Tatum, Side Effects), run most of the United States government's covert military missions. When riots break out after the assassination of Pakistan's president, the Joes are deployed to the desert to find and retrieve nuclear warheads left in enemy hands amidst the chaos. When the mission is a success, the Joe team is ambushed by their own government and killed. Only a handful of Joes escape, including Roadblock (Dwayne Johnson, Fast Five), Lady Jaye (Adrianne Palicki, Red Dawn - 2012) and Flint (D.J. Cotrona, Detroit 1-8-7). As they make their way to safer ground, the President (Jonathan Pryce, Dark Blood) who ordered the hit on the Joes reveals himself as the master shape changer Zartan (Arnold Vosloo, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra) plotting to take over the world under the direction of Cobra Commander (Luke Bracey). With the assistance of Snake Eyes (Ray Park, Avarice), Jinx (Elodie Yung, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), cobra loyalist Storm Shadow (Byung-hun Lee, I Saw the Devil), and retired General Joe Colton (Bruce Willis,A Good Day to Die Hard), the Joes must fight against time and the empowered Cobra forces to stop nuclear war and total Cobra world domination.

G.I. Joe: Retaliation is the long gestating and shelved sequel to the Channing Tatum, Marlon Wayan, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt's original Hasbro action figure legacy. In the 1980s, the toy company created cartoons like Transformers, G.I. Joe, and He-Man and the Master of the Universe in an effort to sell their toy lines. Now, the cartoons and action figures have made the leap to the silver screen to popular effect.

With the sequel, Dwayne Johnson embodies the heavy gunner Roadblock, a staple of the Joe universe and the center of the sequel's story. Snake Eyes, Duke, and Storm Shadow return from the original Rise of Cobra. Cobra Commander returns from a cold imprisonment, voiced and cast by Luke Bracey instead of Gordon-Levitt. Sienna Miller's Baroness and Christopher Eccleston's Destro have been written out the story entirely or with a quick dismissive scene. New addition Firefly, played byRay Stevenson (Thor), gives the bad guys new life. He actually is the only major baddie in the whole bunch. Cobra Commander is used too sparingly, Storm Shadow is trying to find his own center, Zartan is busy with his presidential duties, and the aforementioned Baroness and Destro are gone completely. Other than nameless cobra soldiers, Firefly supplies enough southern arsonist craziness to keep the tables turned on the Joe team.

The story starts off strong, introducing the Joe team members like their statistic cards on the back of their action figure packaging. The Joe initial incursion to retrieve the stolen warheads is slick and well-choreographed, paving the way for an expectation of strong action throughout. But after Snake Eyes and Jinx raid a remote mountain retreat, the action and pace lags quite a bit, relying heavily on the characters left behind like Roadblock, Snake Eyes, and Firefly to complete the heavy lifting. Even General Joe Colton, Bruce Willis himself, comes across a little flat in spite of Willis' usual snarky and cock-sure demeanour.

The 3-D effects in G.I. Joe: Retaliation are pretty cool. The effects are used exceptionally well during the fight scenes and gun battles. When Snake Eyes and Jinx go on a retrieval mission in the mountains, the use of depth overhanging the sheer drops is very apparent. During these scenes be sure that you're not afraid of heights or have vertigo. I think the director's experience with dance choreography from Step Up 3D and his other films served him well to block out the action sequences.

A movie that starts off as a revenge film for fallen comrades in arms and morphs into a desperate attempt to save the world from overwhelming forces of evil oppressors starts off exciting enough, but ends up with a lack luster finish. The sequel does pick up where the original left off, continuing the same storyline, but not even 'The Rock' and Ray Stevenson can save it from itself.

For fans of the cartoon and the original film, G.I. Joe: Retaliation is decent enough action fair to get the job done. But if you're looking for superior storytelling and over-the-top action you may want to look elsewhere. Now you know. And knowings half the battle!

1 comment:

  1. Awesome movie... Reminds me of my childhood when I was crazy about Action figures of Joes and Cobras. If you are a GI Joe fan, It's a must watch.