G.I. JOE: RETALIATION (2013) Director: Jon M. Chu Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Adrianne Palicki, Channing Tatum, Ray Park, and Bruce Willis Rating: PG-13 for guns, explosions, swordfights, and fun with nuclear weapons.
G.I. Joe: Retaliation is a sequel to G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra which was based on a long running animated series which was based on a super popular line of toys from the 1980’s.
G.I. Joe fans were pretty psyched when the Rise of Cobra came out, because if any of you readers were around when those toys and the cartoon were popular, you remember how cool the Joes were.
And if any of you readers were around when the G.I. Joe dolls were 12 inches tall and featured the patented “kung fu grip,” then you’re an old person like me! I wonder when the nurse will be around with dinner. I hope we’re having Salisbury Steak tonight!
Anhoo, despite turning many of the popular G.I. Joe cartoon heroes and villains into living breathing human beings, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra was (as we say in the critics biz) a terrible movie, which is hard to believe because the film starred Channing Tatum and the youngest Wayans brother!
I know! A Wayans Brother! How could it not succeed!
Well, you know the old saying; if at first you don’t succeed, make another movie, so G.I. Joe: Retaliation exploded across the big screen earlier this year. It’s more of a reboot then a sequel, with lots of new faces and cameos by guys with old faces. But they kept what was really important to the whole Joe saga – guns, explosions, the eternal battle between good and evil, and Cobra Commander’s really cool helmet:
As the movie opens Duke (Channing Tatum) and Snake Eyes (Ray Park) are running the G.I. Joes because all the other guys from the first movie were smart and signed a one picture deal. Duke and his new best pal Roadblock (Dwayne Johnson, who is big enough to block roads) are ordered by the President (Jonathan Pryce) to lead the Joes on a secret mission to recover some stolen nuclear warheads at a remote base in Pakistan. Things go horribly wrong and Duke and most of the other Joes are murdered by a squad of mysterious soldiers in black helicopters because A) The President is actually Cobra secret agent Zartan in disguise and B) Channing Tatum had to leave the movie early to go film Magic Mike 2 or something.
Roadblock and two other Joe team members Lady Jaye (Adrianne Palicki) and Flint (DJ Cotrona) survive the ambush because nothing short of an atom bomb can kill Dwayne Johnson, and now they must figure out what the heck is going on and who they have to kill to set things right.
Cobra ninja Stormshadow (Byung-hun Lee, the only other cast member from the previous movie) breaks Cobra Commander out of a high tech prison withe the help of Cobra mercenary Firefly (Ray Stevenson) and his electronic fireflies that blow stuff up. Snake Eyes (who is also a ninja, remember?) and his assistant ninja Jinx (Elodie Yung) tail Stormshadow to a mountain fortress in the Himalayas and a huge battle ensues between Snake, Jinx, and other assorted ninjas on the side of a mountain. Snake has to bring Stormshadow back to Japan to wrap up the least important story line from the previous film, which is okay I guess.
Not for nothing Snake Eyes, but 99.7% of your unit was just murdered, but that’s cool – you go off to the other side of the world to settle an old family thing. No problemo dude, I’m sure Roadblock and the others will be okay.
Meanwhile, Roadblock, Flint, and Lady Jaye figure that there is something not right with the President who ordered them to be slaughtered in the desert, so they hatch a plan to unmask the impostor. They seek out the help of the only surviving member of the G.I. Joes who wasn’t in the fist movie to help them – General Joe Colton, (Bruce yippe kay yay Willis) who has enough guns hidden in his nice suburban home to take on Cobra personally.
Oh, part of the plan to stop Cobra from taking over the world involves infiltrating a Presidential Ball, giving Lady Jaye an excuse to squeeze into a slinky red outfit that flaunts her lady parts. She’s such a good soldier. Way to take one for the good of the unit, Jaye!
G.I. Joe: Retaliation moves to an explosive conclusion as Roadblock, Lady Jaye, Flint, General Joe, Snake Eyes, Stormshadow (who’s a good guy now) and Jinx spring into action to prevent the fake President/Zartan from destroying key nations with a bunch of killer satellites, rescue the real President from an underground bunker, and stop Cobra Commander from becoming king of the world and instituting a “no cool helmets except for mine” law across the land.
A big improvement over the previous movie, G.I. Joe: Retaliation had enough action and fun to make me want to see a sequel.
Hopefully the sequel will have a Bruce Willis who speaks more than five lines of dialogue and a subplot where Lady Jaye has to go undercover as a bikini model/mud wrestler!
Okay, that’s asking too much. They don’t need Bruce Willis in the sequel.
Today DVD Critics Corner opens the doors to our Hall of Fame to induct another illustrious member!
This large former wrestler turned large movie star has set the world of action cinema on fire, with such films as The Scorpion King, The Rundown, and Journey 2: Mysterious Island. In a few short years this muscle bound thespian has cemented his place at the top of the box office heap, and a coveted spot in the DVD Critics Corner Hall of Fame!
Without further ado, DVD Critics Corner! welcomes its newest and largest member:
Don’t call him The Rock anymore, he’s left that name far behind! Johnson first came to our attention in 2004 with his starring turn as a former soldier turned sheriff who cleans up his hometown in Walking Tall.
Johnson has had little trouble jumping from family friendly fare like The Game Plan and Tooth Fairy to action thrillers like Faster and Snitch. The folks behind the Fast and Furious movies saw the colossal awesomeness of Johnson and brought him on board in the fifth installment of that franchise: Fast Five!
With four big movies out in 2013 alone, Dwayne Johnson shows no signs of stopping, so get out of the way or get mowed down. We salute you Dwayne Johnson, newest member of the DVD Critics Corner Hall of Fame!
The DVD Critics Corner Hall of Fame is located in Tom’s basement between the water heater and the unused Soloflex. Visiting hours are every other Sunday from 11AM – 12 PM.