G. I. Joe: Retaliation (2013)

G. I. Joe 2When the G. I. Joes are framed for killing Pakistan’s president and stealing it’s nuclear warheads, Roadblock (Dwayne Johnson) must lead the remaining agents in a mission to unmask the real Cobra culprits and clear their names. While Roadblock, Flint (D.J. Cotrona) and Lady Jaye (Adrianne Palicki) set off to recruit reinforcements in the form of General Joseph Colton (Bruce Willis), Snake Eyes (Ray Park) and Jinx (Elodie Yung) journey to the Himalayas where they hope to capture and interrogate Storm Shadow (Lee Byung-hun) to uncover Cobra Commander’s true plans.

Originally set for a summer 2012 release, the sequel to Stephen Sommers’ G. I. Joe: Rise Of The Cobras was waylaid so that Paramount Pictures could retrofit the film into 3D and replacement director Jon M. Chu could deal with damage control after a first-act plot development played poorly with test audiences. G. I. Joe: Retaliation finally opened in U.K. cinemas this week, but was it worth the wait?

While the original film was almost unwatchable, a royal flush of terrible performances only serving to emphasise the weak script and a plot so preposterous that the toys themselves blushed, G. I. Joe: Retribition is about as big an improvement as you could ever reasonably expect from a franchise based on outmoded action figures. Starting afresh with a (largely) new line of heroes and villains, the film goes to great pains to ensure that audiences are this time laughing with the film, at least as often as they’re laughing at it.

Tatum, fresh off the back of his career-making turns in 21 Jump Street, Magic Mike and Side Effects, is a completely different person as connective tissue Conrad “Duke” Hauser, enjoying easy banter with Dwayne Johnson’s Roadblock (flown in, Fast And The Furious-style, to doctor the new film) and calming the nerves of Joseph Mazzello’s short-lived new recruit with a few words of advice. In fact, with the exception of Ray Stevenson, everyone’s on solid form, delivering performances with just enough credibility and charisma to sell whatever nonsense is coming out of their mouths.

It’s Chu’s direction that most elevates the film, however; his experience with the Step Up series serve him well and help meet the demands of the action genre. While the first film’s set pieces were mired in immediately dated CGI, Cho’s stuntwork is far more visceral and invigorating. Everything is well-staged, competently choreographed and infused with just enough style to commit it to memory, a second act attack on a Himalayan fortress proving one of the most impressive and original sequences in years.

While the series still has a long way to go if it is to be taken seriously as a legitimate piece of action cinema, Cho has certainly set it along a few steps in the right direction. Johnson ably carries the film, but even when he’s offscreen the likes of Adrianne Palicki, Lee Byung-hun and Jonathan Pryce do a perfectly fine job of holding the fort, thanks largely to a (slightly) superior script and improved direction. The 3D conversion’s not half bad, either.

2-stars

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About popcornaddiction
I am a psychology graduate, a News Writer for HeyUGuys/BestforFilm and, most importantly, a hopeless popcorn addict.

4 Responses to G. I. Joe: Retaliation (2013)

  1. CMrok93 says:

    Of course there’s a ton of CGI and stuff like that, but I wasn’t even expecting anything practical considering what I saw in the first movie. It was okay, just not perfect. Great review.

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