G.I. Joe: Retaliation
You know that little boy who sits in the sandbox, playing with army men action figures? He doesn’t have a story set up, but he just wants to mash the good guys against the bad guys? I was the five year old. I’m not sure if all boys are like this, but I was able to control my aggressive attitude through my toys and just playing war with them would make me happy. Even if the figures didn’t match (like putting batman against the ninja turtles), I would should and scream, making my own sound effects for my little world of mindless action. Come sundown, my mom would take me home, only I would be ready for a rematch the next day.
Action figures were something I loved for a long time. They game me the chance to play make believe with toys that were smaller then dolls, therefore not making me look like a sissy. The G.I. Joe toys were something I had (along with about fifty others) but never watched the cartoon. I saw the first G.I. Joe movie back in 2009, and found myself feeling as dumb as a five year old. Then someone decided to give the series a second chance with G.I. Joe: Retaliation.
After a successful mission in a Cobra terrorist camp rescue, Roadblock (played by Dwayne Johnson) and Duke (played by Channing Tatum) take some time off to relax and play some video games. The Joes are the team of the worlds best military combat and are called upon when no else is suitable for the craziest of missions. They are also in constant battle with the Cobra terrorist group lead by the notorious Cobra Commander. One evening, the Joe’s compound is gunned down by the American forces, which leads to the casualty of Duke.
The president (played by Jonathan Price) had apparently ordered the attack, citing the murder of the Pakistan Prime Minister on their hands. So the Joes were wiped out and the cobra’s are made to become the nation’s secret service. At the same time, Cobra Commander and Storm Shadow are broken out of their prisons, giving the chance to make their group rise.
Roadblock, Flint (played by D.J. Cotrona) and Lady Jane (played by Adrianne Palicki) are the only survivors and make their way back to the states to find out the reasoning behind the attack. They meet up with the original General Joseph Colton (played by Bruce Willis) to discover that the president is actually an imposter and is using his power for the Cobra’s conquest of the world. With some guns and three hundred horsepower tank, it’s time to really retaliate.
I had just watched the first G.I. Joe a few days ago and I remember nothing. G.I. Joe: Retaliation had the opposite effect and gave me something that I surprisingly had fun with. Yes it is silly, but it’s action scenes and stunts are so cartoonish, that I felt like I was watching a live action cartoon.
I’m not even sure that I should consider this a sequel. The actors are different (mostly), the military tactics are different (no accelerator suits), and even the tone is different. There seems to be more of a self-awareness to it’s silly ideas and becomes more of an exploitation movie. Yet even with the constant explosions, I found myself liking the characters. Dwayne Johnson is entertaining as Roadblock. I think it’s is nice personality, but he’s slowly becoming the next Schwarzenegger. Bruce Willis certainly adds plenty of humor to the Joes. Now if the movie could have developed these characters a little more, we could have had something great.
I’ll give this four Cobra Commander toys out of five. Now that the movie has found a clear understanding to it’s silly tone, it needs to stick with it and go a little further. I could become a continuing successful franchise.