G.I. JOE: Retaliation (2013)

A whole lot of bravado and machismo in saving the whole freaking world while dancing!!!

GIJOE - Retaliation

Paramount Pictures in association with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Di Bonaventura Pictures, Sky Dance Production and Hasbro present…

Summer’s here and it’s time for the blockbuster films once more to take the spotlight after the award winning films have done its charisma to the movie going public! Now, coming from a long overdue hiatus due to rewrites, last year’s critical failure “Battleship” and from the same company that gave us the “ironically box-office money makers” robots in disguise film franchise the “Transformers” comes…

The sequel to the abysmal 2009 “G.I.JOE: Rise of Cobra” brings to front and center “physically able” action stars that needs more “knowing to win this battle”. Directed by Jon M. Chu (Step-Up 3D) working his way with his choreography instilled “masterpiece” was more dialogue centric while giving moments of stylized fight sequences that really need for these actors to deliver “cheesy” speeches” and with “posing stances” to make sure they were on the right cue further it was like watching a high school musical! The worst part is some of the cast and crew had already worked with each other from previous projects and yet still can’t get the one-two punch combo right!

Written by Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick who both collaborated in the film “Zombieland” made this a little more interesting and easier to digest. Setting tone on a dynamic approach of these brother’s at arms against their backs when the President of the U.S. wage war on their doorstep setting the “ingenious” plot on track and make way for some gun-fu, sword slashing, ass-kicking and technogasm action that will blow you away in the cinemas literally! But wait there’s more, the writers have utilized as well the current events which is actually happening in “the real world” not that the recently shown historical thriller “Argo” has anything to do with Iran isn’t it? (talk about originality and for the sake of relatable political isms)!

Improvement is one thing and Channing Tatum (Eagle) still has plenty to show in his diversity in acting at least he can speak and shout right now probably its one of the requirements to be a one tough soldier and lead his team! I did not care about his acting until I saw “21 Jump Street” which was good but we all have our places both in victory and defeat!

Speaking of crisis, I wish they have given Dashiell Faireborn a.k.a. Flint performed by D.J. Cotrona (Venom) and Jaye Burnet a.k.a. Lady Jaye played by Adrianne Palicki (Elektra Luxx) who were both terrible by the way, in relation to the roles in being the “de-facto” leaders from conception of the script. After their outpost was seemingly blown to kingdom come, the two well-known soldiers had always been the “second in command” especially for the former’s designation in the TV animated series and comic books! Their roles should have been offered to some of the best in the business and tone down Roadblock’s receiving character to a supporting but vital role.

I have no quarrels with Dwayne Johnson (Walking Tall), as the Joe’s resident heavy machine gunner and cook Marvin Hinton, he’s a great guy, adored by the masses and learns quickly in acting but the former wrestler was too serious maybe they have given the character to someone like Terry Crews and maybe still hook up with Vin Diesel and bring in Gung-Ho for all I care. So “Roadblock’s Retaliating…everyone back off!” they gave him the privilege to at least give the Producers a well-known branding to carry the film’s load and hopefully in the coming sequels!

The financing had hit sky high (no problem, Di Bonaventura is here to save the day!) since Joseph Colton also known as the first G.I.JOE is portrayed by none other than Bruce Willis (RED) which was the “pivotal” selling point of the film but I do hope they can squeeze the budget and spread it to some more talent! Such a lazy excuse and ploy to bring in more fans to the cinemas thinking who would miss this guy in films? Bruce has been a celebrity since his days in “Die Hard” and I even had the intuition of having these action stars play the role that was clearly meant for them (but that was a long time ago!)

Other characters such as the Sniper codenamed Mouse (they should have went with Low Light) the “green sniper” when referenced with past shows was one of the muscled bound characters from the animated series titled G.I. JOE Extreme or way better they could have used Tunnel Rat who is an explosives expert for crying out loud! Then there’s RZA (Derailed) as the Blind Master which was completely unnecessary and pointless, seriously there were already too many characters for the premise to work including an already extended sub-plot from the Arashikage Ninjas. They could have at least focused on Snake-Eyes to train a protégé while trying to plan a counter offensive from the protagonist’s last status and direction! Elodie Yung (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) plays the part of Jinx. A sidekick of sorts (both figuratively and literally) who was given a mission to retrieve his cousin and bring him to justice. I was even more impressed with her acting rather than “Wonder Woman” who can’t seem to get a good break both from the small and big screen flicks!

While a “former Joe” and a Ninja Master in his own right, Ray Stevenson (Punisher: Warzone) has been getting lucrative projects but only in a supporting capacity, his portrayal of Firefly Cobra’s very own saboteur has bad blood all over the place even with his so-called colleagues! Which leads to the franchise’s “well-known hero”, returning to the fold is Martial Arts Master Ray Park (X-Men) the black leather suit clad Ninja Commando Snake-Eyes whose character helps gain some energy in this dragging mess with the help of his trusted Uzi shooting down enemy shurikens! While Byung Hun-Lee (Everybody Has Secrets) back from his “icy grave” is Storm Shadow (where did he come from?) who obviously has been blurred where his loyalty lies truly at least both of these guys has been a sight for sore eyes!

This film was meant for the summer to be expected as blockbusters of the given timeframe! But honestly, wouldn’t it hurt the franchise if it was given a more serious tone like a spy action thriller like “Mission: Impossible”, of course this type of films are targeted for kids but actually it should at least give some credence to the generation who supported this pop culture icons. The story was merely reactive given that due to unfortunate happenstance it was the only thing left to do and just  ante-up the whole shindig with current events while lock the whole world in an inevitable nuclear war which is the last resort for humanity to dispense the population!

On the good part, it was improved in some ways in terms of back-story references, vehicles and other supporting characters which at least gave fans and the paying public to see its work around compliment “talented” individuals to be mere cannon fodder while speaking of which a certain city unfortunately was not able to dodge a huge bullet! But who can say no in widening the horizon for today’s demographic? All were in their right places, the right performers and the right intention and yet it still fell short with its redemption!  So, YO JOE?!?!

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