G.I. JOE: RETALIATION is dumb fun. That the best I can say about this movie, which is far superior to the nearly unwatchable G.I. JOE: THE RISE OF COBRA. The filmmakers appear to be on the right track with getting this franchise working and I’m thinking by the 4th or 5th film, they might actually have a winner (NOTE: dripping sarcasm). 


I grew up watching the G.I. JOE cartoons, reading the comics and collecting the action figures. It always seemed like a no-brainer to turn the property into a film franchise but sadly, the first film in the series was just a mess and didn’t capture what I felt was cool and fun about the property. 


Always willing to give things another try, I saw RETALIATION and was pleasantly surprised that they managed to get a step closer to what I want out of this type of movie. 


The plot involves the identity-stealing villain Zartan (Arnold Vosloo) who has managed to capture the President (Jonathan Pryce) and is masquerading as him to not only discredit and destroy the G.I. JOE squad but also pave the way for COBRA to assume control of the world by eliminating all the other country’s nuclear stockpiles. 


The plot is fairly standard for this type of film, but it has its clever twists and utilizes the specialties of the heroes and villains to move the story forward. 


My big complaint is that the movie panders to the lowest common denominator and is a little too gung-ho for its own good. It’s a shame that after MARVEL and the Fast & The Furious Franchise have shown that you can make great fantasy-action films that are also smart, that G.I. JOE couldn’t follow suit. 


There is so much that can be done with this franchise that I do welcome another film, but only if they build on the progress they are making. So, if you want to turn off your brain for a few hours, you could do far worse than this film…And knowing is half the battle.

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G.I. JOE: RETALIATION (2013)

JANUARY 27, 2014