Matt Adcock’s film review: GI Joe - Retaliation
Q. How do you go about making a sequel to a big budget but entirely shallow action movie based on a range of plastic figures?
A. Break out a serious amount of heavy duty weaponry, throw in extra swords, ninjas, nanotech machines, buxom females and mix it up with Bruce Willis and Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson trying to out macho each other...
Yes, the unstoppable ‘Hasbro’ toy franchise machine – see Transformers, Battleship and GI Joe: Rise of the Cobra for the billions of dollars made from their film tie-ins to date – blast back onto the big screen with G.I. Joe: Retaliation.
Director John M. Chu and the writers of Zombieland go for broke with bigger scale action carnage, insane CGI assisted firefights and cartoonish characters or ‘Joes’ who are sworn to protect the good ol USA at any cost.
Everything is machine-tooled to excite your inner 12-year- old – I know this because while I found it all averagely fun and totally stupid, my 12-year-old son proclaimed it to be “the best film I’ve ever, ever, seen!”
Pick of the dim-witted but eye-pooping action set pieces is a cool ninja-em-up battle that sees goodie Joes ‘Snake Eyes’ (Ray Park) and ‘Jinx’ (Elodie Yung) out to kidnap the Cobra master swordsman ‘Storm Shadow’ (Byung-hun Lee, who has possibly the most ripped abs ever to grace the screen) high up in the mountains of Japan. It’s breathtaking stuff that as ninjas clash swords mid death defying leap between peaks which brought yelps of delight and disbelief from the audience in the screening I was in.
The Rock is brought on board to lead the Joes when they are double-crossed and most of them taken out after an impostor takes over the White House.
Johnson is good value and sparks well off the rest of the cast. Bruce Willis does his usual grizzled tough guy smirking and gets to crack a few good one-liners.
Adrianne Palicki is on hand as Joe ‘Jaye’ – the eye candy of the crew as although her whole plot is about her wanting to be taken seriously in the military, her main ‘action’ scenes are ones where she must dress skimpily and use her pneumatic figure to distract men. .
GI Joe: Retaliation is the very definition of a fast food action flick – it’s tasty and enjoyable while it passes before your eyes but it’s of no lasting substance or real value. But you knew that when you tucked in, so does that make it all right?