Saturday, May 4, 2013

G. I. Joe: Retaliation

G. I. Joe: Retaliation was nonstop action, but severely lacking in plot.  There were some ridiculously crazy awesome fight scenes, but getting from A to B got a little confusing.

To start off, most of the G. I. Joe crew is replaced with totally different characters.  Dwayne Johnson (The Rock) is always awesome in the roles he plays, but his character, Roadblock, appears at the very beginning of the movie without introduction or explanation.  I suppose we're to assume he's just one of the guys.  It helps that he buddies up with Duke from the original movie, but near the beginning when (as the trailer shows above) most of the Joes are wiped out and Roadblock and a few others survive, we're at a loss understanding how Roadblock got to be that good.  What's his backstory?  Why did he join the Joes?  The whole time it felt like I was watching "The Rock" instead of Roadblock.

Wait!  I just noticed!  ROadbloCK.  He IS the Rock!

There are some connections to the original movie.  It may help to go to a wiki page to refresh yourself what happens in that movie.  However, it seems that the original plot is mostly thrown out the window in the sequel.  We do learn more about Snake Eyes vs. Storm Shadow.  We finally get to meet Mr. G. I. Joe himself, played by Bruce Willis.  Though, his introduction was confusing ... why can we trust him ... and why wasn't he in the first movie?  I saw him more as "Bruce Willis" in Die Hard, than I saw him as the creator of the Joes.  Like the Rock, Bruce is cool in the roles he plays.  How many movies is that guy going to appear in?

I love the comic-book action/violence that permeates throughout the whole movie, but I was a little disturbed by some of the setup.  Since the Joes are practically turned into outlaws, they must do battle with their own government.  Plus, near the beginning of the movie, the Joes must participate in a foreign mission that would be highly questionable in any political environment.  In these missions, the Joes take on and even kill some good people who are just doing their jobs.

In one scene, the Joes must get past some US guards at a gate.  The Joes kill these guards without hesitation.  It's got to be done to save the world, but still ... don't those red blooded Americans have wives and children waiting at home for them?  You think their survivors are going to sit back and "understand"?  No, in the third movie, they're going to be suing the Joes.

But then again, in the mind of the director, who's really only presenting a series of awesome fight scenes loaded with top-notch special effects, these US guards are just random "bad guys" whose real purpose in movie life is to give the good guys someone to cut down.

The violent scenes are indeed cool, but I wish they could have done more with the plot so as to not show too many unnecessary deaths of good people just doing their jobs.  Either make the deaths necessary, or at least don't resort to killing when only temporary incapacitation is required.

Another observation: it seemed that this time, the bad guys got all the cool gadgets, while the Joes had nothing near as cool as what they got in the first movie.  It's not a show stopper, but still ... why can't the good guys have all the cool gadgets?

Finally, I would venture to guess that Republicans and gun-lovers will eat up all the Easter eggs placed throughout the movie ... a Fox News joke ... guns everywhere.  In fact, the very last scene ends with someone holding up a gun at a solemn ceremony and randomly shooting it in the air.  Really?  I guess they had to fade to black quickly before the Secret Service jumped on the shooter.

Yet, I actually enjoyed the movie.  The non-stop awesome fight scenes and action was worth the theater price I paid.  In fact, I would recommend watching this movie in a theater so that you can fully enjoy these scenes.  Because once this hits DVD/Blu-Ray, it's just not going to be as enjoyable a movie.  Go watch this before Senator Feinstein bans it!

1 comment:

Milo James Fowler said...

I remember enjoying the first one, and I'll definitely be renting this one. Seriously though, isn't Willis in something like a dozen movies every year? Laughing all the way to the bank...