G.I. Joe 2: Retaliation

Cobra Commander's Thoughts On "GI Joe: Rise of Cobra"

G.I. Joe: Retaliation

Director: Jon M. Chu

Writers: Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick

Cast: Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, D.J. Cotrona, Channing Tatum, Jonathan Pryce, Bruce Willis, Byung-hun Lee, Ray Park, Elodie Yung, Ray Stevenson, Adrianne Palicki, Luke Bracey, Walton Goggins, Arnold Vosloo, RZA, Joseph Mazzello, Nick Erickson

Synopsis: The G.I. Joes are not only fighting their mortal enemy Cobra; they are forced to contend with threats from within the government that jeopardize their very existence.

MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of combat violence and martial arts action throughout, and for brief sensuality and language

Snake Eyes vs. Storm Shadown in "Rise of Cobra"

G.I. Jo Intros (1983 to Present)

The sequel nobody asked for is finally here...

Although I can't say I was a huge fan of the original film, "G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra", I'd have to admit that "G.I. Joe: Retaliation" is definitely a serious upgrade. Granted, it's still not a great action film, but it's definitely an improvement that I'm sure most moviegoers will be happy with. Loosely based on the "G.I. Joe" series that was featured in both the animated cartoon shows and comic books, "G.I. Joe: Retaliation" takes on a drastically more serious tone this time around.

Sure, there's still a few light hearted "tongue and cheek" sort of humor mixed in here and there, but gone is the annoying comic relief played by Marlon Wayans, as he's not even mentioned in this film. Thank god. Cobra Commander is also revamped, as even the director admitted that this version would have no connection to the previous one featured in "G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra." Although some fans might be p***ed off about that, due to continuity issues between films, but it's handled very delicately to where you probably won't even notice. At least, I didn't notice it. Just think of it like this. "G.I. Joe: Retaliation" is to "G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra", as "The Incredible Hulk" is to the original "Hulk" film...if that makes sense.

Having said that though, fans are finally treated to a more truer adaptation of Cobra Commander; along with a bit more of a serious upgrade than what you might remember from the cartoon shows. In this film, Cobra Commander is portrayed as being far more menacing, and cunning than he ever has been in the TV show. Plus, it helps they give him more of a sinister voice this time around, so you can't help but think that this version is kind of a bad a** this time around. Not to mention the modernized suit that resembles the classic look from the 80's show is a nice touch as well; a definite upgrade from that half a** suit audiences saw in the last movie.

And speaking of upgrades, Channing Tatum's character, Duke, is moved aside in favor of making Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson's character, Roadblock, to become the main protagonist this time around. Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against Channing Tatum, as he does have his moments as an actor, but lets be honest. Every role he plays, it's always Channing Tatum playing the role. He's not versatile like other actors such as Christian Bale, for example, who can become the character they're playing. But then again, Dwayne Johnson isn't exactly an Oscar worthy actor either, but he does have a lot of charisma on screen; which goes a long way. Whereas Tatum, he doesn't have any charisma, unless you happen to be a woman or gay guy that thinks he's attractive. However, if your not attracted to Tatum in anyway, then he'll just come out looking like a mediocre to average actor at best.

Unfortunately, the film still suffers from a lot of the same flaws that plagued the first one. Snake Eyes' back story continues to force the main plot of the movie to stop, and take a break from the main story again. Granted, I'll admit that the filmmakers behind this sequel do a much better job at integrating Snake Eyes' story this time around, but it still distracts from the main story at times; in cheap excuse to give fans a fight scene between Storm Shadow and Snake Eyes again. Sure, it works from a marketing perspective, and if you're a casual movie fan, then you might enjoy seeing these fight scenes. And, don't even get me started on how poorly this film establishes the relationships between their main characters. Hence, if you're looking for a story that offers more substance, then you won't find it here.

But then again, I don't recall the original cartoon series, or the original animated film, being a work of art either. No, "G.I. Joe: Retaliation" is a popcorn flick, where it's sole purpose is to provide viewers with escapism. Sure, there's an intricate plot, but most of it is used to set up the action throughout the movie. And like "The Expendables", there's a patriotic subliminal message regarding the current state of affairs our country happens to be in. It's not overly emphasized, but it's there regardless.

Plus if you thought Michael Bay was overly patriotic about America, in his infamous "Transformers" movies, then that's nothing compared to what you'll find here. Not only does this movie do everything and anything to kiss America's a**, but you'll swear that Jon M. Chu and his writers practically j*** off the U.S.A's d*** throughout the whole damn movie.

In fact, the film even takes a few cheap shots at North Korea for good old American superiority; thus establishing America is great, and everyone else is merely competing for second. Didn't you know that America is the best? If you didn't, then now you know. And like the original cartoon says, knowing is half the battle...G.I. Joe!!! By the way, I'm joking for those that can't tell.

As for the other technical aspect, i wouldn't see this film in 3-D, as it's barely even noticeable. Therefore, if you see this in regular 2-D, then you won't be missing out on much. The action sequences are well choreographed as expected, and the visual effects are nothing short of amazing.

Although the camera work isn't that great; particularly during some of the fight scenes involving Roadblock, as it goes with that whole shaky cam bit. But for the most part, I will admit that "G.I. Joe: Retaliation" was a lot of fun to watch overall.

Would I pay to see it again? No, but it's worth renting out once it comes out on DVD/Blue Ray, at a rating of two and a half out of four.

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Comments 10 comments

Fullerman5000 profile image

Fullerman5000 3 years ago from Louisiana, USA

I wasn't a fan of the first one either. This was one of my favorite cartoons and I felt they rushed the film and try to shove bad acting and action in it. I was, however, going to give the sequel a shot because it seemed they upgraded the acting a bit. I think I will wait till it comes to red box. Great review.


Stevennix2001 profile image

Stevennix2001 3 years ago Author

Well to be honest, I always thought the original cartoon was just OK, as I was more of a "Transformers" fan myself to be honest. lol. Maybe I just like giant robots I guess, as that would explain why I liked other shows like "Robotech", and "Gobots" as a kid. lol

However, I think you'll probably like this new movie, as it seems a bit more faithful to the original 80s cartoon. Just don't expect too much out of it. Anyways, thanks for stopping by again.


Fullerman5000 profile image

Fullerman5000 3 years ago from Louisiana, USA

My favorite would be He-Man. I religiously watched that. Transformers and thundercats too. They just don't make good cartoons anymore.


Stevennix2001 profile image

Stevennix2001 3 years ago Author

Oh man, I loved those cartoons too when I was a kid. Did you hear that supposedly the director of this film is actually working on a "He-Man" movie reboot at the moment. Plus, it's been reported that he wants Dolph Lundgren to have a cameo in it too. I just hope it's better than the last live action movie, as that one was just terrible.


Fullerman5000 profile image

Fullerman5000 3 years ago from Louisiana, USA

Yeah I wore my tape out of Masters of the Universe. Now looking at the film I have no idea why. I hope they make a decent He-Man film


Stevennix2001 profile image

Stevennix2001 3 years ago Author

Same here. It can't be any worse than what happened with the last live action movie. (knock on wood) However, I'm curious on where they'll go with it. Personally, I wouldn't mind it being an origin story myself, but I guess we'll have to wait and see.


My Cook Book profile image

My Cook Book 3 years ago from India

I saw this movie, a good one. But, Duke as one of the casualties in a military strike, i didn't like this part.


Stevennix2001 profile image

Stevennix2001 3 years ago Author

Eh, he'll probably be back for the sequel. Besides, if they can bring back Storm Shadow even though he got stabbed in the stomach in the first movie, then I'm sure they can somehow think of a clever way to bring back Duke. Anyways, thanks for stopping by.


tHErEDpILL profile image

tHErEDpILL 3 years ago from New York

Nice review. I agree with the Channing Tatum stuff 100%, though I think he is more believable in comedic roles like 21 Jump Street. Also I am a fan of The Rock from his wrestling days, but I have to admit that he too is starting to come across as The Rock playing the role. I could swear before he shaved his head and got on whatever the hell he is on to be that big he was more appealing. Oh yea and Bruce Willis will always be The Man no matter how old he is. I like your stuff man, I am a Film student and I've been leaning towards more film related hubs, I think I just got a little more inspiration. Keep it up.


Stevennix2001 profile image

Stevennix2001 3 years ago Author

Thanks. I'm glad you liked the review, and I think you do have a point that Channing Tatum is a bit more versatile when it comes to comedy. Sadly, it seems like most of the films he's involved in are mostly romantic drama these days.

As for Bruce Willis, I have to admit that I have yet to see a movie with him in it that I haven't liked. But then again, I haven't seen the last die hard film, nor have I seen his children's comedy, North, which i heard was among the worst films ever made by most critics. lol

As for the Rock, i couldn't agree with you more, but then again, he still has a lot of charisma to carry a movie, so that always goes a long way with people.

Anyways, thanks for stopping by, and you be sure to keep up the good work as well.

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