Friday, August 30, 2013
PCP on DVD - G.I. Joe: Retaliation
I’m wrapping up my week of Channing Tatum posts here on the blog. Ladies – I hope you’ve enjoyed getting a Tatum fix, I’m sure my wife did. Today’s post is a review of G.I. Joe: Retaliation. Originally slated for a 2012 release, the film was pushed back until 2013 apparently for a 3D conversion, and reportedly for more scenes for Tatum as well, since he was blowing up last year between Magic Mike and 21 Jump Street. On with the review!
G.I. Joe: Retaliation – 2013, rated PG-13. My rating: 7 out of 10.
On paper, G.I. Joe: Retaliation (hereafter GIJR) is a direct sequel to 2009’s G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra. However, this film jettisons quite a lot of the deadweight of the first film, and it is as much a reboot as it is a sequel. Gone is nearly all of the original cast, returning only Duke (Tatum) and Snake Eyes (Ray Park) on the side of the Joes and Cobra Commander (Luke Bracey, replacing Joseph Gordon-Levitt), Zartan (Arnold Vosloo), & Storm Shadow (Byung-hun Lee) on the side of Cobra, in addition to the President of the U.S. (Jonathan Pryce) who was replaced by a Cobra duplicate at the end of the first film. Also gone is a majority of the campiness from the first film, with this film playing things more straight.
Newcomers to the cast include Firefly (Ray Stevenson), a bomb loving Cobra killer; Jaye (Adrienne Palicki), the Joes’ main female member; Roadblock (franchise Viagra Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson), the new star of the Joes; and Joe Colton (Bruce Willis), a retired general allied with the Joes.
As the trailer makes rather obvious, Tatum’s Duke isn’t around for much of the film, after a surprise attack wipes out all of the Joes save for Jaye, Roadblock, & one other inconsequential guy, plus Snake Eyes who is off on a separate mission, maybe 15 minutes or so into the movie (sorry ladies, you’ll have to get your Tatum fix elsewhere). The survivors have to regroup, figure out who struck them and why, and strike back hard, all while stopping Cobra’s nefarious plot to take over the world.
Overall, the film is far superior to the 2009 original (although that isn’t exactly saying much, considering how weak the first one was). The action sequences are better, the effects less cheesy, and the story more realistic. Seeing London getting destroyed was pretty cool too, it was nice to see it not be New York City or Paris as it usually is in big summer blockbusters. Overall, the film is really The Rock’s film, not Tatum’s, and he shines here in a solid action role. I’ve always preferred him as an action star than a family film star, so it was nice to see him taking names and kicking ass all over the screen. But as The Rock’s action films go, this one doesn’t even stand up to some of his earlier films, such as my favorite of his The Rundown. So, I’d recommend that one over this, but this one wasn’t too bad, all things considered.