Written by Guillermo Troncoso.
The first G.I. Joe flick, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, was a pretty awful exercise in dull action and lazy screenwriting. Even a cast that included Dennis Quaid, Channing Tatum and Joseph Gordon-Levitt couldn’t help that film rise above mediocrity. It’s no wonder that Paramount Pictures delayed this film from release by nearly one year after the film’s initial test scores where “mediocre to bad”. Paramount’s official reason was they wanted to give the film a “conscientious 3D” post-conversion. The real reason is more likely due to the fact that the film sucked and they wanted to pack in some re-shoots and re-edits.
Now that it’s finally here, one question remains: was it worth the delay?
I think it was.
There’s a certain level of glee that you get from some of the over-the-top action sequences on display here. The big-budget action provides plenty of bang for your buck and the 3D is there to simply enhance the experience. This is an action film – nothing more. So, don’t go see it expecting to see anything other than guns, explosions and a smart-ass bit of dialogue now and again.
Director Jon M. Chu (Step Up 2: The Streets, Step Up 3D, Justin Bieber: Never Say Never) doesn’t really provide anything original or that out of the ordinary, but he certainly knows how to energetically film an action sequence. A cliff-side fight sequence, in particular, proves to be quite a highlight.
The film gets dangerously close to losing its mojo every time it slows down, which doesn’t happen too often. It gets pretty embarrassing whenever there’s an attempt to flesh out some of the paper-thin characters. The likeable cast do what they can with the disposable dialogue and they do what is necessary in this kind of flick: shoot, pose, shoot, pose, yell, roll, repeat.
G.I. Joe: Retaliation more or less delivers what the target audience would want. It doesn’t aim high, it aims at the red barrel and takes the easy way out. Slick action scenes and a sense of fun make for a slightly above average popcorn flick.
THE REEL WORD: 6/10