Where do we begin with this turgid, lumbering and, most disappointingly, boring film. Well we’ll start there. Boring.
GI Joe Retaliation picks up exactly where the first one left off. We all remember how that ended, don’t we? Well some stuff happened in the first one with some people and things were blown up in slow motion. But it did these things with a sense of glee and self-awareness that a film based on a 4” high plastic soldier needs. The sequel however takes any sense of joy its predecessor had, straps a grenade to it, and boom. Gone.
We could outline the plot for you here but there really is no point. You’ve heard and seen it all before and executed much better.
Instead we want to talk about missed opportunities. These films could have been brilliantly silly and yet somehow we end up with a film, (based on a doll with a drawstring voice box and eyes that were moved via a back of the head slider, gizmo thingy) that is so weighed down by its own seriousness and importance that it cripples it. The only levity comes in the short time that Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Channing Tatum spend on-screen together. They had the making of a passable buddy relationship. There’s even a pretty funny moment about the irony of one of these elite soldiers being terrible at Call of Duty. But then we lose the lofty skills of Tatum and are left with The Rock to carry the movie with some attractive people who looked confused. Even Mr. Johnson’s bulging biceps struggle under the weight of the task.
The fight scenes are clumsy, the action set pieces are all close up and shaky cam and useless, the script is beyond terrible and the “acting” appalling. We’re not sure what we expected from the director of Step Up 2 and Justin Bieber: Never Say Never but still, this?
Bruce Willis phones in yet another performance, (when did he stop smiling?) and salvages no credibility from this film.
We imagine that if you are 5 years old and a little on the slow side then you will love this film. If you are not, well then you will most certainly not enjoy it.
We considered doing a Spinal Tap, Shark Sandwich/Shit Sandwich review as we didn’t want to go over this film in our head again. We’re dumber for watching it. If you are thinking of watching this then please, for the love of Die Hard, don’t.
In honour of the late Roger Ebert we give this film 3 thumbs down.