Some movies are better off being only one. This franchise is one of those. ‘Rise of the Cobra’ is a good time and honorable to patriotism (in surprising, poignant moments). Its sequel suffers and asks too much of its avid fans.
G.I Joe: Retaliation (2013) Film Review
Since exposing Cobra’s evil plans, the G.I. Joes flourish under the leadership of Duke Hauser (Channing Tatum). Aided by his second-in-command, Roadblock (Dwayne Johnson), Duke and Roadblock are about to lead the Joes in a new mission to recover nuclear weapons. Under the rule of a man who is masquerading as the President (Jonathan Pryce), what they don’t know is that this mission is suicide. The imposter has an order to destroy them all. The few that survive the strike soon realize that their commander-in-chief is not who he seems.
With the assistance of Snake Eyes (Ray Park) and Jaye (Adrianne Palicki), Roadblock recruits the services of the original Joe, General Colton (Bruce Willis) and Jinx (Elodie Yung). All to make sure that America is safe for another day, and they plan it all with retaliation on their mind.
Dudes who fight valiantly and win at the end of the day is one thing I’m a sucker for in movies. In fact, it doesn’t set well with me when there’s a threat by credits end. It’s no surprise then that with the cast of movie on, it would become one of my favorite summertime flicks. News of this sequel gives me a similar reaction yet sadly, I don’t think it has the same “it” factor of its predecessor. Amid a new set of players, there is some terrific easy-going banter which helps lighten some of the darker doom although unlike Rachel Nicholas’ Scarlett, I think Adrianne’s Jaye is ill-used. She’s more of a pretty face than contributor (although she can handle herself).
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Making up for this error is the familiarity Johnson has in this role; he’s epically good yet again and seems to roll with each punch. It’s important to warn those who are fond of the chemistry and characters of from movie one to be prepared. You do have to say good-bye to them. Shifting to the production, each action sequence is good and I like that the good guys are human, not superheroes. Though the ultimate end is excellent, the script is even more far-reaching than it needs to be.
If righteous self-judgment happening after a threat passes bothers you, then you may also want to steer clear of this movie. There are arguments to be made for each side, however in movies, I prefer seeing the villains go down and stay down. It grows tiresome to watch the same people engage in a fierce battle.
Despite its mediocre story and new team, ‘Retaliation’ does get a passing grade from this movie-watcher. It has some cool music, quality where it really counts and its heroes have mettle. That alone is worth applause.
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You can find G.I Joe: Retaliation digitally on Amazon Video
Content: multiple explosions rock various battles. An entire troop is wiped out by an air strike, bodies are seen being shot down [non-graphic] and soldiers run for their lives in the firefight. Characters commonly use machine guns and other weapons. Tanks blow up, Cobra guards get shot down; and there is a battle on the side of a mountain where several people fall to their deaths. A satellite weapon blows a country to smithereens. There’s a near miss use of “mother f –” and other minor language [sh*t, da*n]. A man sees a woman undress in a reflection [we see her from the back in her underwear] along with a minor sexual remark or two; there’s some immodest clothing. G.I. Joe: Retaliation is PG13.