G.I Joe: The Rise of Cobra divided audiences in 2009. This year, everyone’s favourite action toy returns in G.I. Joe: Retaliation. Will it sway more people to the G.I. side?
When G.I Joe: The Rise of Cobra came out in 2009 it divided audiences. It was a fun, action packed film, filled with great fight sequences and effective uses of CGI.
Originally set to be released in 2012, G.I Joe: Retaliation was delayed for nearly an extra year in order to convert the film into 3D. A mistake that meant lots of unnecessary scenes have been thrown in just to show off the 3D.
Finding out that the director of GIJ:R would be Jon M. Chu lowered my expectations of the sequel. Previously, Chu directed films such as Step Up 2: The Streets and Step Up 3D, showing that he hasn’t got much experience in action films. But Chu fails to disappoint as he delivers an enjoyable and exciting film, with upbeat action sequences and plenty of explosions.
GIJR’s cast list has seriously changed from the previous film. Major characters such as Ripcord (Marlon Wayans) and The Baroness (Sienna Miller) are not present in the sequel. Even Channing Tatum’s return is almost cameo-length.
However, the addition of characters like Roadblock (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson) and General Joseph Colton (Bruce Willis) drastically boost the amount of combat and bad-assery here.
Like in the previous film, I really enjoyed the portrayal of the two ninja characters Storm Shadow (Byung-hun Lee) and Snake Eyes (Ray Park). They brought a whole new fight style to the sequel, which was very well choreographed and shot, and the use of CGI during the fight between Snake Eyes and other ninja’s while propelling down mountains was almost believable.
There were still flaws in GIJ:R. Some cheesy lines and references to the previous films that would be lost on you if you hadn’t seen the first film. The scene of the Cobra’s attacking the G.I Joe base was very similar to the attack in the start of the first movie. And with Tatum’s role being so reduced, he easily could have been left out completely. His presence is almost more of a distraction than anything else.
Another of my issues with the film was the obliteration of London. It was barely mentioned at all in the film. An entire city was just destroyed by terrorists and everyone lives happily ever after? Points like this can unravel otherwise successful plots.
Overall, GIJ:R was a fun film, which met all the expectations that came from watching the first. If they could just tighten up the shaky plot points it could have raised itself even higher.
As it was: still damn enjoyable.
G.I. Joe: Retaliation is out now.