It’s epic. It’s everything one wants to see in a GI Joe movie. It genuinely feels like the director has brought your childhood action figure battle between good guys and baddies to life on the big screen. But when this scene ends, so does everyone’s effort into making the movie.
GI Joe Retaliation tries to be a sequel and a reboot at the same time by desperately trying to extinguish our memories of the terrible first film. When The Rock was cast in the recent Fast and Furious movie, the move somehow breathed new life into the waning franchise.
The same tactic is employed here, but sadly it fails and fails hard. Placing Jon Chu, the guy who made Justin Bieber Never Say Never in the director’s chair to correct the mistakes of the first GI Joe is a baffling move to begin with, but to cancel its release just days before it opens in theatres, and then delaying it by a year for post conversion to horrible 3D exhibits the delusional arrogance that thrives in major Hollywood studios.
The sequel neither has any fun chase scenes, nor any snazzy gadgets that make the GI Joes look cool. All we get to see is a bunch of firearms in Bruce Willis’ kitchen. The story picks up immediately after the events of Rise of the Cobra and the plot could very well have been written by a seven-year-old with his crayons.
Cobra escapes imprisonment with the help of Storm Shadow, and the entire GI Joe unit is destroyed save for the trio of Roadblock (The Rock), Flint (Cotrona) and Jaye (Palicki). Snake Eyes teams up with Jinx to kidnap Shadow to extract information on his boss’ plans and help the Joes stop global annihilation. The lack of a decent story is generally compensated with great action scenes, but apart from the CGI mountain sequence there is literally nothing in GI Joe Retaliation to keep you entertained.
The 3D that allegedly took over a year to build makes GI Joe Retaliation look like a plastic dollhouse with flat cardboard cutouts as characters. The badass guitar crunching tone of Seven Nation Army that you saw in the trailer is misleading because the film is a misguided, tiresome mess that puts the bad in badass and the ass in badass. It’s the only movie ever produced that makes non-stop explosions and hand-to-hand combat seem really boring.