G.I. JOE: RETALIATION is a film that has been being teased through two BNATs now. Trailer at BNAT13 and the 3D Trailer and extended Ninja Cliff seen at last year’s BNAT14. And after watching that Ninja Cliff sequence in 3D, I was sold. But what isn’t in that sequence… not in the cut form that is online now or that showed at BNAT… it’s the punchline. That scene has one of those heroic finishes that makes Snake Eyes the badass that he is.
I love that Ray Park is playing Snake Eyes, but you’d never know it in this one. He looks exactly correct for the character, and he never ever speaks or has a bit of flesh shown. He is fully the badass Snake Eyes we’ve always wanted. Design wise and in action – it is Snake Eyes. If that was the only improvement, I would have been disappointed.
Luckily the film is at a completely different level and a lot of that has to do with Dwayne Johnson’s Roadblock. I enjoyed Channing Tatum as Duke, but the added mega-charisma of The Rock really does make this one all the better. Roadblock just feels instantly like a badass character – and throughout the film he backs it up with being the biggest baddest asskicker in the film. Hell, Adrianne Palicki as Jaye is a whole lot of fun. In fact, I like everyone better in this. It’s a harder, meaner and ballsier G.I. JOE. The Rock really super-sizes this series and loads it with the weight that the firepower requires.
I enjoyed the first, but that was a full fledged sci-fi cartoon show. I’m a geek, so I kinda love that sort of insanity, but here… They acknowledge what happened in the first film. And this movie picks up in a world affected by that. Arnold Vosloo’s Zartan is the now the President of the United States – and the Zartan version of Jonathan Pryce is kind of awesome. There’s a huge master COBRA plan that is unfurling with frightening speed.
The JOES are completely blindsided and suddenly we have a very small ragtag group of survivors that are being hunted by a Cobra ruled United States. That said, this team is fully capable of the Impossible Mission they’re FORCEd to be on.
The Storm Shadow / Snake Eyes plot moves forward a lot here – and I think most every Joe geek should be happy with where it goes. I really liked Byung-Hun Lee’s STORM SHADOW this time out.
But really… I just can’t get over how happy seeing COBRA COMMANDER with his Silver Maskplate for a whole film. Really, this time out – COBRA isn’t some pre-COBRA thing, they’re hardcore.
They’re responsible for the deaths of millions in this film. The stakes are huge, this isn’t just eating a historical landmark. Bodies are swallowed into the Earth – and yet…
COBRA is responsible for my all time favorite brilliant plan to eliminate every nuclear missile on planet Earth. BIG BRASS BALLS – I mean, if COBRA wasn’t just pure evil, I’d almost say put them in charge. When the master plan starts to unfurl you just can’t help but admire the sheer awesome audacity of these evil fucker’s megamaniacal plot to RULE THE WORLD!
And really, that’s key. In these silly movies, you have to sit back and probably enjoy the bad guy’s plot. If you don’t – if the bad guy’s plot to take over the world doesn’t make you think, just a little, “YEAH!” then the film has missed it’s fun pulse. G.I. JOE: RETALIATION has a fun pulse.
I am curious to see how this does versus the first movie. It is certainly a very aggressive and muscular film. The fight between Dwayne Johnson’s Roadblock and Ray Stevenson’s Firefly is pretty great – not quite the superheroic battle between The Rock and Vin Diesel… but what really ever will compare to that Man Down?
There’s a ton of surprises throughout the movie that made me smile. But really losing Marlon Wayans helps to keep the silly shit to a minimum. Like I said, the stakes are much higher than in the first film. COBRA isn’t just monologue-ing this time out – they’re putting some pretty serious shit into motion.
In many ways this is an EMPIRE STRIKES BACK – in the sense that COBRA got pummeled pretty hard last time out, but this time… hell, they’re doing it with a sense of purpose – and I don’t know about you, but I always preferred COBRA when I was reading the comics, they just had a cooler sense of design – and I completely concur with the notion of ruling the world. I respect it as an ambition. But them JOES are just too damn good. Besides, they got Bruce Willis this time out – and he’s having fun too!
Yes, I saw this in 3D and what’s the verdict? There are a few key sequences where it really is impressive, specifically the Ninja Cliff battle sequence. However, there were about 6 incidents of pretty severe ghosting, but they are fleeting. Of course that might have been an early print, I did see this a week and a half ago. But they might have caught it.
I feel that right now, the GI JOE franchise is on firm footing. Just so long as they continue to play with the future tech. My fave here are the tiny insect drones with explosives that if one lands on you, it can blow you up. We’ve all seen that the super geeks have created insect size flying drones, but I’ve yet to hear about the tiny insects with any real bang. But after seeing them here… I can see the DARPA contract, if it isn’t already underway.
John Chu did a great job here. I doubt the franchise will ever come up with a better plan than COBRA’s this time out. Just genius. Makes me laugh. This is just closer to the tone that I think JOE Fans will dig. We’ll see soon enough! There’s a part of me that would like fun PSA’s with the Different JOEs and little kids. I know, but I’d howl laughing at em. Those things always use to rule on the show. Really though, I just think I need to see The Rock looking into camera, raising that one mighty eyebrow and say with absolute cheese, “And knowing is half the battle!” Right? You know you want it too.
Next let’s have the epic WWIII story! Look into it Paramount!