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Review: G.I.Joe Retaliation

gi-joe-retaliationI’m going to give a virtually spoiler free review here.  As a fan of the G.I. Joe Real American Hero cartoon in the 80s, I was never an avid reader of the Joe comics.  Because of that, I can’t really give a detailed argument for or against this movie.  I DO however remember the characters and the toys.  So as brief as this is, perhaps some of you can chime in with your own thoughts and expertise.

First off, let me say this…  On a scale of 1 – 10, the first G.I.Joe movie was a mere 2 in my book.  I found almost nothing enjoyable about it.  It was campy, and god awful with plot.  Duke and Snake Eyes were the only redeeming qualities of that one.  The sequel however scored a few more points.  By all means, I would not recommend it as a theater pick, but would say to wait until it is available for home rental.

Retaliation pretty much rebooted the entire thing.  They failed to mention what happened to certain characters from the last movie, but I didn’t care.  Channing Tatum was good to see back as Duke Hauser, but I was surprised at how minor his role was.  The Rock as Roadblock was a perfect pick, and Adrianne Palicki as Lady Jaye was both beautiful and played the role well.

Minor Spoilers here…. I was surprised that Zartan was really the main villain.  Cobra Commander’s role was only secondary.  I also wasn’t sure about the way Storm Shadow was played out, but anything was better than the first.

I like the casting in this one.  Everyone did a great job, and I almost even forgot about Bruce Willis being in it until halfway through the film.  I love Willis as an actor, but I’m beginning to think he is starting to play many of his roles a bit too cheesy.  Still, love the guy, but in this movie it was eh… okay.

Main thing I did not like… Storm Shadow and Snake Eyes fight in the hallway.  There is no way an automatic weapon being fired down a narrow corridor to break chinese stars was not going to shoot the standing ninja at the other end.  Somehow these are magic bullets.  I did forgive this though because I remember in the cartoon no one ever got shot.  EVER…  (except in the animated movie, but that is different).

Mouse and Jinx were welcome additions, but for me, the highlight of this movie was the Hasboro aspect.  What do I mean?  They recreated half of the toys I remember from when I was a kid, and they made them work onscreen.  Jonathan Pryce was also a great villain, who made the threat seem real, and quite on a scary level.  Ray Stevenson is always an intimidating presence onscreen, and his role as firefly was both hit and miss.

All in all, I’d say if you saw the first one, then you should see this one.  Why?  Because you wasted 2 hours of your life on the first, so what is another hour and a half going to do?  I’ll tell you what… It will redeem some of your hatred for the first one.  That being said, it is still far from being a great movie.  They left it open for a sequel and I’m willing to bet that the third one will be better yet.  At least I’m hoping.  My rating?  I give it a 5 out of 10.  The nostalgia and the Rock saved this movie.  Otherwise, it would have been another one for the poop pile.  Thoughts?

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