If you put Channing Tatum in a film with The Rock I will automatically be on board. There is no point in pretending otherwise.
I wasn’t expecting G.I Joe: Retaliation to be a game changer but anything less than a big noisy action film would be considered a disappointment.
PLOT: After the Joes are branded traitors by the President of America they set out to clear their name. Storm Shadow fights with his top off and I switch allegiance. Cobra blows up London and no one cares. The Joes save the day. END PLOT
I have kept my plot description brief as there was so much crammed into Retaliation that I had absolutely no idea what was happening. The plot is an incomprehensible mess and in order to keep up I had to stick to the basics – Joes = good, Cobra = bad and when the Rock starts sweating profusely I knew that shit was either going down or about to get real.
Like G.I Joe: Rise of the Cobra the subplot between Snake Eyes (Ray Park) and Storm Shadow (Byung-hun Lee) is much more interesting that the main arc. Storm Shadow enjoyed quite a lot of screen time which pleased me.
The action motors along at breakneck speed although it never gets a chance to flow as the camera is constantly cutting and jerking around. The best set piece was the mountain chase which was a key feature in the trailer. This sequence is much longer in the film and was quite spectacular.
The hand to hand combat scenes were decently choreographed and much more exciting to watch than the explosions. A few more of these, starring Storm Shadow, would not have been unwelcome.
The 3D aspect was practically non-existent aside from the exploding fireflies. The action was so frantic the 3D almost hindered it as it made it harder to focus on what was happening.
The Rock leads the chaos with ease and like him or not he is made for this type of role. Channing Tatum’s sudden increase in popularity meant that last minute re-shoots were required to include some Rock/Tatum buddy scenes.
The rest of the cast which was made up of Adrianne Palicki, Elodie Young, Ray Stevenson and D.J Controna were decent although they were not required to do much other than look gorgeously badass. Bruce Willis phoned in his lines from a dying handset.
Jon Chu, the director of two Step Ups and a Justin Bieber documentary, may not have been the best choice to handle such a film. If the filmmakers embraced the ridiculousness of the Joe vs Cobra battle and added some campy fun the overall tone of the film would have fared a lot better.
G.I Joe: Retaliation gets 6/10. If you are prepared to go with the flow and accept that for the vast majority of the 110min (IMDB) running time you will be in a constant state of confusion the film isn’t that bad. I would even go as far as to say that G.I Joe: Retaliation was good. It has the Rock so is there really cause to complain?