G.I. Joe: Retaliation. My Review.

I just picked this movie up and watched sight unseen. I really enjoyed the first movie, 2009’s G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra, so I was really looking forward to the sequel. I really did enjoy it despite having some difficulty with it. G.I. Joe: Retaliation stars  Bruce Willis and Dwayne Johnson, with Channing Tatum, Arnold Vosloo, Ray Park, Jonathan Pryce, and Byung-hun Lee reprising their roles from the first film.

This is a spoiler free review!

Here is a brief synopsis: The Joes rescue a nuclear warhead from Pakistan and soon discover that  Zartan (Arnold Vosloo), is impersonating the President of the United States (Jonathan Pryce). The majority of the unit is subsequently eliminated in a military air strike, including Duke. Roadblock (Dwayne Johnson), Flint (D.J. Cotrona) and Lady Jaye (Adrianne Palicki) are the only survivors. Zartan then announces on television that the G.I. Joes have been eliminated, after having gone rogue and killing the Pakistani president. The three surviving members of the Joe unit need to convince Storm Shadow (Byung-hun Lee) to join them to defeat and ex-Joe Firefly (Ray Stevenson) and Cobra Commander (Luke Bracey) who is holding the world hostage with nuclear weapons via Zartan the President of the United States.

Pros: This movie has a ton of action, twists and turns and great character moments. The plot is very good and I like that they focus mainly on the fact that Zartan is impersonating the President. Dwayne Johnson is a favorite of mine as is Bruce Willis so it is really good to see them in this movie. This movie has great CGI special effects and they blend into the story, help tell the story, without overpowering the story. This movie could have easily turned into a CGI laden video game but it does not. I think the presence of Dwayne Johnson really carried this movie and the central theme of this movie is all about redemption. Although we see Cobra Commander and his gang of evil doers retaliate for the defeat they experienced in the first movie. In truth this movie is about the redemption of the Joes, The President and Storm Shadow. I found a great deal of heart in this movie.

Cons: Although I really did like this movie it felt detached from the first movie in some ways. Maybe that has to do with the fact that so few of the actors from the first movie returned for this movie. This film introduces us to many new faces. Plus, this movie seemed smaller in scale than the previous film. Those two elements make the movie feel very different from the first movie. Although I really like the movie I could never shake that sense of feeling that this film is so different from the other film.

I recently published a blog post that mentions how the tone of comic-book movie should be. G.I. Joe: Retaliation is a great example of a comic book style movie that strikes the right tone or verisimilitude. It doesn’t take itself too seriously. It is not campy but yet the humor, the macho bravado within the film does let us know that this is going to be a fun movie…and it is. This movie is about redemption, friends and standing by those friends who need our help. The movie is also over-the-top in places with its action scenes but they are fun to watch. It is almost like watching an action oriented well choreographed dance unfold before your eyes.

G.I. Joe: Retaliation is a fun popcorn munching escapism type movie filled with a lot of heart, fun, and interesting characters wrapped up in exciting science-fiction and action and adventure tale.


About liamfoley63

I was born in 1963 and that is relevant to my development of my love for science-fiction and fantasy movies, comic books, superheroes and many other things attributed to Nerd culture. In the 60s I watched all the Saturday afternoon Godzilla and monster movies I could take. In the 70s I became hooked on Star Trek. I am also an artist (in my own mind at least) and a musician. I enjoy learning about physics, astrophysics, chemistry and earth silences such as meteorology, anthropology, paleontology. When I reached my late 30s I began to re-explore my nerd roots. I reconnected with my love of science fiction and fantasy movies along with the other science related topics. For this blog I will focus on movie and TV reviews for science fiction and fantasy and post my thoughts on up coming movies. I will also include some fun facts from the various sciences I enjoy along with weather facts and bits from royalty and history. What I will not discuss is religion and politics. I am married to a beautiful woman named Sarah and have a lovely daughter named Danielle.

Posted on August 19, 2013, in Movie Review and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. This is one of those movies that have a good technical side, but as far as plot and characters go, it’s pretty weak. You don’t expect there to be a lot, but at least some. Nice review Bill.

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