Channing Tatum is hardly a blip on this radar screen. But he figures prominently in all the ads despite Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson holding down the fort for the better part of “GI Joe Retaliation.”
This isn’t easily a stand alone movie.
Without seeing its predecessor or understanding of the comic book characters, few have any idea of what is going on here.
The writers certainly don’t help audiences with a story line that they can readily grasp. And director Jon Chu seems to be more focused on chewing up that big budget he was given than making a real movie.
This hodge-podge mess of a film is an ode to indulgence that Paramount would be foolish to repeat even given the puzzling $51 million opening weekend take. People will wise up.
Tatum is shrewdly played in the ads but twilight star Bruce Willis (yes, twilight as in acting years) has more screen time. (Though not sure why he has been resurrected in a spat of films. Are his relatives calling the studios under assumed names requesting he get roles?)
A smart yet underutilized actor is Adrianne Palicki. At beautiful, fit 5-foot-11, the actress occupies the screen with the big men as one of them, without seeming large herself. Unfortunately, the writers don’t infuse her character with a storyline though she seems to insist on infusing life into even this lackluster role.
“The Rock” is playing affable all over these days. He might even be capable of acting. But this isn’t that movie. He’ll be back soon enough in April with “Pain & Gain” and Mark Wahlberg for a try at a comedy “bromance.”
But for now, back to “Retaliation.” At the end of the day (or the war or the battle or the salutes into the sunset) this is a no go. Stay peacefully on your couch and prosper.