G.I. Joe: Retaliation
dir Jon M Chu
scr Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick
prd Lorenzo di Bonaventura, Brian Goldner
with Dwayne Johnson, DJ Cotrona, Adrianne Palicki, Bruce Willis, Channing Tatum, Jonathan Pryce, Ray Stevenson, Byung-hun Lee, Elodie Yung, Ray Park, RZA, Walton Goggins
release UK 27.Mar.13, US 28.Mar.13
13/US Paramount 1h39
G.I. Joe: Retaliation
Meatheads united: Johnson and Willis

tatum pryce stevenson
See also:
G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra (2009) Snake Eyes (2021)
R E V I E W    B Y    R I C H    C L I N E
G.I. Joe: Retaliation After the guilty pleasure of 2009's The Rise of Cobra, there was every reason to hope for more fun with this sequel. Alas, the change of writers, director and much of the cast have turned this into an incoherent, racist, sexist mess: just the kind of brainless blockbuster the original film gleefully undermined.

Following a political assassination, the US President (Pryce) sends the elite G.I. Joe team led by Duke (Tatum) to capture some rogue Pakistani nukes. But the president's actually an evil doppelganger from the villainous Cobra organisation. And now it's up to three Joes - Roadboock (Johnson), Flint (Cotrona) and Jaye (Palicki) - to take on Cobra goon Firefly (Stevenson) and stop the nefarious plan. They're also joined by Asian pals Jinx (Yung) and Snake Eyes (Park), who go after Cobra ninja Storm Shadow (Lee). And as armageddon approaches, they turn to the original Joe (Willis).

Clearly, the producers forgot that it takes some skill to write a script that's idiotic fun. This one is merely predictable and stupid, as fights are directed without a whiff of originality, julienned in the editing and rendered blinding by the jarringly unnecessary 3D. Car, motorbike, tank and boat chases are explosive but dull. Gadgets are over-deployed and under-explained.

Yes, all irony has been stripped away for a po-faced bombardment of preposterous plot points, wafer-thin characters and choppy action scenes. Not to mention dialog so blunt and jingoistic that it seems to have been written by someone who took Team America seriously. The good guys energetically massacre anyone who looks remotely foreign (by contrast, the bad guys want to liquify London). And poor Palicki even has to deliver anti-sexist scowls before stripping down to distract villains with her taut bod.

Of the actors, only Pryce is having any fun, and only Lee develops some inner dignity. If any of them had winked at the camera the film might have been bearable, but director Chu merely asks them to bark the terrible dialog as if it means something, never letting them develop even an inkling of chemistry. In fact, the only vague hint at a connection between two characters (Cotrona and Palicki) is a shamefully misogynistic scene that Chu shoots in such a way that it will even annoy misogynists.

cert 12 themes, language, violence 25.Mar.13

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© 2013 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall