This past weekend, I finally had the chance to watch G. I Joe Retaliation. The trailers did their job to get me excited, full of eye-catching visuals of action and gadgets. It’s enough to make anyone who loved the original cartoon shows anticipate the movie.
Glimpse of Awkward Scenes
G.I. Joe: Retaliation started out promising. Infiltrating a hostile nation? Check. Humiliating the guards? Check. Great start, then it went downhill, fast. The following scenes were awkward and annoying. There was a scene between Roadblock and The Duke played by Dwayne Johnson and Channing Tatum respectively and I must say there is no way they could have made that scene anymore awkward than it was – lame jokes and a failed attempt to put an emotional spin on their relationship. Sadly, this was only a glimpse of the scenes to come.
Less than Stellar Acting & Camera Work
G.I. Joe: Retaliation is chock full of them. It doesn’t matter who was talking to whom; the emotional aspects (Which seemed to be thrown into the movie for no apparent reason) and conclusions the characters often came up with left me regretting the money I’d spent. There was this one scene where Lady Jaye was talking about her father; I mean seriously, how did that move the plot? Those few minutes screen time could have been better spent elsewhere. It came to a point that all the byplay between characters had a history, arguments, and conversations – I had a hard time believing any of it. Some were due downright ridiculous answers while others were the result of less than stellar acting and camera work.
Only Saving Grace in Character Interaction
The only saving grace in character interaction is the brief and subtle moments where Storm Shadow (Byung-Hun Lee) and Snake Eyes (Ray Park) interact near the end of G.I. Joe: Retaliation. It’s amazing how much a mute man can convey with a few gestures and more importantly they were short, not the long wooden spiels of other characters.
I’m sure someone is wondering about the action by now, and you would have thought the action scenes would make the movie worthwhile; sadly, you would be wrong. The action choreography in G.I. Joe: Retaliation is something to write home about only because it stands out as being less than average. I think they just decided to go with more explosions and explosions, oh and gun trotting men firing in every direction.
Even Ninjas & Gadgets cannot Make the Movie Worthwhile
If I were to choose the best scene in G.I. Joe: Retaliation, it would have been the ninja scene on the mountain. It’s not because of my love for ninja actions; rather, it seemed more realistic than everything else in this movie. After watching dozens of other action movies the gun trotting scenes didn’t seem to be all that real. There were all kinds of inconsistencies where even a novice like me noticed.
Another plus for the movie was the gadgets. They were cool and seemed within the realm of possibility. I think, if the props were anything to go by, the people who made the movie loved the source material. The numerous vehicles really showed the heart of the old GI Joe series but it wasn’t enough on its own.
Scenes are Ambitious but as a Whole They Failed
I give G.I. Joe: Retaliation a 4/10; the movie itself is full of holes big enough to drive a car through. The jokes and humor are often I’ll time and breaking the Rhythm of the movie. The haphazardly chosen sequence of events left a bitter taste in my mouth; they didn’t mesh well at all. It came to a point where I was laughing at the pacing; the scenes are ambitious but together as a whole, they failed, at least in my eyes.
All in all, I’m a little sad. I so wanted this movie to be good, to be great even. The Joes have a special place in my heart and the idea of them is important to me. Sadly, while I’m sure they tried their best with what they had, this movie could have been way better.
G.I. Joe: Retaliation is one of those movies to watch, If and only if you have nothing better to watch. Sure, it’s an action packed adventure but it’s a poorly portrayed one. The good points are few and far between. No one will ever mistake this for a great movie, far from it. Hopefully the next one is better (rumor has it that they’ve already green lit a third movie) all around.
This is a guest review by Sidney. Sidney is a self proclaimed nerd. Action, Adventure and Science Fiction are his realm of expertise and he delights himself in their pursuit.