G.I. Joe: Retaliation - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

G.I. Joe: Retaliation Reviews

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½ August 21, 2017
Well, it's a cold-war cartoon, what did you expect? The production values are relatively high, there are explosions alright, the necessary rain of bullets that miss miserably and the ninja swords held like western swords. Well, anyway, the shining teeth of The Rock will remind you what you came to see, so no harm done!
August 17, 2017
SCOTT: (Dr. Scott Allison, Professor of Psychology, University of Richmond) Greg, we just saw G.I. Joe: Retaliation. Did you lose as many brain cells as I did?

GREG: (Greg Smith, Founder of Agile Writers of Richmond, VA) No, only my self-respect for believing that Bruce Willis could make this movie worth seeing. This is a movie based upon the Hasbro toy line of the same name, and it is a sequel to 2009s GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra. There is a better plot here than the first go-round. But it is a movie divided against itself as well discuss later. GI Joe: Retaliation is apparently aimed at Baby Boomers who grew up playing with the 6-inch action figures and watching the Saturday morning cartoon series. As it is rated PG-13 it is appropriate for adults and older kids alike. Channing Tatum returns in the role he played in the prequel and is joined by Dwayne Johnson with a little help from Bruce Willis. So, it has the star power to attract an adult audience. However, the plot never rises above the quality of the Saturday morning cartoons.

SCOTT: To be fair, the movie isnt intended for balding, over-educated, middle-aged geeks like us. The average 12 year-old boy might love it, assuming hes into explosions, gunfire, and sword play. Heres a brief synopsis of the opening act: The Joes have just completed a successful mission in Pakistan but are unaware that the President of the U.S. (Jonathan Pryce) has been replaced by an evil imposter. This bad guy in the White House betrays the Joes by publicly renouncing them and then by bombing them into oblivion. Duke (Channing Tatum) is killed, leaving Roadblock (Dwayne Johnson), Flint (D.J. Cotrona) and Lady Jaye (Adrianne Palicki) as the only active Joes remaining. This trio vows to clear their good names and fix what has happened.

GREG: What follows is two movies in one. Which I suppose is necessary because the main plot doesnt have enough weight to make it span two hours. The main plot follows Roadblock, Flint, and Lady Jaye as they return to the States and set up shop in an abandoned gym. They determine that there is an imposter in the White House and they need help to expose him. And there is only one man they can trust - the original GI Joe: General Joe Colton (Bruce Willis). Meanwhile, Snake Eyes and Jinx are on a separate mission to track down and abduct the evil Storm Shadow. This B plot was mostly a lot of ridiculous ninja-style fighting. And when I say ridiculous, imagine two dozen ninjas suspended from a cliff by hand-gun shot grappling hooks all swinging around trying to kill our intrepid heroes with swords. The heroes are likewise swinging around on a zip cord between two mountains. In my mind I was wondering why the ninjas didnt just slice the zip cord. Case closed. As it turns out, Storm Shadow isnt as evil as you might think as he was framed by Zartan who is posing as the President. Honestly, I felt I needed a score card to keep up with all the characters in this movie. A quarter of them were wearing masks or helmets so there was no way to tell who was talking at times. Although the writers did give Snake Eyes an out as he took a vow of silence.

SCOTT: Greg, I dont think most 12 year-olds care about believability. They just want to see cool fight scenes on the sides of mountain cliffs. And the movie delivers in that respect. The main problem I had with G.I. Joe: Retaliation was the near total absence of character development at the beginning of the movie, and the same absence of character transformation at the end. We have a slew of one-dimensional characters who are certainly heroic, but their heroism is like one of those cheap chocolate Easter bunnies I just ate -- completely hollow.

GREG: Scott, how can you on the one hand excuse believability because the movie appeals to 12-year-olds and then complain about one-dimensional characters on the other? You can have both good plot and characterization in a movie for youngsters, you know (witness our recent review of The Croods). Still, the heroes are very black-and-white. As such, Roadblock plays the classic reluctant leader. General Joe Colton plays the grizzled veteran. And Lady Jaye is the hot babe who kicks butt while wearing a sport bra and heels. And there aint gonna be a lot of depth in those roles.

SCOTT: Im not saying Im excusing it, just understanding it. And please dont tell me that The Croods was believable! Come to think of it, most movies these days require a heroic effort on our part to suspend our disbelief. I guess I can forgive a lack of believability, but I cant forgive a lame-arse hero story. Now having said that, its possible we should cut G.I. Joe: Retaliation some slack for having such a feeble hero story because its part of a series. Its often the case that a single installment of a series rarely contains the full hero journey. Notice that I said that its possible to cut some slack here. Personally, Im not going to do any slack-cutting because it didnt look like any effort was being made at all to craft a meaningful hero. Apparently nonstop action was the goal.

GREG: And it was achieved. The movie moves along at a good clip and Dwayne Johnson was good in the role. Im going to give G.I. Joe Retaliation 2 Reels for being what it sets out to be - a shoot-em-up for pre-teens and fan-boys. But I can only give 1 Hero for the thinly-painted characters. Movie: Hero:

SCOTT: I went into the theater with low expectations, and those expectations were fully met. Even Bruce Willis couldn t salvage G.I. Joe: Retaliation. Im going to be very generous and give the movie 2 Reels if only because I can think of movies that are worse than this one. Ill give the movie 2 Heroes because there is nothing more painful than agreeing with Greg on both ratings! Movie: Hero:
June 22, 2017
'G. I. Joe: Retaliation' is subtraction by addition; Dwayne Johnson and Bruce Willis add action star charm while a series of random feeling scenes of gunfire and explosions are loosely hemmed to a cheesecloth plot, but at least Cobra Commander was fixed.
June 17, 2017
A huge disappointment !
½ June 15, 2017
To anyone who keeps claiming the Rock is "franchise viagra," here we have exhibit A as to why you should just shut up with that.
May 6, 2017
Dwayne Johnson was the only thing that made this movie watchable. It's time for a reboot... But keep Dwayne Johnson.
February 22, 2017
Awesome and also better than the first
January 19, 2017
Slight improvement over the first one.
January 16, 2017
This movie is action packed and cool
jamrcla
Super Reviewer
December 7, 2016
After having a very long delay to convert it into 3D and what ever other problems it had its finally arrived and it's allot of fun, The 3D was brilliant so the delay paid off, It was a reboot but also a sequel so it felt kind of weird but you soon forget about it, I was suprised that one of the main cast was killed off, The action was good but not great, The effects were well used and very good, Dwayne Johnson puts in a solid performance that makes it as good as it is, Go for the 3D and the effects and Dwayne and you will enjoy it, If you go for story and amazing action scenes you will be dissapointed.
½ November 16, 2016
A little confusing. Not as good as the original. Love the rock. Wish there was more Channing Tatum in the movie.
½ November 14, 2016
Ya can't have the joes with out ripcord or duke
October 6, 2016
A lot of cool characters but a crappy movie
September 28, 2016
First movie is much better.
½ September 16, 2016
Fun n exciting good action but bland story
July 25, 2016
Dwayne Johnson is the star and an amaze to recomeback.
Bruce Willis does all the action and the movies with exploding cars,
Channing tatum is the rival of all sins.
This movie fails to try and complete the success.
Gi. Joe 2: Retaliation is badly made and horribly directed, I thought it would be directed by the asshole (Michael Bay!) But It wasn't! Thank You!
This Film is still stupid!

Score: 2.5/10
½ July 23, 2016
Honestly, I was expecting more from this sequel. The first movie was terrible, but it was a funny kind of terrible and I hoped that would continue in this film. Sadly, this is no where as funny as the first movie. The only keeping this movie from legit terribleness are few cool action scenes(the ninja battle is fantastic), The Rock's charisma, and a few "so bad, they're funny" moments. Outside of that, you're better off watching the first movie.
Super Reviewer
½ June 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.
½ June 1, 2016
Can the Rock save a possible franchise after all the characters from the first film are killed off in the first 10 minutes?the answer is ALMOST.
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