GI JOE RETALIATION (Jon M. Chu, 2013)
And we waited about a year for this?
GI JOE RETALIATION was set to be released summer of 2012, but it was delayed for a whooping EIGHT months reportedly to have the film in 3D. However, news leaked that the real reason for the sudden change in release date is to allow filming for Channing Tatum's character Duke, and not have him killed in the first 10 minutes of the film, at least. I guess most of the fans were shellshocked when a version of the trailer came out that had Duke die early in the movie.
Upon seeing the finished film, I could not help but feel that GI JOE RETALIATION is heavily re-edited to the point of non-comprehension. The sequences do not feel connected, and any trace to its predecessor is almost wiped out of our consciousness. If you are wondering what happened to Ripcord and Scarlett and whether or not they'll be a couple, or where the heck is Ana and why isn't Duke even mentioning her, or who the hell are these new characters, then I'm afraid the movie offers no answer. It generally steps on the existence of the first movie and destroys it. You can basically watch RETALIATION without seeing first THE RISE OF COBRA and still get a view of things, except maybe why Zartan looks like the President of the United States.
Save for a breathtaking cliffhanger showdown between ninjas that involved swords and ropes, and Dwayne Johnson's big-ass assault vehicle, the film is joyless enough to crush our dreams of a decent popcorn flick. Good thing Jonathan Pryce is charming both as Zartan and the President, but mostly Zartan.
THE RISE OF COBRA, despite having been lambasted by critics and overnight critics who claimed that the first film destroyed their childhood memories of GI JOE, was an escapist fun ride that enjoyed its silliness. Marlon Wayans is hilarious as Ripcord, and damn you if you weren't turned on by Sienna Miller and Rachel Nichols.
In RETALIATION, instead we get The RZA who looked like he wanted to insert himself in every Kung Fu/ninja/samurai movie. That, and a Bruce Willis cameo. That's right folks, the poster and the trailer is just a marketing gimmick.
Semi-spoilers for you out there which may not necessarily be harmful because you'll probably see the movie anyway (I know I did): someone changes sides, someone doesn't get killed, and someone dies afterall.
Of course, the franchise was already respectable in terms of content in the hands of Stephen Sommers (THE MUMMY), but leave it to Jon M. Chu, who gave us two bad STEP UP movies and that Bieber biography to screw things up.
But if you're going to watch the film, you might as well enjoy it. There's plenty of explosions to satisfy your inner thirst for attention. Don't fret, it's better than DIE HARD 5 in all respect to Bruce Willis.