Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Bruce Willis, Channing Tatum
You may like this if you liked: G.I.Joe: The Rise of Cobra (Stephen Sommers, 2009), Battleship (Peter Berg, 2012), Transformers (Michael Bay, 2007-2011)
Well, for those of you (some would say lucky) people that did not see the last one, due to some outrageous form of Cobra technology Zartan is able to be an exact lookalike for the president (Jonathan Pryce) and is now running America. For Cobra to achieve world domination for reasons that are never really mentioned, they need to eliminate the good guys, the G.I.Joes now led by Duke (Tatum). No I don’t know what happened to Dennis Quaid or Marlon Wayans either. Zartan frames the Joes for the assassination of the Pakistani president and orders a strike to kill them all. The few that survive, along with some former legends (yes you know who I mean) now must prove their innocence and stop Cobra from achieving world domination. Though still no mention of why they want it.
Well, where to start, Rise of Cobra was loud, fast but enjoyable nonsense. Retaliation is in my view louder, faster, even more ridiculous than and just as enjoyable as its predecessor. With a few provisos of course.
This was never made with the intention of being Hamlet, so is there really any point in going through in any real detail exactly what is wrong with it? Not really as looking at the poster will probably tell you everything you need to know. The plot is as generic as any action film you will ever see, every character is a cardboard cut out caricature, the dialogue is embarrassingly clunky, the acting is cheesy, logic is left at home and Bruce Willis apparently has high cholesterol. There is even a quick catch up for those that have not seen the first film with some awful Top Trumps-esque introduction.
All this aside (!) Retaliation is actually loud frantic fun. In the opening sequence Dwayne Johnson has these pieces of equipment on his hands then generate enough heat to melt military strength wire. This basically sets the standard. If you don’t think about the plot, or indeed logic then the action is half decent and the pace never really stops leaving a very entertaining, but obviously forgettable 90 minutes. In fact the film has no regard for logic or explanation, but trust me, this is a good thing. If the film decided to give us some half baked explanations or add in a little character development it would have only resulted in cringe worthy moments of clunky dialogue that only slow the frantic pace down. Every aspect of this film, including the running time, action and plot show that they know what they are making and just do not care. On the subject of logic, I do not feel it is a plot spoiler to mention that Storm Shadow (Byung-hun Lee) is very much a part of the plot; he seriously died in Rise of Cobra yet appears here with not a single scratch, and no explanation. This is the kind of nonexistent logic we are dealing with here. This is also a very funny film, some of the dialogue and scenes are so bad it is impossible not to laugh, though predominantly at than with as you would expect. So anyone who hates Retaliation does quite frankly have only themselves to blame for watching it in the first place.
A footnote: Once again the 3D adds bugger all!
Basically G.I.Joe: Retaliation is exactly what it says on the tin (well, poster): Loud, frantic, nonsensical over the top forgettable nonsense but undeniably good fun if you leave your brain and logic at home and know what to expect.