G.I. Joe: Retaliation (2013)

Three men, flanked by two women and an Chinese man. The words GIJoe written diagonally below.
G.I. Hell No!

Director: John M. Chu
Running Time: 110 minutes
Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Channing Tatum, Bruce Willis, Adrianne Palicki, Ray Stevenson, Jonathan Pryce

There were many problems which inhabited 2009's G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, but one of the few positives that could be mentioned was in how enjoyable and fun it was. Step Up director Jon M. Chu takes over the franchise, and opts for a more serious and dour tone. This results in a lack of fun which makes the 110 minute runtime drag many times over.

Retaliation acts as a sequel to the original story, continuing on the plot threads left over from the previous film, and a reboot by introducing a whole new cast of protagonists, minus Snake Eyes, who continues to be the best character of the film. Zartan is impersonating the President of the United States, and frames the G.I. Joes as traitors. Roadblock (Dwayne Johnson) and his team survive an air strike that decimates all of their other team mates, and must come up with a plan to stop the villainous group Cobra.

The franchise has officially been passed over from Channing Tatum to Dwayne Johnson, and while the acting ability of the former has improved since this films predecessor, Johnson is a more capable lead. The acting once more remains competent, with the exception of Bruce Willis. Considering the performances he's given in the past few years (with the exception of Looper, it would be appropriate for him to change his first name to Bland. But despite the best efforts of the cast, especially from Johnson, none of the new cast manage to leave much of an impression. In contrast, Jonathan Pryce relishes the chance to play the villain, adding a gleeful touch that leaves his scenes all the better for it.

His codename is Roadblock, not The Rock

The films highlight is a ninja battle which takes place on a cliff side, which makes it all the more a shame that the rest of the battles are so uninteresting, mainly as they feel like something that has been seen already in better films.

While it's predecessor could be classed, at best, as forgettable fun, G.I. Joe: Retaliation can't even be called that, choosing to be straight faced and dour instead, and minus an impressive spectacle on a cliff side, the films action scenes lack anything discernible from the other action films out there.