From the get-go, G.I.Joe Retaliation had a tough hill to conquer, what with the dismal "Rise of Cobra" shadow hanging over it, and the delay of the premiere (regardless due to 3-D conversion, the public sees it being buffed up with more Channing Tatum), and not to mention the expectations and comparisons to decades of cartoons and comicbooks that fans grew up with. I don't envy them one bit, in converting skepticism into bums-in-cinema-seats … but I for one, thoroughly enjoyed the movie!
Maybe my tolerance of films has slid down thru the years, maybe I am being utterly lenient to a concept I had held close since my childhood, either way, G.I.Joe Retaliation was a swell ride, and I applaud the filmmakers for going thru with this!
I love it when folks coin this a "big dumb movie" (affectionately or not), because comparatively, what is a "smart movie"? Nolan's "Inception" - in it's myriad mindfcuks and plot loopholes that talk down to you? But then again, you really cannot refute that it can be pigeonholed as a "Big Dumb Movie" - because simply it does not take itself too seriously (and yes it does, not like "Rise of the Cobra") and is so much darn fun! And you know what folks say about "fun"?
Watching Retaliation felt like reading a comicbook of the same title. The twists and plot-turns weave thru it like a head-on freight-train collision, and the loopholes are like a donut's, put right over your eye as a comicbook in the 90s would (heh) and that's okay! It is guilt-free exposition and explosions for the uninitiated, and for the fanboys, nods abound, but not a whole lot of "hi-fives", because we all know how this film is going, and who pays the bills, so let's not delude ourselves how much this film is FOR the fandom, yeh?
If I were to pick a fault, it would be the extreme closeups of the fight-scenes, veering into Michael Bay/Transformers' territory in more scenes than one - fights between roadblock and Firefly were victims to this - in BOTH scenes! But I have to admit, the fight between Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow in the cliffside temple had me holding my breath!
On the upside, this was a splendid popcorn-flick to be had, and the stand-out was Storm Shadow without a shadow of a doubt (yes, oun intended, HAH), while others cruised thru - and generally had fun, which is a good thing, except for Bruce Willis who wasn't even phoning it in!
But what's up with Jinx's accent? Dafuq was RZA in this? Lady Jaye is HAWTness. Flint was blink-n-missable. I actually missed a wheezy Cobra Commander. Sorry Snake-Eyes, "dialog" does make a difference (although the scene where you passed your *** to Storm Shadow bathed in silhouette, was AWESOME). Duke was okay, but "team leader"? Roadblock was … awesome. But The Rock always is, especially when he starts shooting and punching shit anyways LOL
Funnily, the scenes and camaraderie between Duke and Roadblock, is the only "RomCom" aspect of this film lol
One irony of this film experience, was me stepping out of the cinema in Tampines Mall on the 4th floor, and heading straight to Toys'R'Us a floor below, and not being able to find a single merchandize from the movie. And while I understand toys from Hasbro were released last year, it is such a "waste" not to find them when the film is actually released. TOY FAIL.
I would've been perfectly happy with a Storm Shadow figure, or even a Roadblock, actually :)
So is this movie a "Hit"? Or Miss"? I'd rather like to say it is a pistol aimed at a caricature of a Cobra Commander from the cartoons, and that I am hoping the bullet doesn't hit the mark, because that would mean the end of the franchise, and "fun"!
The "fun" is not in having a perfect G.I.Joe movie, but in the road it choose to tread, IMHO.
Go watch it if you're a fan (but try top leave your fandom at the main door), and watch it if you like bullets and explosions