Sunday, March 31, 2013

Dwayne Johnson Stars In 'G.I. Joe: Retaliation'



By Darlene Donloe

G.I. Joe Retaliation, the sequel to 2009’s The G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, doesn’t disappoint when it comes to lots of action, loud guns and plenty of bang, bang, shoot ‘em up.

This time, Jon M. Chu’s 3D action-packed feature, based on Hasbro’s G.I. Joe franchise, takes the elite squad, helmed by Channing Tatum (Duke) and Dwayne Johnson (Roadblock) to Pakistan, where, unfortunately, nearly a full squadron is annihilated in a brazen attack. Three members of the squad survive and must save the country, the White House and the government. 

It’s classic ‘good versus evil’ with the Joes at the helm.

To its credit the movie, originally scheduled for a 2012 release date, accurately reflects the franchise’s cartoon origins. However, the movie safely walks the line. In order to make an effective  impact, the film either needs to go all in with the cartoonish style or leave it alone altogether.  Anyone who grew up with the popular G.I. Joes will delight in the somewhat campy fun that surrounds the film.

This time around North Korea plays a nemesis in the film. No surprise there.

Part of the storyline includes COBRA, the bad guy organization, inserting an impostor POTUS (played by Jonathan Pryce) into the White House, who then calls for global disarmament. Unfortunately, this part of the storyline doesn’t really help move the film forward. In fact, it’s a bit campy even for this campy film.  

After the impersonating POTUS sends the G.I. Joes into Pakistan to remove some nukes, he actually attacks their base.  What he doesn’t know is that some of the elite fighters survived the attack and now live to fight another day. The four survivors include: Roadblock, Flint (D.J. Cotrona) and Lady Jaye (Adrianne Palicki).

The Lady Jaye character is a welcomed surprise. She can kick butt with the best of them.

The fake POTUS isn’t the only bad guy. There is also Snake Eyes and Firefly.

There is an entertaining sequence involving Snake Eyes and some flying ninjas (ala Spider-Man) that goes on for too long, but does add value to the cinematography.  

Adding a bit of levity to the proceedings is action star Bruce Willis, who plays retired Joe founder Gen. Joe Colton.  Willis as an addition to any film - kicks it up a bit.

If you don’t want to think and just want to be entertained, this is a popcorn movie.

G.I. Joe: Retaliation, directed by Jon M. Chu, stars Dwayne Johnson, D.J. Catrona, Byung-hun Lee, Adrianne Palicki, Ray Park, Jonathan Pryce, RZA, Ray Stevenson, Channing Tatum, Elodie Yung, Bruce Willis, Walton Goggins.

On the DONLOE SCALE: D (don’t know), O (oh, no), N (needs work), L (likeable), O (OK) and E (excellent), G.I. Joe: Retaliation, now in theaters nationwide, gets an O (OK).

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