IN CINEMAS NOW
RUNNING TIME: 110 min
REVIEWED BY: Dr Lenera, Official HCF Critic
The G.I. Joes are framed for stealing nuclear warheads from Pakistan by Zartan who is impersonating the President of the United States. The entire team is eliminated in a military strike except for Roadblock, Flint and Lady Jaye. Meanwhile, Storm Shadow and ex-Joe Firefly rescue Cobra Commander from a penitentiary in Germany, but when Storm Shadow is injured during the escape and retreats to a temple in the Himalayas to recover, The Blind Master sends Snake Eyes and his apprentice Jinx to capture him so he can answer for the murder of his uncle, the Hard Master. Roadblock, Flint, and Lady Jaye return to the US where they set up a base of operations in a rundown gym, and when Zartan announces that Cobra will replace the Joes as America’s main protective unit, they realise someone is impersonating the President….
Don’t shoot me, but I rather enjoyed the first movie, it was an enjoyably silly, over- the-top action movie, at least until it disappeared into CGI land for the final quarter like most Stephen Sommers film tend to do, and despite what you may have read it was not a commercial failure at all. Well, there’s less obvious CGI in this sequel, which retains a few of the first film’s characters [though don’t worry, Mr. One Expression Channing Tatum isn’t around for long], but don’t believe the Rock when he says in the trailer that they’ve raised the bar, because they definitely haven’t. Aside from one exciting but too short ninja fight hanging from a mountain, there’s nothing in this to even approach the incredible Paris chase of the first film, and the attempt at a grittier, less science-fictional feel doesn’t really work when the whole thing is so ludicrous anyway. Say what you like about Sommers but the action in his movies is always visible; Jon M.Chu in this one goes more for the dreadful close-up, shaking-the-camera-about crap that is destroying modern action cinema. G.I.Joe: Retaliation is still fun if you switch your brain off, with a few well-placed laughs [check out where Bruce Willis hides his guns], and Dwayne Johnson remains that rarity, a convincing action hero who can act, but he needs to stop starring in all these average movies.