G.I. Joe: Retaliation (Frank’s Take) (film review).

Okay…so one realises that the acquired taste for the turgid testosterone-driven ‘G.I. Joe: Retaliation’ is not quite sophisticated for the cash crowd on Wall Street. In actuality, it may be deemed intellectually inferior to the impressionable minds in the kiddie-coated neighborhood at ‘Sesame Street’. Be that as it may, ‘G.I. Joe: Retaliation’ is back with sordid over-the-top action spruced up in arbitrary 3-D effects, dimwitted dialogue, firearm-toting hard body hotheads and all the assorted explosions that register a pretty colorful BOOM in repeated flagrant fashion. Right now there must be a global rejoicing of 8 year-old fanboys celebrating the release of this banal boisterous blockbuster.

Here is to tip toeing through the tumultuous tulips as the bombs burst in the air!
Here is to tip toeing through the tumultuous tulips as the bombs burst in the air!

Director Jon M. Chu (‘Step Up 2: The Streets’) points his baseless big guns at the continued exploits of the showy shenanigans involving the determined elite military strike force known as the G.I. Joes. Ringleader Duke (Channing Tatum, ‘Magic Mike’, ’21 Jump Street’, ‘Battleship’) and his carnage-loving cronies are back in self-destructing mindless mode as they try to save the world against the sinister agenda of the super-evil organization Cobra, who will stop it at nothing to eradicate the Joes while finding a dastardly way to access a top-secret WMD (weapon of mass destruction).

There is not much left to the imagination in the inane manner that ‘G.I. Joe: Retaliation’ wants to carry out its outlandish juvenile spryness. The dismissive banter between Duke and his second-in-command Roadblock (Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, ‘Snitch’ and the WWE broadcasts) gets awfully tired and gimmicky as the rest of the squad aimlessly flex their pecs and assume the background scenery. On hand to help the G.I. Joes confront the caustic Cobra cause for worldwide mayhem is veteran shoot em’ up stud Bruce Willis (the original Joe serving up his vast experience between nursing home visits most likely).

Among Duke and Roadblock’s rabid wrecking crew are Snake Eyes (Ray Park), Flint (D.J. Cotrona) and the sole feisty female member in butt-kicking babe Lady Jaye (Adrienne Palicki). Even the addition of an adversary in Storm Shadow (Byung-hun Lee) and feminine ninja expert Jinx (Elodie Yung) figures into the mix in an enormous effort to stop the Cobra conspiracies in its nefarious tracks.

The master plan, as engineered by the Cobra commander (Luke Bracey), is to replace the President (Jonathan Pryce, ‘G.I. Joe: Rise Of The Cobra’) with lookalike imposter Zartan (Arnold Vosloo) so that it would be easier to get hold of the dangerous weaponry needed to hatch a hostile takeover. In addition, the Cobra incentive also wants to put on a heroic façade while painting the Joes’ operation in a bad light.

As a globe-trotting action adventure, ‘G.I. Joe: Retaliation’ bounces all over the place as the bombastic blow-ups and other hedonistic tendencies start in North Korea, Washington D.C. then to Germany and a toss-up as to wherever else the raucousness creates havoc as the world’s fate hangs in the balance for the G.I. Joe bunch to save the day.

Reportedly, ‘G.I. Joe: Retaliation# was put on the back-burner from last summer to overhaul its production value with specialized 3-D effects. Unfortunately for Chu and screenwriters Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, they did not instill this twitchy vehicle with a solid base of structured storytelling to go along with the chaotic cluttering of boorish ammunition rounds and Neanderthal-induced narcissism. Chu does wonders with the choreography of fighting sequences that are strangely lyrical — mainly due to his forte with helming his previous dance dramas. Beyond this revelation, ‘Retaliation’ is reduced to a lucrative display of nonsensical nuttiness that diehards will blindly soak up with a cheap sponge.

The film stocks up on a handful of action-packed heavyweights in golden studmuffin Tatum, vintage voltage-sparking bad boy Willis and charismatic wrestling icon-turned action movie maverick Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson.  Still, overstuffing these brutish box office egos into this pandering disjointed disaster area was not enough to sweeten the pot for this pointless piece of percolating piffle.

For the moronic muscleheads in ‘G.I. Joe: Retaliation’, a dishonorable discharge cannot be far behind should another sequel be conceived on a frivolous whim celebrating a nostalgic toy soldier in the name of movie-making manhood.

G.I Joe: Retaliation (2013)

Paramount Pictures

1 hr. 30 mins.

Starring: Channing Tatum, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Bruce Willis, Adrienne Palicki, Jonathan Pryce, Ray Park, D.J. Cotrona, Arnold Vosloo and Luke Bracey

Directed by: Jon M. Chu

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Genre: Science Fiction/Action & Adventure/Fantasy

Critic’s rating: * star (out of 4 stars)


Frank Ochieng has contributed film reviews to SF Crowsnest off and on since 2003. He has been published in other various movie site venues throughout the years. Ochieng has been part of The Online Film Critics Society (OFCS) and had written film reviews for The Boston Banner newspaper (USA) and frequently is a media/entertainment panelist on WBZ NewsRadio 1030 AM on "The Jordan Rich Show" in Boston, Massachusetts/USA.

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