Review: G.I Joe Retaliation

This G.I Joe sequel tries to dazzle us with its action and maturity, but are the audience sold?

Alessandro Iacovangelo

Most of us remember G.I Joe from the action figures and cartoons, or from the 2009 movie Rise of Cobra that was best known for its mix of comical remarks and action. 

G.I Joe has been around for a long time, but Retaliation has a completely different feel to what G.I Joe fans are use to.

Edge-of-the-seat moment

The film starts off with Cobra (the enemies) infiltrating the White House, posing as the president and ordering the death of the G.I Joes. Later on, the survivors of the man hunt, including Roadblock played by Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, set out to clear their names, expose Cobra and save the world in the process.

Some scenes are fantastically done, one particular edge-of-the-seat moment has the ninjas Snake Eye and Jinx escaping a Cobra stronghold and epically fighting on the mountainside: defying gravity at great angles while protecting their ‘cargo’. Many films seem to carelessly add 3D effects for the sake of it, but in this film 3D positively adds to the experience.

Why so serious

It feels disappointing that the film tries to take itself more seriously, especially when the first film made it feel like the balance between comedy and action defined what G.I Joe was.

The series has always seemed cliché, but this film is an improvement over its predecessor and no where near as cheesy. Adding the iconic Dwayne Johnson was a good move, although the script shows him as a strangely serious character in an otherwise light-hearted action series.

Despite the conflicting tones, the film has some undoubtedly impressive scenes, and 3D has been well implemented here. Young fans of the series may be disappointed to learn that G.I Joe has become far more mature, but it was enjoyable enough for a KU student.

G.I. Joe is released in cinemas March 27

Rating: 7/10

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