Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Movie Review ... G.I. Joe: Retaliation


gi Joe retaliation posterAs someone who grew up avidly reading the G.I Joe comics back in the 1980’s, the films have been a blast from the past.  They are as silly and totally ludicrous as one expects but that’s part of their appeal.  The non-stop action and death-defying stunts mirrored the fantastical imagination children had when playing with the various related merchandise.  ‘Retaliation’ is a full-throttle sequel full of over the top spectacle – something long-time fans wouldn’t have any other way.

On the run after being framed by Zartan (Arnold Vosloo) who is impersonating the American president (Jonathan Pryce), the G.I. Joe team are in trouble.  Among them are Roadblock (Dwayne Johnson) and Duke (Channing Tatum).  With the help of General Colton (Bruce Willis) they aim to stop the evil Cobra organisation from unleashing a world-wide apocalypse.  With guns blazing and bullets to spare the G.I. Joe guys and girls show their enemies exactly what vengeance feels like.

An important question any escapist movie should answer is – does it entertain?  In G.I. Joe: Retaliation’s case it does in spades.  Jon M. Chu’s frenetic direction ensures every action sequence is seen in all its glory.  Using a mix of real and CGI influenced styles these scenes run the gamut of ridiculousness with the pacing never slackening.  These films are meant to be enjoyed as the performances have about much substance as fairy floss.

Whilst not as good as its predecessor, G.I. Joe: Retaliation gamely carves out its own identity.  The somewhat stream-lined cast help maintain focus and there are enough characters moments to make one care about what happens.  Everything is painted in broad comic-book strokes with the heroes impossibly virtuous and the villains suitably hiss-able.  There’s nothing mundane here – just a colourful pop-art thrill-ride towards a predictable but nonetheless captivating finale.

‘G.I. Joe: Retaliation’ is silly nonsense with tongue firmly in cheek.  As a slice of bubble-gum cinema it works with its bad-ass characters defying the odds against countless ‘worthy, but dull’ productions.


Movie Review Rating out of 10:  6

Movie Review by Patrick Moore

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