G.I. Joe Retaliation: Movie Review
Cast: Dwayne Johnson, Bruce Willis, Channing Tatum, Jonathan Pryce, Adrianne Palicki, Ray Park, Arnold Vosloo
Director: Jon M Chu
The GI Joes are back in this film, which has been slightly delayed by 9 months in arriving on our screens.
When the GI Joes are tasked with getting back a nuclear weapon by the US President, they find themselves thrown into a conspiracy when they're framed for crimes against the country.
As their mortal enemies Cobra try to take advantage of the power hole, it's up to Roadblock (Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson) and his team of two surviving Joes to expose the conspiracy, save the day and the world...
GI Joe 2: Retaliation is all guns, gadgets and gung-ho. As you'd perhaps expect from a film based on a toy franchise....
And yet, the first half of GI Joe 2 is a great mix of seriousness and excellently put together action sequences. One such set piece, atop mountains and scaling Himalyan cliff faces, is simply one of the best bits of choreographed kick-ass fight scenes committed to celluloid in a long time. Director Chu uses the 3D so cleverly during it that you get a real scale and sense of depth as it plays out its thrilling premise and set piece.
But, that's the thing with this film - for the most part, with good solid characters, bad guys a-plenty and blockbuster thrills, it really does up its game and give you a damn entertaining popcorn treat.
Which is why it's a real shame to note that in the last 30 minutes, the goofiness and cheesy one liners which have been so absent from the start, are thrown willy-nilly into the mix amid a hail of bullets and explosions as a new Hasbro line of GI Joe action vehicles are launched into the collective cinema conscience. Well, what would you expect from a film where the characters are lumbered with such monikers as Roadblock, Lady Jaye, Snake Eyes and Zartan?
Dwayne Johnson does ok as Roadblock - he desperately needs a foil as his early scenes with Channing Tatum show - and even when Bruce Willis as General Joe is introduced into the piece later on, the pair is not given enough scenes together to build on the initial banter and humour in amongst all the quasi-seriousness on display. Jonathan Pryce has a whale of a time playing a bad president, letting loose quips and comments like :"You know what the best thing about being President is? I get to blow things up." His best line though is a stinging put down of Fox News, telling a dolled up Friday Night Lights' star Adrianne Palicki, who's claiming to be a reporter from there, that is "why you look so fair and balanced."
Characterisation is secondary to the action in G.I. Joe Retaliation - and once you're willing to sacrifice that and go with the action, then this piece of high class hokum with its first rate action sequences will keep the big kid in you entertained for a couple of hours.