Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Theater Review: G.I. Joe: Retaliation

The first film in this franchise probably didn't live up to the hype surrounding it, despite having such great star power involved. But, it was still enjoyable - despite the fact that Cobra Commander didn't look like the Cobra Commander we all hoped.

So, G.I. Joe: Retaliation was a semi-reboot, but still tied up loose ends that were left from the first film. Missing were Sienna Miller (Baroness), Rachel Nichols (Scarlett), Dennis Quaid (General Hawk), Marlon Wayans (Ripcord), Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (Heavy Duty) and Said Taghmaoui (Breaker).

Returning to the film as characters, but with different actors were Destro and Cobra Commander, so Christopher Eccleston and Joseph Gordon-Levitt did not return.

The only characters returning with the same actors were, Jonathan Pryce as the US President, Arnold Vosloo as Zartan, Ray Park as Snake Eyes, Byung-hun Lee as Storm Shadow and Channing Tatum as Duke.

(Spoilers of both films are involved)

The threat, however, remains the same - Zartan has taken over as the President, and no one knows it yet. He has framed the Joes for stealing nuclear warheads and has sent a strike team to destroy them - including their leader Duke.

As the dust settles, only Roadblock (Dwayne Johnson), Lady Jaye (Adrianne Palicki) and Flint (D.J. Cotrona) were able to survive after jumping into a nearby well.

Storm Shadow and newcomer Firefly (Ray Stevenson) have located where Cobra Commander (Luke Bracey) and Destro are being held - and gets himself taken prisoner in order to break them out - though in the end, Cobra Commander decides against freeing Destro. Storm Shadow, though, is injured from a blast and goes to a temple to recover.

Snake Eyes and his new apprentice Jinx (Elodie Yung) set out to the temple to capture Storm Shadow and bring him back to Blind Master (RZA) to answer for the death of Hard Master.

Meanwhile, Roadbloack, Flint and Lady Jaye try stop the impostor President who is blackmailing other nations into submitting to him and his new weapon of mass destruction - which he uses as to destroy London. For help, Roadblock takes them to retired and original Joe - Joe Colton (Bruce Willis).

I have heard the grumblings - and by the ratings on Rotten Tomatoes, critics have let it be known that this is not a good film.

But, I feel it may be the perfect film. The perfect film to kickoff the summer.

Summer is about explosions, stupid one-liners and beautiful people. It usually isn't about the best script, or even the best actors. It's is mostly about having fun. And, G.I. Joe: Retaliation was fun.

I had a few complaints - for instance, killing off Duke. Now sure they can figure out someway to pretend he wasn't dead, but at the end of this film he was. Channing Tatum may not be an amazing actor, though I have come to enjoy some of his work, but he has become a start. And, unless you intend on bringing him back from the dead, he is now gone from this franchise. Which, may not have been the best idea. Even those characters from the first film can still return - they were not killed.

Second, RZA is a terrible actor. The scenes with him instructing Snake Eyes had to be the most painful to watch. They could have easily gotten someone else - someone way better to play that role.

Finally, the mountain-side fight featuring Snake Eyes was absolutely amazing to watch. And, Cobra Commander actually somewhat looked like Cobra Commander - I just wish Gordon-Levitt had returned.

So, yes I liked this movie. It was fun. If you don't like fun movies - why are you watching them? If you want to watch Oscar-nominated movies alone, you have that right. But, don't continue to blast these summer popcorn flicks - what the hell are you expecting them to be like?


1 comment:

  1. I'm with you in that I'm all about movies being meant to entertain and mindless action movies can often do so. I always feel critics are too hard on popcorn flicks when they're just plain fun if you refrain from watching as a film snob. Hell, I even defend Michael Bay often.

    That being said, I didnt think GI Joe was all that good. I dont have much interest in this one because of that. Though, I will watch it at some point, but I'll wait until it's streaming on netflix or comes on HBO or something.