G.I. Joe: Retaliation

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Posted by k4tzm4n (34940 posts) - - Show Bio

Despite its numerous flaws, I honestly thought G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra dished out a decent amount of entertainment. That said, I understand why many of you out there loathe that film with a passion, and luckily for you, you can go into this one pretending it never even happened. Yes, Channing Tatum returns as Duke and it does indeed involve a few basic elements from the previous flick (no accelerator suits this time around!), but director John M. Chu's movie feels like a fresh start for the franchise and the result is hugely entertaining.

The film has two main plots which eventually merge for one final action sequence. The first involves Zartan posing as the U.S. President as he attempts to eliminate all of the Joes and make the world bow before Cobra Commander. Roadblock (Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson) and a couple others survive the attack and attempt to figure out what's really going on. Meanwhile, the second plot is loosely based on the classic and popular 'Silent Interlude' tale which involves lots and lots of ninja awesomeness. Naturally, this focus turns to Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow (just pretend he didn't bite it in the first one) and has plenty of Red Ninjas at the receiving end of blades. This part of the story ties to a super silly aspect with the Blind Master (RZA). If you can overlook the overflowing amount of goofiness with this part, then it's a fairly interesting development for Storm Shadow -- even if it does abruptly throw us into the middle of a story.

Yes, this scene is as fun as it looks.

One of the many complaints people had with Rise of the Cobra was Tatum's wooden acting, but ever since 21 Jump Street the dude has really won me over. He has great chemistry with Dwayne and the two have some legitimately hysterical interactions. Don't let The Rock's intimidating size fool you, he's a lovable and beyond energetic character. He manages brings the perfect mesh of charisma and badassery to Roadblock. Additionally, all of the supporting cast (Bruce Willis, D.J. Cotrona, Adrianne Palicki, Byung-hun Lee, Jonathan Pryce, Walton Goggins) do an able job with their roles as well. Ray Stevenson trying to pull off a southern accent was a little distracting and inconsistent but it's a moot point because the man is always superb. The movie as a whole is packed with tons of solid comedy, too. I found myself laughing out loud like a fool at least once every fifteen minutes or so. There's a series of especially hilarious moments during a meeting between world leaders in the final act as well.

While Retaliation is sure to keep you laughing, the real highlight is the incredible amount of over the top action. There's just about everything a Joe fan could love here: a brutal Snake Eyes vs. Storm Shadow encounter (it's longer than the previously released clip!), cool technology and vehicles at their disposal and plenty of shootouts and brawls. One fight between Roadblock and Firefly (Ray Stevenson) is ruined by quick cuts and a shaky camera, but everything else is topnotch and a total blast. As expected, the cliffside battle will likely be a favorite for many.

Cobra Commander looks good but has a campy voice.

3D tends to be hit or miss. For every experience like Avatar, there's a handful of films that add 3D just to get a few extra bucks and ultimately don't contribute anything special to the viewing. Retaliation was delayed to allegedly add the feature, and thankfully the conversion is thoroughly amusing. It may sound cheesy, but having ninjas, projectiles and so much more abruptly launch at you is pretty exciting stuff. A 3D ticket is certainly worth it if you have a few extra bucks to spare.

You can really tell director Jon M. Chu cares about the franchise -- it basically feels like a love letter and it's like he's having fun playing with all of his favorite characters. Yes, the main narrative is a complete mess at times and there's some cringeworthy lines here and there, but overall G.I. Joe: Retaliation is a ridiculously entertaining ride. Leave your brain at the door and you're sure to have a great time.

Gregg Katzman is a freelance writer for Comic Vine and IGN Entertainment. This is the part where he shamelessly plugs his Google+ and Twitter page in hopes of getting a new follower or two.

#1 Posted by Ben3000 (45 posts) - - Show Bio

Good to hear, I plan on seeing this on Saturday. I've been looking forward to this movie since last year.

#2 Edited by knightofthechronicle (721 posts) - - Show Bio

Great to see that this was a good movie :)

Online
#3 Posted by LaserLambert (636 posts) - - Show Bio

I was on the fence about this, but I think I'll see this with my dad, I'm in the mood for a big flashy popcorn action movie now. thanks for the review.

#4 Edited by guardiandevil801 (266 posts) - - Show Bio

Good to know, I can't wait to see it tomorrow

#5 Posted by NightFang (10271 posts) - - Show Bio

Good to hear you guys like the movie.

#6 Edited by RisingBean (4773 posts) - - Show Bio

I liked the first one as well. Outside of Cobra Commander's suit, the lack of a showdown with CC or Destro, and Scarlett not getting with Snake Eyes. Oh and the accelerator suits. Outside of that, good fun.

#7 Posted by Lone_Wolf_and_Cub (5327 posts) - - Show Bio

Great review can't wait to see it Friday.

#8 Edited by kennybaese (1152 posts) - - Show Bio

I quite enjoyed the first one the one time I saw it. I kind of loved how completely insanely dumb it was. That said, this does appear to be much better. I'll definitely give it a rental at some point.

#9 Edited by RavenVice01 (330 posts) - - Show Bio

I hated the idea that Zartan was the one who killed the Hardmaster. It took away from the hatred that Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow have for one another plus Zartan died too soon. It will be nice to see a civil war between Cobra and Destro's forces. The third movie will probably involve Destro and Baroness taking their revenge on Cobra Commander for his betrayal and Baroness' personal vendetta against the Joes for allowing Duke to die. Hopefully, Zartan will come back one last time.

#10 Posted by Raw_Material (3300 posts) - - Show Bio

Can't wait for this movie to be released in a couple days!

#11 Posted by Baberaham_Lincoln (944 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm happy to see the Rock coming into his role as the action guy.

#12 Posted by k4tzm4n (34940 posts) - - Show Bio

I was on the fence about this, but I think I'll see this with my dad, I'm in the mood for a big flashy popcorn action movie now. thanks for the review.

You're welcome and it'll definitely deliver if that's what you're looking for.

Great review can't wait to see it Friday.

Thank you.

#13 Edited by lifeboy (1675 posts) - - Show Bio

Thanks for the info. I will need to check this out now that you have given me confidence in it.

#14 Posted by FatihBATMAN (1389 posts) - - Show Bio

what does "Campy" mean ?

#15 Posted by danhimself (22718 posts) - - Show Bio

the other review for this that I read kind of explained it pretty well in that you can't expect a good adaptation of G.I.Joe without it being kind of campy and they also said that Rza's Blind Master was kind of over the top...so I've got two reviews that are pretty much the same....yup going to see this next week....also the first movie was fun as h#!!

#16 Posted by StMichalofWilson (4114 posts) - - Show Bio

what does "Campy" mean ?

I think it's a slang for "corny".

#17 Posted by RYU/BATMAN (388 posts) - - Show Bio

I plan on seeing this movie, the awesome cool Ninja parts in the trailer sold me.

#18 Posted by SHAZAM117 (3888 posts) - - Show Bio
  
#19 Posted by KnightofSteel (273 posts) - - Show Bio

Despite its flaws the first one was a bunch of big dumb fun. I don't mind if Retaliation has some of the same and it sounds like it's better than the original. Plus the Joes look more accurately portrayed this time around. I don't have huge expectations but am definitely going to see it!

#20 Posted by MAJID (9 posts) - - Show Bio

It came out in the UK yesterday; I saw it today and really enjoyed it. Goofy, great action scenes, thumbs up from a UK reader.

#21 Edited by yo_yo_fun (639 posts) - - Show Bio

I enjoyed Rise of Cobra, it was a fun movie.

Can't wait to see this one; just sit back, relax and watch a "flashy" movie.

#22 Posted by redrum4222 (6 posts) - - Show Bio

@fatihbatman: batman series with adam west is campy. campy=cheesy, corny.

#23 Posted by happypup70 (30 posts) - - Show Bio

what does "Campy" mean ?

I did some quick research and camp originally comes from the french prase "se camper" or to pose in an exaggerated fashion. until the 1960's it was a generally derogatory term for homosexuals. Later it took on a more mainstream meaning of performing in an over the top way to the point where it creates a 'sophisticated amusement.' So an example of a campy scene would be one where the performer is being so over the top sad that it makes the audience laugh.

#24 Posted by LordRequiem (1323 posts) - - Show Bio

If it's anything like the first one it'll be complete and utter garbage, aside from some overly utilized, if not mildly impressive CGI.

#25 Posted by alex6166 (64 posts) - - Show Bio

A pro-wrestler as a star? I'd probably go see it if Tugboat or Kevin Nash were starring in it. :)

#26 Posted by k4tzm4n (34940 posts) - - Show Bio

I enjoyed Rise of Cobra, it was a fun movie.

Can't wait to see this one; just sit back, relax and watch a "flashy" movie.

Then I imagine you'll be pleased!

@lifeboy said:

Thanks for the info. I will need to check this out now that you have given me confidence in it.

Well, like I say in the review, it has a lot of flaws (the story is all over the place, there's some terrible lines), but if you're looking for mindless fun, it's a good time.

@majid said:

It came out in the UK yesterday; I saw it today and really enjoyed it. Goofy, great action scenes, thumbs up from a UK reader.

Thumbs up right back at ya. Glad you enjoyed it.

If it's anything like the first one it'll be complete and utter garbage, aside from some overly utilized, if not mildly impressive CGI.

Well, then you should definitely save your cash and not see it. You'll likely hate it less than Rise of Cobra, though.

Dude, can you modify that so it has a spoiler tag? Thanks.

Despite its flaws the first one was a bunch of big dumb fun. I don't mind if Retaliation has some of the same and it sounds like it's better than the original. Plus the Joes look more accurately portrayed this time around. I don't have huge expectations but am definitely going to see it!

Be sure to chime back after you check it out!

#27 Edited by Mucklefluga (2602 posts) - - Show Bio

I wanna see this since the action looks insanely fun. The question for me isn't whether to see it or not, it is whether to watch in 3D or not?

I love the review by the way Gregg

#28 Edited by k4tzm4n (34940 posts) - - Show Bio

@mucklefluga said:

I wanna see this since the action looks insanely fun. The question for me isn't whether to see it or not, it is whether to watch in 3D or not?

My second to last paragraph talks about the 3D. And thanks!

#31 Posted by TheBane2890 (1958 posts) - - Show Bio

@ravenvice01: said:

I hated the idea that Zartan was the one who killed the Hardmaster. It took away from the hatred that Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow have for one another plus Zartan died too soon.

If you ever read the comics, it was Zartan who killed the Hardmaster with one of Storm Shadow's arrows, and Firefly helped him escape. Firefly was hired by Cobra Commander, to infiltrate the Arashikage Clan and kill Snake-Eyes, since Cobra Commander blamed Snake-Eyes for the loss of his brother. Firefly asked for help, so Zartan was brought in. Zartan used a special bow that could detect heartbeats, and one of Storm Shadow's arrows. The Hardmaster was training Snake-Eyes in private, and teaching him how to change his heartbeat. The Hardmaster was imitating Snake-Eyes' heartbeat, so the arrow fired by Zartan, killed him instead. Storm Shadow had seen Zartan running away, and chased after him. The Arashikage only saw Storm Shadow running away, and blamed him, since it was one of his arrows. Cobra Commander found Storm Shadow and promised him the killer of the Hardmaster. He tricked Storm Shadow and hypnotized him into service. Zartan was right under Storm Shadow's nose and he didn't know it. Storm Shadow and Snake-Eyes never truly hated each other, they were just on different paths, and Storm Shadow was blinded by rage. I do agree with you however that Zartan died way too soon, as did Zandar (Zartan's brother (which wasn't really mentioned in the movie)), and Firefly.

#32 Posted by RedheadedAtrocitus (6836 posts) - - Show Bio

Can't wait!

#33 Posted by turoksonofstone (12901 posts) - - Show Bio

DEATH! DEATH to those who would be willing to leave their brain at the entrance way to a theater so they might tolerate a ill conceived film like this.

Overpriced Popcorn movies unfit to entertain popcorn

We as consumers must leave these ill conceived hollywood products to whither away unseen lest hollywood create more.

Onwards to Mordor!!!

#34 Posted by csl316 (170 posts) - - Show Bio

I just missed the GI Joe train, but I still remember having fun with the toys as a kid. After seeing some heady stuff in theaters last year (Cloud Atlas, Lincoln, Les Miserables, Breaking Dawn 2), I'm due for something like this.

#35 Edited by ObsideonDarman (62 posts) - - Show Bio

You guys are crazy. Film was complete and total garbage.

#36 Edited by k4tzm4n (34940 posts) - - Show Bio

You guys are crazy. Film was complete and total garbage.

Having a different opinion = TOTES CRAZY! :P

@csl316 said:

I just missed the GI Joe train, but I still remember having fun with the toys as a kid. After seeing some heady stuff in theaters last year (Cloud Atlas, Lincoln, Les Miserables, Breaking Dawn 2), I'm due for something like this.

Man, I still need to see Cloud Atlas! Heard nothing but great things about that one.

DEATH! DEATH to those who would be willing to leave their brain at the entrance way to a theater so they might tolerate a ill conceived film like this.

Overpriced Popcorn movies unfit to entertain popcorn

We as consumers must leave these ill conceived hollywood products to whither away unseen lest hollywood create more.

Onwards to Mordor!!!

Well, that's very reasonable of you.

#37 Posted by Dirk_Dexter (28 posts) - - Show Bio

Disappointed again.

#38 Posted by k4tzm4n (34940 posts) - - Show Bio

Disappointed again.

Sorry to hear that, but I love your avatar, man.

#39 Edited by Iron_Turtle (582 posts) - - Show Bio

Adrienne Palicki's awful boob job.

#40 Posted by Icon (2109 posts) - - Show Bio

This was not a 4 star movie. x] To each their own though.

#41 Edited by k4tzm4n (34940 posts) - - Show Bio

@icon said:

This was not a 4 star movie. x] To each their own though.

Well, for me 4 stars simply means I "really liked it" and in this case, I did. As for why, I'd like to believe the review did an adequate job explaining why ;)

#42 Posted by mrdecepticonleader (18731 posts) - - Show Bio

I really want to go see it.

#43 Posted by TeamUnitedNerds (402 posts) - - Show Bio

I watched it, it was just...ugh

#44 Posted by jaydee98 (18 posts) - - Show Bio

The best part of Rise of Cobra, to me was the Baroness. Anyway, I plan on seeing this movie over the weekend. The trailers looked cool. Plenty of bullets, ninjas and Jinx!

#45 Posted by Press Oblivion (1658 posts) - - Show Bio

I saw this today and I enjoyed the action. The Rock is really a talented guy.

The movie was much improved from the last one and the dismissal of Channing Tatum was a blessing . . . how did that guy get his record deal?

#46 Posted by The Mast (785 posts) - - Show Bio

I thought this was dog patch.

#47 Posted by Mild_Karl (131 posts) - - Show Bio

I guess I'm the contrarian because I saw this last night & thought it was just awful. I liked the first film, I even have a pretty high tolerance for the dumbest of dumb action movies, but Retaliation broke me. Characters appear & disappear without reason, the story's a mess, Tatum was by far the best part of the movie & when he makes his exit, the film goes downhill fast. Also, think I'm pretty sick of CGI as a replacement for actual filmmaking. That avalanche scene just looked like a video game or cartoon. The ending action sequence was better & I really liked all the stuff with Snake Eyes/Storm Shadow (just like the first film) but otherwise, yuck.

#48 Edited by Sammo21 (700 posts) - - Show Bio

@thebane2890: To be fair, they could easily bring back Zartan and Firefly...heck, even Duke. No body no death, right? Heck, if Storm Shadow was brought back so easily anything is possible. I could easily see GI Joe raid a COBRA facility and find Duke under lock down or something.

@mild_karl:To each their own but how can you like the first movie but not like the second? That's like thinking Ghostbusters 2 is better than Ghostbusters 1...

#49 Posted by KnightRise (4762 posts) - - Show Bio

The Rza was in this movie. The-frickin'-RZA!!!!!!!!!!!!

#50 Posted by Aiden Cross (15526 posts) - - Show Bio

Maybe i'll go see it tonight, there isn't much else in the movie theater. I'm not getting my hopes up too high, just flick the switch and watch the movie and hope to be entertained ;p

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