Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is once again using his franchise magic. Taking almost every film series and elevating it to new heights, he set his sights on the All-American Heroes. Johnson leads the sequel to “G.I. Joes: The Rise of Cobra” filling the shoes of Channing Tatum, who makes a brief cameo. With little connection to the original, “G.I. Retaliation” aims to completely rewrite the hopeful franchise.
Johnson is Roadblock, a Joe and close friend of Duke (Tatum). With Cobra’s imposter still running the U. S. Presidency from the inside, a successful mission quickly changes to ambush as the Joes are wiped out. With only a handful are left, Roadblock leads Lady Jaye, Flint, and Snake Eyes to clear their names and stop the villainous plan Cobra Commander has for the planet.
Watching the film, the ability to lose oneself in it doesn’t materialize. Unlike recent action films “A Good Day to Die Hard” and “Olympus Has Fallen,” the film relies too much on heavy clichés, keeping the action at a distance. This film takes such a different tone and approach than its predecessor, that the two films feel completely separate. Scattered through the film are connections to the original, but the story seems content to lurch to the finale that doesn’t satisfy.
Casting Johnson and Bruce Willis as a retired general is inspired. Unfortunately, the script can’t capitalize on their signature skills that have made them stars. Why 3D seemed like a good idea is suspect, but it’s Johnson and Willis chewing scenery. Better off waiting for the rental, if at all. 2 out of 5 stars
Check your local listings for showtimes and theaters (click here)