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Just Your Average Joe – A review of G.I. Joe: Retaliation
Summary: A solid action adventure with a compelling plot and believable acting but with some of the cheesiest dialogue to come out of Hollywood in recent years.
Okay, when you think of G.I. Joe adventures, I somehow doubt that you’re thinking “Oscar caliber” in the same sentence. I wasn’t expecting much either, but I got more than I figured I would from a film that had a release date delayed several times.
G.I. Joe: Retaliation dishes out a reasonable amount of action and a solid world threatening plot. Along for the ride are Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, Bruce Willis and Channing Tatum, all excellent action heroes in their own right.
Tatum now leads a team of Joes into battle but they are betrayed by the U.S. President (Jonathan Pryce) who is actually an enemy operative in disguise. Using the cover provided by a nano-skin, Pryce marks the commando unit for death as they finish up another world saving mission against another American enemy.
The faux President is really in league with Cobra and uses his influence to set free the captured terrorist leader Cobra Commander. Along with the elimination of the Joes, this could spell certain doom for the planet.
But not while there are a few good Joes left standing. Roadblock (Johnson) takes command and assembles the remaining team into a stopgap for the villains and manages to send the enemy a compellingly clear message that their methods won’t fly. Don’t worry. I won’t spill the specifics.
Willis seriously needs a rebound from the last Die Hard debacle and this film certainly serves as a vindication of his acting abilities. At least here, he has a more likable character and a better plot to sink his teeth into.
I wasn’t at all surprised at the sudden departure of Tatum’s character early in the film. It was fairly obvious that he wasn’t happy playing second fiddle in the story and the script gives him a graceful out.
The fighting is spot on in the picture with martial arts action galore. The sequence with fighters practically dancing on the cliff-side is a sight to behold, even though the CGI is fairly evident. Even the gun battles are fun to watch.
Where the film falters, though, is the terrible dialogue. A high school student could have written better and more compelling lines. It’s a credit to the actors that they were able to deliver them with a straight face.
Overall, G.I. Joe: Retaliation is a good popcorn flick for a weekend afternoon. If you expect more than that, you’ll need to rent something else instead. After all, we have a month to go before the summer blockbusters hit the big screen. I give the movie 3 out of 5 stars.