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G.I. Joe: Retaliation (2013)

tomatometer

28

Average Rating: 4.5/10
Reviews Counted: 161
Fresh: 45 | Rotten: 116

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.

19

Average Rating: 4.4/10
Critic Reviews: 31
Fresh: 6 | Rotten: 25

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.

audience

49

liked it
Average Rating: 3.3/5
User Ratings: 196,085

My Rating

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

Jul 30, 2013

$122.5M

Paramount Pictures - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (161) | Top Critics (31) | Fresh (45) | Rotten (116) | DVD (3)

The filmmakers appear to have handed a dozen or so G.I. Joe dolls to a 9-year-old, watched him play for 110 minutes, and then shot a scene-for-scene remake.

March 29, 2013 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

What a blast G.I. Joe: Retaliation is! And then another blast, and another, in a series of concussive jolts that shred any conventional sense of story as thoroughly as anything since the last Michael Bay film.

March 29, 2013 Full Review Source: Globe and Mail
Globe and Mail
Top Critic IconTop Critic

When it comes to big and loud, this is the movie to beat for at least this week; what makes it entertaining is its unabashed wallow in these qualities ...

March 29, 2013 Full Review Source: MSN Movies
MSN Movies
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Plays like a tiresomely extended evening of channel surfing.

March 29, 2013 Full Review Source: Time Out New York
Time Out New York
Top Critic IconTop Critic

No go, "Joe."

March 29, 2013 Full Review Source: Detroit News
Detroit News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Retaliation is less a sequel than an antidote to the calcified mound of crap that ostensibly inspired it.

March 29, 2013 Full Review Source: TIME Magazine
TIME Magazine
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A terrible film with a confusing plot, jarring tonal fluctuations, characters that engender no sympathy, and a strangely flippant attitude toward violence.

March 2, 2014 Full Review Source: Movie Mezzanine
Movie Mezzanine

Did you think a second G.I. Joe movie was a good idea?

January 3, 2014 Full Review Source: Grantland
Grantland

Bruce Willis, The Rock, explosions, comedy and action help this popcorn sequel rise above its more Sci-Fi predecessor, but even fans caught up in the action will occasionally find this live action film to be just a bit too cartoonish.

August 7, 2013 Full Review Source: PopMatters
PopMatters

A very flawed film, but it's superior to the first installment in every way.

August 1, 2013 Full Review Source: Cinema Crazed
Cinema Crazed

[Jon M.] Chu is a stylish director, and it's fun to watch him blow things up. He also paces the material furiously. For awhile, this strategy works. But, as with most movies that don't have any substance, the pomposity and spectacle grow tiresome.

July 30, 2013 Full Review Source: Reno Gazette-Journal

I'd be hard-pressed to call any of it 'exciting'; mostly the film just chugs along, steadily going from one plot point to the next, neither engaging us nor boring us.

July 12, 2013 Full Review Source: EricDSnider.com
EricDSnider.com

This action-packed drama is as bland and forgettable as its predecessor.

June 30, 2013 Full Review Source: Big Hollywood
Big Hollywood

It's pretty bad. You don't need me to tell you that.

June 23, 2013 Full Review Source: Deadspin
Deadspin

Has a great deal more grace and goodwill than its predecessor. It moves well, offers up the occasional surprise, and never takes itself too seriously.

May 3, 2013 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

Dumb, hyperkinetic fun.

April 25, 2013 Full Review Source: Spectrum (St. George, Utah)
Spectrum (St. George, Utah)

I was prepared for the expected amount of flag-waving nonsense in this film, but one sequence with a Cobra member posing as the President of the United States is so offensive, it seems like it was an outtake from Team America: World Police.

April 15, 2013 Full Review Source: Scene-Stealers.com
Scene-Stealers.com

Dizzyingly entertaining celebration of fireballs, wire-assisted martial arts and high-calibre firepower has more grace and poise than Die Hard 5...will surely make up for those disappointed with the so-so 2009 film.

April 12, 2013 Full Review Source: 3AW

While it might be the height of critical cliché (and analytically wrong) to call G.I. Joe: Retaliation "a real American Zero," if the combat boot fits...

April 12, 2013 Full Review Source: Film Racket
Film Racket

Explosions and action figures.

April 11, 2013 Full Review Source: PopMatters
PopMatters

This film had no use of the 3D.

April 10, 2013 Full Review Source: Entertainment Spectrum
Entertainment Spectrum

Retaliation isn't hatefully dumb - it's entertainingly dumb. But even after the umpteen millions it cost to make, it never comes close to capturing the imagination like three 3/4" action figures can.

April 10, 2013 Full Review Source: SFX Magazine
SFX Magazine

Marries the steroidal firepower of the US armed forces with the narrative sense and technical elegance of a twelve year old playing with his action figures.

April 6, 2013 Full Review Source: Moviedex
Moviedex

Tea Party paranoia about Obama's alien identity and fascist agenda apparently motivated this disappointing sequel, which pits the Joes against an impostor U.S. president (Jonathan Pryce) working for the evil forces of Cobra.

April 5, 2013 Full Review Source: Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)

As to be expected, Johnson actually imbues his character with some humanity, but in the cacophony that is this movie, this doesn't really amount to much.

April 5, 2013 Full Review Source: Austin Chronicle
Austin Chronicle

Routine action adventure but that mountainside battle is one for the record books.

April 4, 2013 Full Review Source: jackiekcooper.com
jackiekcooper.com

Audience Reviews for G.I. Joe: Retaliation

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
October 3, 2013
boxman
Nate Zoebl

Super Reviewer

Compared to the first movie, 'G.I. Joe : Retaliation' wasn't meet everybody's expectation of a better sequel.. The death of Duke character at the beginning of the movie, and then the change of the leader into Dwayne Johnson wasn't as smooth as they predicted.. Truthfully, I must say that the scene stealer show is (and still from the the first movie) Byung-hun Lee as Storm Shadow and D.J. Cotrona who made a quite scene stealer performance as Flint.. Overall, I wasn't hope for another sequel of this movie but if Hasbro still want some profit maybe they can make at least another movie of this movie..
September 6, 2013
ajaymuthecooldevils
Sanjaya 丘耀文

Super Reviewer

They certainly made great strides over their first try, but it still just isn't quite there yet. Shades of awesome, and a whole lot of filler. The action is decent enough, but never quite feels up-to-par. The tone of the humor is established from the get-go, with lots of goofy one-liner attempts all over the place that never quite hit their mark. Also, the story just isn't incredibly exciting. I've heard rumblings of a third film trying to gain traction, but they'll still have some work to do if they want to do this franchise right.
August 10, 2013
flutieman07

Super Reviewer

While no better than a series of elaborately choreographed music videos with a bunch of uninspiring teen movie clichés to fill out their running times, Jon M. Chu proved with his two "Step Up" films that he could really direct a high energy, color saturated set piece. With "G.I. Joe: Retaliation," Chu proves that his skills don't translate to directing mega budget action films and that it is possibly to screw up about movie about ninjas fighting super soldiers. "Retaliation" is not only worse than its predecessor, the goofily hyperactive "G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra," it's easily one of the most tiresome, unenthusiastic popcorn movies in years.

Dwayne Johnson stars Roadblock, the second in command of an international Special Forces organization lead by Channing Tatum's Duke. Chu does well with a pre-credits sequence that highlights the efficiency of Joe team. It's directed well with a clarity and humor and quickly gives way to a scene where Johnson and Tatum bond while playing a Call of Duty style video game that the viewer is at first lead to believe is life or death combat. Though neither of these segments are particularly revolutionary, they are dynamic and suggestive of a film that is better "Retaliation" ends up being.

As soon as the enjoyable relationship between Tatum and the Rock is established, it's destroyed after Duke, and most of the cast of the first film apparently, are killed in an attack ordered by an imposter President (Jonathan Pryce). The rest of the film is follows three separate plotlines: Johnson and surviving Joes, Adrianne Palicki and D.J. Cotrona, plotting to wrest control of the government from their enemies, lone wolf Joe Snakes Eyes (Ray Park) and his apprentice Jinx (Elodie Yung) as they hunt down renegade ninja Storm Shadow (Lee Byung-hun), and Cobra Commander (Luke Bracey) and Firefly (Ray Stevenson) as they slowly work to take over the world. By (poorly) dividing the narrative focus three ways, it loses momentum. By killing off the film's funniest character, it loses its heart.

What's left is a bland series of action movie clichés. The heroes return home to regroup and plan. The young heroes enlist a retired mentor figure (Bruce Willis) to join the battle after a setback. And a female soldier's motivation revealed as an unresolved disagreement with a parent - information relayed while the character is undressing because the movie doesn't trust the audience to not get bored during a conversation. When the small human moments of an action movie fall flat, all the action scenes follow suit. And Chu isn't a Michael Bay level stylist; the boring parts aren't even profoundly numbing, they are just silly and arduous.

There are moments in the film that break up the tedium but they are few and far between. Walton Goggins plays a super prison warden with zero authenticity and maximum swagger which makes him the smartest performer in the film. Jonathan Pryce has a lot of fun hamming it up as a shape shifter with a penchant for one liners and his joy is infectious. And the film's best sequence, critically misplaced in the middle of film, where Snake Eyes and Jinx battle a horde of ninjas in a mountain fortress, is actually great. It's just narrative inconsequential and so much better than the finale that at throws the film out of balance.

No one goes into a movie called "G.I. Joe: Retaliation" expecting a great piece of cinema, you go in wanting to see bullets getting chopped in half by katanas and mini-guns being used in a one on one gun fight. When it fails, by being unfocused and lazy it's a special kind of disappointing. Because the expectations are so low, when a film misses the bar by this much it's completely confounding. How did a director, two veteran screenwriters, a cast full of experienced actors, a toy company that's produced six feature films and a film studio that carefully test its films as a matter of course make a film this terrible? How can thousands of people take $135 million and make something so totally uninteresting?
July 25, 2013
Mario M.
Mario L McKellop

Super Reviewer

    1. Cobra Commander: The Cobra Revolution has begun.
    – Submitted by Typhon Q (12 months ago)
    1. Cobra Commander: I want it all!
    – Submitted by Frederick L (12 months ago)
    1. Cobra Commander: Destro, you're out of the band!
    – Submitted by Scott W (12 months ago)
    1. Firefly: Let me see that face!
    – Submitted by Aaron S (12 months ago)
    1. Duke: Hell yeah!
    – Submitted by sam v (12 months ago)
    1. Firefly: Boom!
    – Submitted by sam v (13 months ago)
View all quotes (20)

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Foreign Titles

  • G.I. Joe 2: Die Abrechnung (DE)
  • G.I. Joe: Retaliation (UK)
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