No lies when I am a big GI Joe fan and while I found 2009's Rise of Cobra entertaining, I found so much flawed, tinkered with and changed for big screen appeal or other reasons that it left a sour taste in my mouth. Sure we got masked mooks being blown up by our heroes, the ninjas and more but any Joe fan knew something better was out there. This film was put off for many months for a 3D conversion and I want my extra 3 bucks back since it made the action wobbly and harder to follow for the most part.
it's a few years later and with Retaliation we have less of the sci fi James Bond like Joe team that we had, and one more resembling The Real American Heroes that we've grown up loving. The Cobra organization is slithering it's way around and some new faces are around too, most notably Roadblock. After a mission to retrieve a stolen nuke goes well, a sneak attack on the Joe Team ends with many casualties. Whoever is left come together to get back home to the US and learn what has gone wrong.
The one thing that is tough about genre movies, especially the ones that you are a fan of is that it's hard to be objective. On one hand, this movie feels far more like a GI Joe movie then the last with a silly plot cooked up by a comic like organization. The actors like Bruce Willis and Jonathan Pryce are having fun but if you told them that a HISS tank was going to squash them or to get into the VAMP, they'd have no idea what you were talking about, thats how silly it really is. Action scenes are fine but the results are never really in doubt as to what will happen. Some of the comics would throw in a curve ball here and there with turns or even character deaths but here other then a surprise at the begining, you know who to bet on.
Characters are still a little flat. Storm Shadow without a doubt gets the most out of his scenes as far as real growth goes and he and Snake Eyes are the only real characters to come over from the previous movie, other then of course Cobra Commander. Without these 3, there is no GI Joe. I always found that funny, two ninjas and the enemy leader are the key part of toy army men. I could say that some characters brush off the catastrophy a little too easy, but then again they are trained soldiers-and also it might require a little more emoting which would get in the way of the action. It doesn't even matter that the older cast got replaced with new characters when neither team really stood out much in any way, and in all honesty the ROC cast was a little better. When charicterization isn't nonexistant it's lame with world leaders ready to launch nukes in the blink of an eye when they are toyed with which for as little as I know about politics I'd say probably wouldn't happen. Sure theres second strike capability and then theres just freaking stupid.
Action this time is fought with real looking guns. No more pulse beams and robot suits. Real machine guns and pistols are the name of the game here and the James Bond SUV's and Sprinter vans are out too. We do get to see some more trademark Joe toys, that will sell well AS toys. I wonder.........
I liked GI Joe Retaliation more then I thought I would and Hasbro has already greenlit a third film. Will it be good? Bad? Will we see more Joes? Cobras? The Iron Grenadiers or Oktober Guard? Who knows. It is only half the battle.
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About the reviewer
John Nelson (TheJohn)
Born in Wausau Wisconsin. Move at an early age to Ventura California and lived for 8 years. Growing up in a big city landscape didn't prepare me for my next move: Archbold Ohio with a population of … more
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