G.I. Joe: Retaliation

The first G.I. Joe film was a mess. The only redeeming quality it had was that it didn’t pull any punches. It went hard and fast into the crapper. But, for some reason, a sequel was made.

gijrAnd it didn’t suck, amazingly. I’m not exactly sure how they pulled it off without making it feel like a reboot. They kept Snake Eyes in that stupid helmet, unspeaking. They kept the ridiculous technology. They even kept Cobra Commander (though, unsurprisingly, not played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt). They even kept Zartan in the guise of the President… which is the central point of this movie! A cliffhanger left by the previous film that wasn’t simply glossed over.

Some of the things in this film that work very well:

  • The continuation of the Stormshadow/Snake Eyes drama. I was pleasantly surprised by the turns it took.
  • The relationship between Duke (Channing Tatum) and Roadblock (Dwayne Johnson) was both funny and heartfelt.
  • The sequence in the bunker with the Faux President playing nuclear poker with the rest of the world. That was awesome.

Also, Adrianne Palicki as “Lady” Jaye is more interesting than any of the women from the first film. (Throw in her appearances on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and she’s turning into one of my favorite action stars. Too bad the Wonder Woman show tanked.)

With such low expectations, I was more than pleased with the result in this sequel. Who knows if they can pull a threepeat? Here’s hoping.

Bruce Willis was in G.I. Joe: Retaliation with Channing Tatum. Channing Tatum was in…

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