ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Ka-Tet's Movie Review: G.I.Joe: Retaliation

Updated on April 14, 2013

“Yo Joe!”

That signature battle cry was a familiar one at my house, as my brother and I spent literally thousands of hours absorbed in G.I.JOE. Reading the comics, watching the cartoon, and playing with the action figures. So when Stephen Summers announced the movie a few years back I was giddy with anticipation… and worry. Lets face it: childhood nostalgia is powerful mojo. Screw it up and you’re in big trouble. G.I.JOE: The Rise Of Cobra was… well, big dumb fun. I sat through it with a goofy grin plastered on my face as it unspooled, very reminded of the weekday cartoon. But it wasn’t a good movie. (Just like the cartoon wasn’t good, and you’re hearing that from a guy who owns all of it on DVD, but it was fun.)

So now comes G.I.JOE: Retaliation with a smaller budget, a different director and several major cast changes.

And I couldn’t be happier.

While the new film trades in the goofy camp that made the first film what it was for a more realistic take, it works so much better. This isn’t high art or anything, we’re not going to be discussing Retaliation come Oscar time, but it was a good action flick. And it stuck much closer to the spirit of G.I.JOE. If Rise Of Cobra reminded me of the cartoon, Retaliation very much reminds me of the hours my brother and I spent playing with the toys and action figures. We frequently went off the reservation, not rehashing cartoon or comic plots, but inventing our own outlandish story arcs that would inevitably feature a new Cobra super-weapon in their bid for world domination. And then we’d throw the Joes in the deep end and hope they could swim.

And that’s what director Jon M. Chu has done here. Chu, known for Step Up 2 and 3 has been a fan since his childhood, and not only treats the source material with respect, but directs the action scenes like a choreographed dance. Nowhere is it more evident than the mountain top cliff scene featuring Snake Eyes (martial arts expert Ray Park) and Jinx VS a pack of Ninjas. (I think the proper terminology is a clan, but pack works for me.) It’s jaw dropingly beautiful.

On a side note, Paramount delayed the release of this film over nine months to accommodate a 3D conversion (you know, so they can squeeze a few more bucks our of everyone who sees it that way). Well I went to the standard 2D presentation, and with the exception of the mountain cliff scenes, can’t imagine the 3D up conversion really did all that much for it.

My advice, save a few bucks and go 2D.

The film gives a brief overview of the events of the first film, then leaves those waters behind. The Joes are sent on a mission to retrieve nuclear devices from a war torn country, then betrayed by the commander in chief (a dual role played by Jonathan Pryce) who is actually Cobra henchman Zartan in disguise. While most of the outfit is wiped out and killed and then blamed for going rogue, a few Joes survive the massacre and vow to get to the bottom of things.

Leading the survivors is Roadblock, very well portrayed by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. For a wrestler, he’s becoming a competent action hero. Fans will enjoy seeing Lady Jay and Flint (although the former is used as so much eye candy, and the later has no personality or story arc) but it when the team turns to original General Joe Colton (Bruce Willis) that things start to look up for them.

So many little things work in this film, but most of all I’m pleased that the vehicles look like the ones I used to play with, the action scenes are well done, Cobra Commander looks like Cobra Commander, and the Joes feel so much more like MY Joes, Real American Heroes.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)