G.I. Joe: Retaliation Review: Bloodless, Mindless Action Reboot

G.I. Joe: Retaliation - Short Sighted Franchise Reboot

Logo for G.I. Joe
Logo for G.I. Joe (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Finally I can say that I saw G.I. Joe: Retaliation. I have been waiting for this movie since last summer. The trailer of the film last year practically blew me away; it was one of the most efficient trailers I saw in the last couple of years. I would have watched the movie anyway with ought even seeing the trailer but I did see it and it eager me even more to check out the movie, the unexpected appearance of Bruce Willis as General Joe Colton was on spot and succeeded to be the additional "it" factor that the franchise didn't really need but gained an even bigger following in the process.
The movie itself was an action packed roller coaster.  It was probably the most packed action film I had ever seen. The movie had everything an action fan wants to see it had:

  • Shouting everyone in sight
  • Air strikes
  • Explosions
  • Sword fighting
  • Fist fighting
  • Mountain Climbing (mountain flying + mountain sword fighting). 

G.I. Joe: Retaliation Trailer

G.I. Joe had every action movie aspect included in the film; the action was occasionally interrupted by few unfunny jokes and even fewer blank dialogs. Some people will say that there was too much action, I myself cannot agree to that. I physically cannot say something like that - it’s against my views. There can be too less action, too much talking but too much action - that just doesn't sound right. 
What I can say is: I understand where those critics are coming from - there was a lot of action in this G.I. Joe sequel, I agree that there should have been more character development in order of making the movie better, the constant shooting around did hurt the story telling because it unbalanced the scales and pulled G.I. Joe Retaliation more towards: shoot first, make a great action movie later thought process.

What was wrong with G.I. Joe: Retaliation?

  • During the entire movie I got the feeling that the creators of this G.I. Joe sequel initially wanted to make a full mode reboot for the G I Joe franchise. I don't have a problem with that way of thought but what we received on the screen was some sort of a hybrid, it was part reboot and part sequel to G I Joe: The Rise of Cobra from 2009 and that was not good.

    Let’s break it down and see how G.I. Joe 2 creators systematically replaced all the Joe's from 2009.
  1. They used Duke (Channing Tatum) in the beginning of Retaliation just to pass the torch to Roadblock (Dwayne Johnson) as the new lead man in G.I. Joe: Retaliation. Something like that is rarely seen in Hollywood movies, most of all it just proved that the producers didn’t believe in Channing Tatum's blockbuster money drawing ability.
  2. Scarlett (Rachel Nichols) was replaced with Jaye (Adrianne Palicki) or Brenda like Bruce Willis liked to call her. Both played secondary roles, when Jaye is probably more remembered because she got rub from Bruce Willis in Retaliation other than that Rachel Nichols was more effective in her role as Scarlett.
  3. The replacement of General Hawk (Dennis Quaid) by General Joe Colton (Bruce Willis) was a pure star power booster nothing more and nothing else
  4. Cover Girl (Karolina Kurkova) was replaced by Jinx (Elodie Yung). Both had zero impact in their performances, so this move had no effect.
  5. G.I. Joe creators practically forgot all about Heavy Duty, Destro and the Baroness from The Rise of Cobra and brought in Flint. From this bunch the only one that really felt as missing in the film was the Baroness who was practically erased and wasn’t even mentioned in any way. The rest of the characters I mentioned in this section were completely expandable (Flint included)

    Most of the changes didn’t have a negative effect on the movie but they still had an effect and like in every sequel changes need to be planned ahead. In this movie it seemed nobody bothered thinking about the bigger picture they just wanted results here and now.
    If you ask the producers of G.I. Joe: Retaliation whatever was done in The Rise of Cobra from 2009 can be forgotten, the problem is that fans don’t forget things regarding franchises they are passionate about, they remember everything. I wish that somebody would remember that next time they decide on making a G.I. Joe 3.
    G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra
    G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    I don’t really understand why they decided to make so many changes, I know that there is an endless list of Joes and they could have wanted to feature as many as they could just for the sake of variation, but something in my gut tells me that it wasn’t the issue. The fact that they brought the Rock and Bruce Willis into this movie proves that they wanted the big guns and they were not happy with the financial performance of G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra. This was probably the reason for the complete silent reboot of G.I. Joe: Retaliation

  • Like I mentioned before there were a lot of sword fighting between all kinds of ninjas and even more shooting sequences that ended with a lot of dead guys. The problem was we didn’t see one drop of blood in the entire movie. That little flaw hurt this movie so much and the credibility of the entire thing went directly to the drain. This movie had to be R rated the PG-13 hurt the movie in so many ways that it is just incomprehensible. You can’t play on both weddings and get away with it, on one side you kill close to 100 cobra soldiers and on the other hand you play the PG-13 and don’t show one drop of blood and say this is not a violent movie fitting a 13 year old children - that’s just absurd.
  • This is a smaller issue than the two above but who in his right mind decided to cast RZA as the Blind Master. I don’t know what kind of sexual favors RZA had to perform for the creators of the G.I. Joe franchise, either way the result of this talentless "crapper" disguised as an actor didn’t go under the radar (at least not by me) the guy was horrible in The Man with the Iron Fists and he didn’t show nothing worthwhile in G I Joe either, he was the odd one in the entire movie. Did they really believe that the audience is dumb enough to accept RZA as a Japanese blind guy? Well maybe the PG-13 audience did but not a regular people with half functional brain.

During the movie itself I thought to myself this is a lot of fun and it is a pretty cool movie, with all the nonstop action and the amazing mountain fighting scene which one of the amazing scenes i saw in recent years. All the action didn’t give me the opportunity to bereave and corrode the movie properly. Now writing this review i cooled down and feel a lot more rational. I understand that the movie had a lot of flaws that I cannot ignore. I will recommend G.I. Joe: Retaliation but you need to accept that if you are not an action freak you can get a bit tired from it midway through. Bottom line G.I. Joe: Retaliation could be so much better than it turned to be if only its creators wouldn’t treat G.I. Joe franchise audience as little children.

G.I. Joe DVD Collection (Blu Ray) - Amazon

About Sasha Shapiro

Sasha is the founder and editor of Cool Reviews Rule. He is very passionate about Movies, TV Shows and some Books. His favorite genres are: Action, Fantasy, History, Horror, Sci-fi and Adventure.
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  1. You may be burnt out on action films. :-) I found it to be "not boring". Not the greatest, not the worst.

  2. Maybe i am

    I never said it was boring on the contrary there was no dull moment, it was just problematic and it could be a lot better.