The 361st Film I have seen in theaters….
I hesitantly ventured to the cinemas to see GI Joe: Retaliation. I say hesitantly for a couple of reasons. First, I must mention that this was supposed to be released LAST summer, and was delayed almost a year for “3D conversion”. Well, the 3D was pretty good for a post-job, so that worked out. There is also the matter of the original film- Rise of Cobra, which gave me paude. While not a bad movie, it was certainly lacking in several places. The biggest was the radical redesigns of the GI Joe universe, as well as some questionable character relationships- specifically Baroness, Duke, and Cobra Commander. This film largely does away with all of that. Quickly.
Duke is now the leader of the GI Joes, Roadblock (The Rock) is his lieutenant. At the end of the first film, Cobra Commander was captured and Zartan, master of disguises, was in place AS the President of the United States. This film starts off with the master plan being put into action. The Joes are almost completely wiped out. Only Roadblock, Lady Jaye, Snake Eyes, and Flint survive. This is appropriate as Flint and Lady Jaye were two of my favorite Joes as a child. Note that Duke is not on the list. That’s right, hunk of the decade Channing Tatum is killed off. The surviving Joes must now unravel the mystery of why they were targeted, and what is going to happen next.
The casting was pretty good for this film. Dwayne “Rock” Johnson shines as Roadblock, DJ Cotrona does not have much to do as Flint, but he also does not get in the way of the movie as Wayans did in the first. Jonathan Pryce is a phenomenal in everything, Ray Stevenson was a credible threat as Firefly, and Bruce Willis was a welcome addition and General Joe Colton- the Original GI JOE. His interplay with Lady Jaye was particularly good. Speaking of…
Smoking Hot. I kinda wish her “Wonder Woman” tv show made it further than Pilot now. lol.
The story was…interesting, but no more outlandish than anything the comics or cartoon did. The only real problem I had was the Ninja stuff. Its as if they filmed two movies and meshed them together. The ninja battle was phenomenal, don’t get me wrong, but it did not fit in with the rest of the film.
What cannot be stressed enough is that the LOOK of Cobra Commander was right in this film. While Cobra Commander had several different looks, the classic version looked like this:
The 2009 Film featured this:
A Bizzare choice to be sure. The new film features THIS design:
Very true to how fans remember the character. I mean come on! Look at him!
They got it 100% correct.
Word has come down that there will be a third entry in the series most likely with this new cast in place. This was a definite step up from the first, and I hope they continue the trend.