Movie Review: ‘G.I. Joe: Retaliation’

It is what it is.

“G.I. Joe: Retaliation” is a mindless blockbuster filled with numerous gunshots, sword fights and explosions.

The Joes, a team of elite American Special Forces operatives, have been framed for assassinating the Pakistani president and for stealing nuclear warheads.

Only a handful of this elite force survives a sneak attack by Cobra Command, and the remainder must clear their names, all while saving the world.

Dwayne Johnson (“Fast Five”) stars as Roadblock, the leader of the Joe team, and is successful in portraying a hero out for vengeance. Channing Tatum (“The Vow”) returns as Duke, but his role feels far more like a cameo.

The best performance comes from Jonathan Pryce (“Tomorrow Never Dies”), portraying a United States president impostor, and he seems to have a lot of fun playing an evil villain.

There really is not much to discuss for acting, because the film does not provide many opportunities to showcase acting talent outside of firing a gun.

The first G.I. Joe film, “G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra,” was one of my least favorite of 2009, and this film is certainly better than its predecessor.

This film actually feels far more like a reboot than it does a sequel.

Gone is much of the original cast, including Joseph Gordon-Levitt (“Inception”) and Sienna Miller (“Layer Cake”), for example.

Further, this film abandons the idea of NATO soldiers and returns the Joes to a group of American soldiers, which makes more sense.

There is a good chance that a person already knows whether or not they will like it.

If someone enjoys mindless action and cinema that is as dimensional as the cartoon that heavily influenced it, then it’s up their alley.

If you saw “The Artist” opening night, then it is likely not for you. “G.I. Joe: Retaliation” accomplishes what it sets out to do but not much else.

On another note, America’s greatest film critic, Roger Ebert, passed away last Thursday. His death was a great loss to the film community. 

My thoughts go out to his family and I encourage people to read his reviews; they were the best.

David Carty

David Carty served as a staff writer for the 2012-2013 academic year.

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