G.I. Joe Retaliation

G.I. Joe Retaliation

G.I. Joe is the perfect example of a movie that doesn’t know what to do with itself.  It’s trying so hard to pander to the lowest common denominator that it can’t by nature be anything but terrible.  Part of it more than likely has to do with the delay it had in coming to theaters, which was explained by Paramount Pictures to be for a post conversion of the film into 3D.  Whether that is the actual reason will never be known.  There was talk of the movie bombing during test screenings, and that re-shoots heavily involved including more screen time for Channing Tatum, but what the truth is we will never know.

In any event, I can’t comment on whether the Channing Tatum rumor is true, because he is still barely in the movie at all.  Even with the purportedly added footage, his total existence in the movie amounts to maybe 15 minutes at the most.  While I feel that there might be something to the rumor, as the Roadblock/Duke friendship dynamic seems rather tacked on, it is all rather irrelevant, especially in light of how little of it there is, and how quickly it is snuffed out.

Still, with the extra time given to bring the movie into theaters, it is a schizophrenic mess.

The main plot, involves the Joes being betrayed by the newly replaced President (Jonathan Pryce) who is now Zartan.

He has the Joes bombed after a successful mission to recover nuclear weapons from a foreign country, and in the wake of the attack, only Roadblock (Dwane Johnson), Flint (DJ Cortona), and Lady Jaye (Adrianne Palicki) survive.

They are able to find their way back to the US, and go to meet with Colonel Joe, the man who gave them their namesake, and seemingly had his house built specifically around concealing his excessive firearm collection.

Completely removed from those proceedings, Snake Eyes (Ray Park) embarks on his own private mission to bring Storm Shadow (Byung-hun Lee) to justice for his murder of their sensei, The Hard Master.  In pursuing that goal, secrets are uncovered revolving around the murder.  The Snake Eyes scenes (which feature the heavily publicized scenes of ninjas fighting on the side of the Himalayan Mountains) is visually stunning, but completely lacking in all other areas.

It all culminates in by the numbers conclusion during a nuclear disarmament talk taking place in the USA.

G.I. Joe Retaliation is a special kind of movie. A direct follow up to the 2009 film, it is very clear that Universal was hoping that a change of director and cast would make the film more viable. Unfortunately for them, the attempt failed miserably.

While I admit that on the surface it would seem that a movie based entirely upon a series of action figures would not have to aspire to very much, G.I. Joe fails on even the most basic level.

It is clear in every frame of this movie that everyone involved was thinking “It would be cool to do this.”  These conceptual ideas when put to film, however, fall flat.

There are a lot of allusions to nuclear deterrence, with the films major set piece being during the aforementioned nuclear disarmament talks. It is billed as a global event, despite being attended by only seven countries.

Its that kind of lazy, illogical, nonsense that pervades the brunt of G.I. Joe. From the gloves whose only purpose is to cut through a fence silently, to the way every G.I. Joe says hello to each other by point a gun at one another, and possibly the most ridiculous, a motorcycle which has missiles on it splitting into pieces and exploding into a building.

It’s also worth noting that the film features a cameo by the RZA in a role I won’t reveal here.  Suffice it to say, between this and Man With the Iron Fists, it’s probably best he sticks to rapping full time.

By the time the end rolls around your almost glad you can leave. I know I was.



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