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G.I. Joe: Retaliation (3D)

2013-04-04 17:24
 
G.I. Joe: Retaliation
What it's about:

In this sequel, the G.I. Joes are not only fighting their mortal enemy Cobra; they are forced to contend with threats from within the government that jeopardise their very existence. 

What we thought:

Take a big portion of gunfire, a good few explosions and a generous helping of the ridiculous and you'll have G.I. Joe: Retaliation. I don't remember much about the first film but I do remember it being a thoroughly absurd piece of cinema (it featured a sequence with the Joes in Cyber-Suits smashing their way around Paris). I'm fairly certain that this new film matches that one, possibly even outdoes it, in terms of sheer ridiculousness.

This is no bad thing. Lately, blockbusters have had a tendency to shy away from the ridiculous aspects of their premises, which does negate the fun of these things somewhat. Not this film, no sir. G.I. Joe: Retaliation knows exactly what kind of film it is and it runs with it.

The story this time finds the Joes (cut down to three initially, following an attack that comes with the requisite explosions and gleeful smashing of all and sundry) on the run and out for revenge. Turns out that Cobra, the bad guys, have replaced the real president with Zartan (played by Arnold Vosloo in the first film, and here by Jonathan Pryce). As president, Zartan outlaws the Joes and replaces them with his own Cobra Commandoes. It's up to the Joes to figure out Zartan's dastardly plan and stop it.

If you looked at that plot and sighed wearily, then perhaps this film isn?t for you. This is hardly thought provoking stuff and the plot, not surprisingly, is a pretty blatant excuse for director Jon M. Chu to let rip with his special effects heavy action sequences. 

Still, the action stuff is pretty well executed and one, set in the Himalayas and involving ninjas battling while swinging on the sides of a mountain, is an absolute cracker.

My one problem with these set-pieces (one I have with many action films these days) is the lack of any sense of peril. Yes, they are very stylishly executed and very impressive to look at, but it's very rare that I get any sense of threat or find myself worrying for how things might turn out. I guess that would depend on having a good script though, and you're not going to find that here.

The characters are defined largely by the size of their muscles, their choice of gun and their ability to quip wittily, and I guess that's layered and multi-faceted for this kind of film.

Of the cast, it's really only The Rock and Jonathan Pryce who really stand out and both seem to understand how utterly absurd the whole thing is. Bruce Willis gets what amounts to an extended cameo and he smirks his way through it all. Classic Willis.

Look, here's what you're going to get: Ninjas, explosions, tanks, gun-fetishism, more explosions, a few sly digs at the US and North Korea, The RZA as the aged leader of a ninja clan and then more explosions. That's the film in the nutshell. It's a fun time if you can get into that kind of cartoonish silliness.

It's cotton candy and it will leave no trace once digested but I didn't hate it while it was going down.


This is hardly thought provoking stuff but the action scenes are well executed and a fun time if you can get into that kind of cartoonish silliness.

NEXT ON CHANNEL24X

Snowpiercer

2014-10-10 10:59

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(Comments may be edited or deleted at the Channel24 editors’ discretion)
takalani 4/5/2013 4:21 PM
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nice one
takalani 4/5/2013 4:21 PM
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nice one
Jack 4/5/2013 10:08 PM
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I heard this is supposed to be better than the first one.
HP 4/7/2013 9:54 PM
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Would say my best action movie this year so far :)
The Watcher 4/8/2013 2:12 PM
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Now this is an action movie if you're looking for one. It doesn't pretend to be anything else. Well executed action sequences, the way it's supposed to be done.
Keegan 4/8/2013 4:22 PM
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It was an excellent action movie, but it didn't feel the same as the first one to me - which was closer to how I know the GI Joe franchise. But as I said an excellent action movie and perfect escapism for a couple of hours over a weekend.
Scuba 4/10/2013 8:24 AM
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I was really disappointed with this one. I felt they tried to get clever with the story and failed. I walked out of cinema thinking the 3D effects were good and the action scenes were entertaining but on the whole I thought I just wasted 2 hours when I really looked forward to watching.
Erica Jansen van Vuuren 4/12/2013 7:15 AM
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This was better than the first GI Joe in that it stays closer to reality, i.e. No advanced suits. Further the ninja fight along mountain side just being supported by ropes is excellent. Snakes eyes and Storm Shadow also has good twist, showing how brainwashing can happen and can be changed to what really happened with patience. Overall a lot of action and GI Joe storyline!!! Loved it!!!
Jono Mozzy 5/20/2013 6:42 PM
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WRT to Iron Man 3, i'd definately give it a thumbs up, any negative reviews that are floating about, particularly overseas and amongst the danboys are missing the whole point behind the film. Does the man make the suit, or the suit make the man ;) And i'd rather not give a spoiler, but the whole mandarin twist was rather amusing, though it had alot of fanboys ready to riot.
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