G.I. Joe: Retaliation

2013

G.I. Joe: Retaliation

Critics Consensus

Though arguably superior to its predecessor, G.I. Joe: Retaliation is overwhelmed by its nonstop action and too nonsensical and vapid to leave a lasting impression.

29%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 174

48%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 199,051
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G.I. Joe: Retaliation Photos

Movie Info

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 jeopardize their very existence. -- (C) Paramount

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Cast

Bruce Willis
as General Joe Colton
Dwayne Johnson
as Roadblock
Lee Byung-hun
as Storm Shadow
Ray Park
as Snake Eyes
Jonathan Pryce
as President
Walton Goggins
as Warden Nigel James
Luke Bracey
as Cobra Commander
Nick Erickson
as President Picture Double
Naim Alherimi
as Pakistani President
Ravi Naidu
as Chief Advisor
Joe Chrest
as Chief of Staff
James Carville
as James Carville
Nathan Takashige
as Young Storm Shadow
Ilia Volok
as Russian Leader
Dikran Tulaine
as U.K. Leader
Robert Catrini
as Israeli Leader
Marcelo Tubert
as French Leader
James Lew
as Chinese Leader
Ajay Mehta
as Indian Leader
Augustus Cho
as North Korean Leader
Raja Chandra Deka
as Indian Expert
Tiffany Lonsdale
as British Expert
Jun Hee Lee
as North Korean Captain
Afemo Omilami
as Chairman Joint Chief of Staff
Dante Won Ha
as Kim Jong's Nephew
Carrie Wong
as Jhankri
Ben Blankenship
as Systems Officer
Adam Vernier
as Weapons Officer
Jim Palmer
as Clutch
Amin Joseph
as Cobra Secret Service
Rey Hernandez
as Cobra Secret Service
Mikal A. Vega
as Arch Angel Jones
Luis Echagarruga
as Arch Angel Jones
Brelyn Plumbar
as Roadblock's Daughter
Amaya Plumbar
as Roadblock's Daughter
Dustan Costine
as Cobra Trooper
Michael Howe
as Cobra Trooper
Geoffrey Howe
as Cobra Trooper
Erik Howsam
as U.K. Staff
Timothy Bruns
as Honor Guard
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Critic Reviews for G.I. Joe: Retaliation

All Critics (174) | Top Critics (38)

Audience Reviews for G.I. Joe: Retaliation

  • Jun 20, 2016
    Pretty surprising beginning to the film as it continues the storyline set in the first film. Dwayne Johnson steps into the spotlight in this one as Roadblock and is great. The action sequences are well done even if the movie as a whole is still not all that great, at least it's better than the first one. Still hoping Sgt. Slaughter makes an appearance eventually.
    Patrick W Super Reviewer
  • Jan 24, 2014
    It was an entertaining flick. A lot of plot holes and dumbed down for the masses but this kind of movie isn't made to be the movie of the year, just for the box office numbers, so it's alright.
    Chris H Super Reviewer
  • Nov 29, 2013
    It's been almost five years, but after production problems, release delays and all that other mumbo jumbo, "G.I. Joe" is back in action, undoubtedly because of popular demand. "Retaliation" is a fitting subtitle, because this is pretty much an answer to those who were attacking the first one, but it's not like everyone was on board, because even Channing Tatum had to bail out of this film early on. Yeah, you can forget Duke as the iconic protagonist for this series, because Tatum has built up too much integrity to stay long here, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt has done exactly the same, if not more so, although I can't help but feel as though the real reason why he didn't even touch this project was because he even saw how bad he was in "The Rise of Cobra" and didn't want to run the risk of further damaging his reputation as a talent by working with a director as incompetent as Stephen Sommers again. Well, don't worry, people, because not even Sommers came back for this, and he came back for a second installment in the "Mummy" series (He didn't direct the third one, though, so maybe he's getting a better understanding of when enough is enough when it comes to lame blockbusters), although these filmmakers were able to score the Scorpion King, even if it's only because Dwayne Johnson appears to be on a mission to be involved in most every machismo action franchise he can possibly be involved in. Shoot, just for good measure, the makers of this film also scored Bruce Willis, as well as Ray Stevenson, so you know that this is going to be a man's man's movie... up until you find out that the guy they replaced Sommers with in the director's chair is the guy who did "Step Up 2" and "3D", and "Justin Bieber: Never Say Never". Hey, Jon M. Chu at least knows how to appeal to superficial morons, and on that level, he's all but perfect to direct this film, which isn't to say that Sommers raised all that high of a standard with the last film. Man, Sommers isn't involved in this film, and the first one wasn't even all-out bad, yet I'm still talking trash about the guy, probably because this film shows us that a decent "G.I. Joe" film can, in fact, be made, though not without some bruises along the way. In plenty of ways, this film does seem like it's actively working to improve upon its predecessor, yet it neglects to do much when it comes to settling the genericism that beat down much of the predecessor, and stands as trope-heavy and hopelessly predictable, and such familiarity to this story concept reminds you of the natural shortcomings that films like these tend to suffer from. Needless to say, you shouldn't expect much out of this film, unless, of course, you're expecting color, something that this fun blockbuster narrative has going for it, as opposed to meat, no matter how much things find themselves overcomplicated. I suppose material is incorporated organically enough for the final product to not feel as dragged out as the longer, almost-two-hour-long predecessor, but upon stepping back and assessing everything, it's hard to not question this narrative, into which an excess of subplots and layers are crammed, resulting in some repetition that could have been settled if everything was more comfortably fleshed out. I'm certainly not asking that this film spend more time fleshing out its overcomplications and further bloat the final length, but if the runtime sounds tight in concept, in spite of the bloating, then "writers" Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick - who you may remember as the writers for the much more realized "Zombieland" - counteract the dragging with hurrying that undercooks expository depth to a distancing point, and often slam-bangs through plot points in a fashion that, upon combining with all of the bloating, results in an uneven structure, which is, of course, not the script's only problem. Reese's and Wernick's script is formulaic and unevenly paced, like I said, but it's also characterized by some fall-flat comic relief, as well as dialogue which ranges from passable, if not a little clever, to near-embarrassing, with a cheesiness that exacerbates the sting of the subtlety issues, much like a directorial performance by Jon M. Chu that is certainly more inspired than Stephen Sommers' performance for "The Rise of Cobra", but still gets to be too overblown for you to ignore the limitations that Chu tries to defy. I won't go so far as to say that the execution of this thin narrative is overambitious, no matter how much more inspired this effort is in a lot of ways, yet the final product sometimes tries a little too hard, and that does little outside of emphasize the natural and consequential shortcomings that drive the final product into underwhelmingness, maybe even forgettability. That being said, while you may not be able to fully hold onto your time with this film, it's certainly more worthy of it than the predecessor, being flawed to no end, but just as fun, partly because it has the production value to bring a lively environment to life. The production value was kind of underexplored in the predecessor, and is still not that special here, but there are still some slight improvements within Luke Freeborn's, Alan Hook's, Scott Plauche's, Tom Reta's and Sebastian Schroder's art direction (That's a lot of people to do only so much, production-wise) that go a fair distance in selling this world, almost as much as the locations, which are rich and diverse, and capture the scope of this narrative, as well as your eyes with nifty visuals, at least until action comes along to pop your eyes. Even the action - which was probably the best thing that "The Rise of Cobra" had going for it - is sharper here, as editing and camera plays are more controlled, giving you a better feel for the intricate, often explosive staging and slick choreography (The lengthy ninja battle segment is particularly outstanding with its structure), all backed by strong effects that keep style busy and extra entertaining. Where the first installment had more than a few technical faults to reflect laziness, the technical and stylistic proficiency of this film not only liven things up, but reflect an inspiration in the movement to bring much in the way of fun to this story, whose being brought to life as, at the very least, entertaining, shouldn't be too difficult of a task. Questionable and formulaic, but admittedly colorful, this film's story concept may bloat itself with material whose lack of necessity carries with it some emptiness, but never loses momentum, if not charm, which goes complimented by a colorful cast. Sure, RZA randomly stops in here and there to earn some laughs and groans with his comical reprisal of the role of the Man with the Iron Fist, only blind and with hands, but outside of that, most everyone engages just fine with charisma and chemistry, with leading man Dwayne Johnson and show-stealer Bruce Willis being particularly charming, while Byung-hun Lee brings in some intriguing dramatic layers and Adrianne Palicki, well, engages in a different fashion (She's not strong enough to be all that worth mentioning, acting-wise, but appearance-wise, wow, I'm sorry, but she's one of the main reasons to see this film). Some pretty bad acting really undercut the predecessor, much like overstylization and technical shortcomings, as well as writing that, in here, may still be cheesy, but is still sharper, so in most every areas that ruined "The Rise of Cobra", this follow-up subtly, but surely, steps up the game, and yet, what really secures the decency of this particular blockbuster is direction by Jon M. Chu that, while still overblown at times, is generally controlled enough with its plays on score and style to keep pacing brisk and lively. This pumps into the final product a fun factor that could have saved the predecessor, and really gets this effort by, certainly not to where you can disregard the many, many problems, - unless, of course, you forget them with plenty of other aspects of this simple fluff piece - but nevertheless to where you end up with a genuinely thoroughly entertaining, if lame-brain blockbuster. When the fight is done, a lack of originality, as well as a wealth of cheesiness to an overblown, when not hurried story concept emphasize natural shortcomings enough to drive the final product into underwhelmingness, if not forgettability, but there is still enough rich dynamicity to the production designs and locations, outstanding action, charismatic acting and lively direction, all behind a colorful story concept, to make "G.I. Joe: Retaliation", not simply a decisively superior sequel, but a fun piece of blockbuster filler by its own right, if you're willing to get past a good deal of shortcomings, that is. 2.5/5 - Fair
    Cameron J Super Reviewer
  • Oct 03, 2013
    Originally intended to be released in the summer of 2012, G.I. Joe: Retaliation was pulled back because, presumably, they wanted to convert it to 3D, but many suspected it was to add more time for star Channing Tatum after his box-office domination that year. Well, wrong on both accounts, because maybe it was merely kicked back because, get this, it's not terribly good. I had the lowest possible expectations for the 2009 G.I. Joe movie but came away having a fun time; it was the right kind of enjoyably stupid. Well now it's just stupid. Cobra has kidnapped the president, inserted a doppelganger, and now wants to rule the world that to an evil satellite that drops giant metal rods into space as weapons. Why are these rods not part of the Earth's orbit after release? There are all sorts of gadgets here that make no sense but somebody thought might sell some toys. The central storyline is almost a knockoff of Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol, a small group of Joes having to clear their names. Then because that isn't enough material to work with, there's a mini-movie about ninja warriors avenging their fallen master in the mountains, and of all people, the RZA is supplying lengthy exposition. The action sequences are absurd without having enough style to excuse the absurdity. Everyone is a superhuman but also incompetent when the plot demands it (ninjas can shoot flying knives but not a big person jumping off a wall?). Adding The Rock is always a bonus in my book; the man is charisma personified. But the storyline of Retaliation is so sloppy, the villains so lame, and the movie lacks the high-spirited imagination to keep the stupid at bay. I was never a G.I. Joe kid so maybe those with nostalgia will be more charitable than I am, but G.I. Joe: Retaliation is a poorly executed next step for a once-budding franchise. Nate's Grade: C
    Nate Z Super Reviewer

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