Friday, March 29, 2013

G.I. Joe: Retaliation Review

Hasbro. Making toys since 1923. Turning those toys into movies since 2007. How have they done with these movies? Well let's do a quick review. In 2007 we get the first Transformers. Bang! The movie is a huge hit with with a domestic total of $320M and gets a decent reaction from audiences. Unfortunately in terms of movie quality it goes downhill from there, but just like that old Pringles saying, once you pop, you just can't stop. Hollywood just has so much fun trying to replicate success  so next we got Transformers 2 in 2009. Copy and paste the story line, make a few minor tweaks and what do you know? The movie somehow breaks the $400M domestically. Awful movie, though. A couple of months later they try their luck with G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra and once again they find success, albeit not even half as big as Transformers, but decent hit nonetheless. Problem here? The actual movie is a complete disaster. Being that this movie's sequel is the actual movie in question, will dive into the details of that a bit later. Jump two years to 2011 for Transformers 3. Once again they use the same formula for the movie and once again they get box office success, but they forget that audiences hated Transformers 2 and only make slight progression in terms of how the movie is viewed. Then in 2012 we get Battleship in theaters and this is a complete mess in just about every way. Seeing a trend here? Are you thinking the same thing I'm thinking in that Hollywood/Hasbro should stop turning toys into movies? Well they aren't going to listen to that as they keep on making movies and for some reason I keep seeing them, so I guess someone is doing something right. This year's Hasbro movie in question is of course the recently released sequel to G.I. Joe in G.I. Joe: Retaliation. How does this movie fare? Well. keep reading and you will find out.

Like I mentioned before, I thought the first G.I. Joe movie was a disaster. Sure, there were lots of fun action scenes, but in my opinion you have to have more than just action and explosions to satisfy my needs in being entertained by a movie. You have to have good acting and a good story line as well and G.I. Joe had neither. The acting was pretty bad. The script was a mess. The story line didn't make any sense. It was just an embarrassing movie altogether. So does a sequel even make sense? Well, kind of. The ending of the first did leave it open to make more and of course that is exactly what Hollywood has done. However, unlike other sequels, the makers of the first movie were obviously quite ashamed of their job in the first one and instead of doing a cut and paste formula like in Transformers, they decided to go a completely new direction with this sequel. In fact, they almost completely cut all ties. They have a completely new cast and even a new director. So in sense this movie is almost a reboot. Not quite, though, because they do bring back a couple of villains from the first, namely Cobra Commander and Zartan. Also we get our likable ninja rivals Storm Shadow and Snake Eyes back. The president of the United States is also the same and we kinda get our main character Duke back, although only for the first ten minutes of the movie. Everyone else is gone with no explanations as to what happened to them. Instead we have a cast of heroes that includes Dwayne Johnson, Bruce Willis, Adrianne Palicki, DJ Cotrona, Elodie Yung. And quite honestly I think this was a great move because this cast was really good in my opinion. Dwayne Johnson is our team leader and once again he proves that he can act and thus removes himself further from The Rock, who was a tough wrestler that appeared in movies despite not knowing how to act.

Now how about this story? There are a few interesting twists to the story, so I will be as general as possible, but basically we have the white house being taken over. Specifically the president is actually kidnapped and instead a certain villain is cloning himself to look exactly like the president. This villain instigates an attack on the Cobra, trying to completely eliminate them while making them look like the enemies and of course our heroes have to overcome this and stop the secret plot that this organization has planned. While I wouldn't say this is amazing and groundbreaking, it is a lot more intelligent than the messy, confusing plot of the first one.  However it is nothing fantastic and although there are a few interesting twists, it is pretty predictable and unfortunately how it turns out left something to be desired for. The acting by all involved I actually thought was pretty good, so that helped this movie out a lot whereas it was a hindrance in the first one. And of course we have the action, which is the main reason that people are here to see this movie. Yes I am a guy who enjoys action movies and the action in this doesn't disappoint. There are plenty of explosions, guns, and fighting to make this movie enjoyable for those like me who enjoy watching that. Although I will point out that in the first movie the Joes relied a lot on fancy suits and technologies to oust their enemies and it seems that that aspect is almost gone as the Joes in this one rely on their physical prowess and normal weapons (guns, swords, knives, etc). No fancy suits that make them jump high or be invincible. Maybe that will disappointing to some, but I didn't have a problem. I mean, come on. This isn't Channing Tatum and Marlon Wayans in this movie. It's Dwayne Johnson and Bruce Willis. Those guys don't need fancy suits to kick some butt. And of course I can't forget to point out the fact that our lead female in this, Adrianne Palicki, is quite the stunning beauty in this movie. Hot girls that can kick some butt definitely get lots of kudos in my book. She is a fairly unknown name in the acting world, so most people will be experiencing her for the first time. In terms of movies, her biggest titles would be Red Dawn (2012) and Legion (2009). She has spent most of her time in the TV world and is probably best know for her role as Tyra Collette in the TV series Friday Night Lights. However, if you talk to me, I know her best for role as Sam Winchester's first girlfriend Jessica in the TV series Supernatural.

Overall, this movie is nothing spectacular and in fact it's one of those movies that in a week or two after seeing it, you will totally forget that you even saw it in the first place. Very forgettable. But at the same time it's not the worst movie you'll ever see and is certainly a lot better than the first one. If you are one of the few people that actually enjoyed the first movie, this movie actually might be one of the best movies you've ever seen. Personally though if I were to give a grade to the first G.I. Joe, I would give it a 3 or 4 out of 10. With that in mind, I give G.I. Joe: Retaliation a 6.5 out of 10.

1 comment:

  1. it was as if the movie execs thought that if they gave the rock a big gun it would make up for everything