John Ary here with one hopeless toy collector's opinion of an action movie based on a 3.75-inch toyline.
I make no apologies for kind of liking G.I.Joe: The Rise of Cobra. It was a big dumb sci-fi adventure that played on my nostalgia for the Sunbow cartoon. It's a movie that I can't rationally defend for liking.
G.I. Joe: Retaliation is a slightly less dumb action movie that played on my nostalgia for Larry Hama's Marvel comic. This one I can only half-heartidly defend. The action is okay, with ninjas slinging themselves across mountain peaks, high-tech doodads killing people in semi-interesting ways, a fun jail break, James Carville giving speeches, and popular Joe characters engaging each other in one-on-one combat. Sounds cool, right?
Unfortunately, it always felt like the action was preparing to amp up for something bigger, something more epic, but the big giant climax never came. Characters die, stuff explodes and the disjointed story just keeps moving on. Director Jon Chu respects the source material, but the shoehorning in of extra Channing Tatum scenes and dialing back of the epic set pieces like Rise's Pit or Destro's Arctic base feels like studio meddling. Here's my immediate reaction after seeing the flick...