I saw G.I. Joe: Retaliation this weekend with Pat, Jason and John were supposed to go, but apparently they have families or something, hahaha. G.I. Joe: Retaliation is a direct sequel to Rise of Cobra, it’s the on-going mission of the Joes in the fight against a ruthless organization called Cobra. This time we get a completely new cast with the Joes; Flint, Lady Jaye, Roadblock, and Jinx, among others.
The good; Flint’s in this movie, he’s my personal favorite G.I. Joe character from the Real American Hero incarnation of Gijoe. So it’s nice to see him in live action finally along with Lady Jaye, played by Adrianne Palicki . Dwayne Johnson as Roadblock is a great choice as well, I’m ok with this ethnicity change in a character, unlike Ripcord… who’s character was completely changed.
On the Cobra side we get Lee Byung-hun back as Stormshadow, a new Cobra Commander, Firefly and Zartan. Firefly is the only new Cobra character we get, and Ray Stevenson does a good job interrupting this saboteur character from the Real American Hero cannon.
Other than the characters we get new vehicles/armor, and they look like a HISS tank and a FANG. It’s great to see these things in a non-animated form.
The action between Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow is great as usual.
*SEMI-SPOILERS* There’s some nice easter eggs/nods to the Real American Hero series.
-They explain Cobra Commander’s face mask.
-Zartan’s connection to Storm Shadow from the comics is integrated.
-The Cobra private military soldiers have helmets that look like a pre-Viper, it’s the helmet portion without the face mask.
The bad; the movie’s pace is rather speedy. Things move quickly from scene to scene, it’s an action scene cut next to a scene explaining how they get to the next action scene. That’s not a bad thing, but here it feels like they could’ve worked more on the transitions between scenes.
The action scenes are covered in the typical modern day transition… why is everything shakey cam? And why all the close ups? There are scenes where you can tell it’s Byung-hun going against Ray Park (even though he’s masked through-out the movie), I know these guys are capable, so let’s put their skill on display. There’s a lot of action with the other cast members too, but the geography of the scenes is muddled and messy at times.
There’s also a lot of death in the movie, I know they’re making it modern day GiJoe, where there are no lasers or parachutes deploying last minute… but we’re killing off main characters here, I was surprised that they would do that to non-red shirts.
Overall, 5 year old me enjoys this movie, but older me also sees this movie objectively. Retaliation is movie in the spirit of what A Real American Hero was all about. I liked that it acknowledge the mistakes of Rise of Cobra and then it moved forward. Check your brain at the door, go back to the eighties and imagine what a 5 year old boy wanted to see in a theatre.
Oh… and Duke stays dead, and knowing (that) is half the battle.