Thursday, March 28, 2013

MOVIE REVIEW: G.I. Joe: Retaliation

This movie review for G.I. Joe: Retaliation was written by guest blogger Liz Parker...

The first G.I. Joe movie, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, came out in August 2009, when I was a very recent college graduate still living in Ann Arbor and car-less, so I wasn't able to see it. G.I. Joe: Retaliation, however, has an almost completely different cast, and definitely stands out on its own; there's no need to see the first one to enjoy this movie, although I'm guessing it might help with a little of the backstory. Retaliation is a mix of X-Men and Kill Bill, in my opinion, and it had some of the best action scenes I've seen in a film in a while.

Duke (Channing Tatum) and Roadblock (Dwayne Johnson, aka "The Rock") are G.I. Joes, and they fly back and forth between the desert and their families. After an attack on base camp, however, all of the Joes are murdered except for three of them. Together, they figure out that it was the President (Jonathan Pryce) who attacked them, because one of their enemies, Warden (Walton Goggins), who is skilled at disgusing himself, has taken on the form of the President and wants to start another world war; to do this, he needs to eliminate the Joes first. The three remaining Joes must team up with a few of their former comrades, including Snake Eyes (Ray Park), and try to get rid of the imposter President before he is able to do this.

I wasn't expecting much from Retaliation but I ended up being pleasantly surprised. I'm usually not a fan of 3D in live-action movies - in my opinion, it's best used for animated films, with the exception of the recent Oz: The Great and Powerful - but the 3D was fantastic here, although it started off a little shaky. There's a scene where the characters are literally jumping up and down the side of a mountain, trying to avoid the bad guys, and both the cinematography and the 3D were put to very good use. The reason that parts of the movie reminded me of Kill Bill, minus the bloodshed, was because the fighting was so "artsy," and it reminded me a little bit of the X-Men series because some of the Joes' allies and enemies have special abilities.

Yes, see this movie. There was even some humor into the film - Bruce Willis has a small part as an retired military man, and a few of his lines were pretty funny; Dwayne Johnson has a few one-liners as well. The movie is very fast-paced and I didn't check my watch at all during it - always a good sign with an action movie - and the ending was left open for a sequel as well.

G.I. Joe: Retaliation is in theaters today, March 28th, and is rated PG-13 with a runtime of 110 minutes. 4 stars out of 5.

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Liz Parker is a University of Michigan graduate with a degree in Creative Writing and Literature, and she loves going to the movies. Visit her at her movie blog Yes/No Films
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