How is everything at the castle? I am doing well. Last night I had the chance to see the new movie G.I. Joe: Retaliation. We have one movie house out here and it was actually the only movie showing. If knowing is half the battle, as the Joes used to tell us, then I feel we are still waiting for whatever the other half is. From all accounts, the director of Retaliation (Jon Chu) is a fan of the original G.I. Joe material including the cartoons and comic books. This is certainly a good thing. The director of the previous G.I. Joe movie had minimal knowledge of the original material and it showed. However, the first movie did have an unabashed and over the top joy in what it was doing. This second movie seems to be missing some of that. If only someone could bring the best of the two movies together.
What spark there is in Retaliation is supplied mainly by Dwayne Johnson as Roadblock and Ray Stevenson as Firefly. Johnson is great and I hope he returns in the next one. Stevenson is dangerous and menacing as Cobra’s explosives expert. D. J. Cotrona is serviceable as Flint but is given little to do and missing his trademark beret. Adrianne Palicki is good as Lady Jaye but not as memorable as Scarlett in the last film. Bruce Willis looks like he’s having fun as the original Joe. Storm Shadow and Snake Eyes are super cool as always, but a little less so than in the first movie. There are some illogical plot points and the dialog in places is a bit too on-the-nose but you have to remember that the movie is based on a cartoon property so cut it some slack. Overall I would suggest you see Retaliation if you are a fan of G.I. Joe or a fan of action movies. It is a movie I will certainly be adding to my collection.
The good thing is that there are a plethora of G.I. Joes that we still have not seen and that can pop up in the next movie. We can see Gung-Ho (which had only a brief cameo in the first movie), Shipwreck, Cover Girl, the Cobra twins, Bazooka, Wild-Bill and Spirit to name a few. I also request that Destro and the Baroness return. In addition, don’t be afraid to make Cobra Commander a little whinny and cowardly; that is what makes him sort of endearing and more fun to foil.