After nearly a year’s delay to add 3-D, the sequel “G.I. Joe: Retaliation” has a release on Mar. 28 with some advanced showtimes available. Studios hoped the addition of 3-D and a practically all new cast would score better with audiences, but “Retaliation” is on par with the previous film; it’s no worse than the first one, but it is not any better, either.
In the previous film, Duke (Channing Tatum) led his team to victory over Cobra Commander and Destro. Now with a new team featuring Roadblock (Dwayne Johnson, the Rock), Lady Jaye (Adrianne Palicki), Mouse (Joseph Mazzello), and Flint (D.J. Cotrona), the Joes are sent to rescue a nuclear warhead. The team is betrayed by a phony president (Jonathan Pryce) and only three survive. Roadblock leads the remaining team and some recruits on a journey of justice and revenge.
Though some of the action is decent, most of it leaves a lot to be desired and the storyline diverges all over the place. “Retaliation” attempts to merge “Mission: Impossible” with “Die Hard,” but the combination is a crumbling mess rather than a fluid story. Apparently the Joes are a bunch of junior detectives solving crimes with minor details rather than real investigation. Most of the action relies on explosions to distract the audience from the plot holes (such as a spontaneously appearing helicopter).
The brand new cast is confusing. With Dwayne Johnson, Channing Tatum, and Bruce Willis, one would expect more witty one-liners, but the jokes are mostly contained in the first fourth of the film. Willis and Tatum are especially underutilized, focusing primarily on Johnson to boost the adrenaline. Lady Jaye is a betrayal to this fan. Adrianne Palicki behaves as a token female Joe but carries no personality; her sole purpose is to show off her assets. They all lack any character development for being brand new characters.
Like the previous “G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra,” “Retaliation” has too many fancy, super-powered devices and a poor story. Fans want to see battles between Storm Shadow (Byung-hun Lee) and Snake Eyes (Ray Park), but “Retaliation” misguides them to battles between evil Firefly (Ray Stevenson) and Roadblock. The 3-D is an unnecessary addition and only adds excitement to one silly scene involving a rope battle. “Retaliation’s” release in March rather than as a summer release is clearly due to its lacking quality of filmmaking and adrenaline.
Rating for “G.I. Joe: Retaliation:” D
For more information on this film or to view its trailer, click here.
“G.I. Joe: Retaliation” is currently playing with limited showtimes at theaters like Rave Polaris and Arena Grand, but more shows will be available this weekend. For showtimes, click here.