Movie Review: G.I. Joe: Retaliation

G.I. Joe: Retaliation was one of my least favorite films of 2013 and if you read my Movies in 2013 overview post, you’d know that. On the off chance you didn’t, here’s what I had to say about this movie then:

“A movie decimated by recasts saw a large group of newbs come into the franchise and fail to match the success of the original group of actors. Most of the main characters in the first one had no want to do a sequel but Paramount decided to make one anyway. Despite what many including myself thought was a successful franchise starter, Paramount declared director Stephen Sommers would not be returning for the sequel, the reins instead handed over to John Chu. According to Wikipedia, “Chu would later declare that Paramount wanted a reboot that also served as a sequel to The Rise of Cobra since ‘a lot of people saw the first movie so we don’t want to alienate that and redo the whole thing.” While Paramount said they didn’t want to alienate people, they did just that. If you went to see G.I. Joe: Retaliation, you weren’t looking at a sequel, you were looking at a reboot. Aside from a weak plot connection to the first film, the two films had very little in common and it felt like I had watched two entirely different movies. The first was much better. Paramount turned what could have been a profitable, popular franchise, into a disappointing cluttered cluster of second-rate actors and subplots. It may have made a significant amount of profit, but I’ll be surprised if they get half as much as that from the third one.”

True when I wrote it and true today after my last ever viewing of this disappointing sequel, G.I. Joe: Retaliation is so meh, so blah, and so “wow, that’s dumb” that there is truly little enjoyment to be had here. While it’s not an atrocious film, it doesn’t even hold a candle to the spotlight G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra showed us in 2009, yet again making me wonder why Paramount wasn’t happy with it when the direction, cast, and overall story made for a fun movie. Heck, even Marlon Wayans was entertaining. There were things that could have been done better but that’s what sequels are for: to do better than you did the first time. This film was not a sequel, not in terms of definition or in terms of product. This was a reboot with a whole new cast that tried to entertain us but just fails to do so because our minds still linger on the characters we started with and what could have been had they been around for this movie.

The acting can’t compare with the quality of the first and only Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson keeps me interested. Where is Channing Tatum? Where is Rachel Nichols? Where is Marlon Wayans? Gosh, did I just say that? Man, maybe I need to go watch A Haunted House 2 again to remind myself why I don’t care where he is.

The flare of this film just isn’t there and again, I know I’ve said this already, but it’s really all on Paramount. When you have a cast like you did and then you can’t get them back together again 1) do a better job recasting than this and 2) everyone you can get back, use. You would think the second part would be a no-brainer but evidently that’s not the case.

The film’s visuals are decent but can’t compare to the original and there a bit too many plot holes, plot conveniences and random character arcs that turn into figure eights to allow audiences to be ignorant of their existence.

Once again, if you’re new to my blog,  I’ve always ranked movies on a scale of 0-100 (I don’t know why, I just always have). Here’s the grading scale.  

90-100  It’s a great movie and definitely one worth buying. (Guardians of the GalaxyDawn of the Planet of the ApesTransformers: Age of ExtinctionJack ReacherGodzilla)

80-89   It was a pretty good movie and definitely one worth seeing, but it doesn’t quite scratch my top ten percentile. (Tears of the SunEdge of TomorrowThe Amazing Spider-Man 2Young GunsCloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2)

70-79   It’s okay but I’ve seen better. It has its moments, but it has its flaws, too.(MaleficentRise of the Planet of the ApesTransporter 2Battle: Los AngelesSkyfall)

60-69   It’s got plenty wrong with it but I still got enjoyment out of this one. (Anchorman: The Legend of Ron BurgundyThe TransporterSpeedGodzilla(1998)The Incredible Hulk)

50-59   This movie isn’t intolerable but it’s not blowing my mind either. I’m trying really hard to get some sort of enjoyment out of this. (Vantage PointThe Starving GamesYou’re NextThorFull Metal Jacket)

40-49   This movie is just mediocre. It’s not doing anything other than the bare minimal, so morbidly boring that sometimes I’m actually angry I watched this. (Teenage Mutant Ninja TurtlesBilly MadisonA Haunted House300: Rise of an EmpireCowboys and Aliens)

30-39   Definitely worse than mediocre, the 30′s ironically define the 1930′s, full of depression, lack of accomplishments, poverty and just so dumb. (Planet of the ApesStonadosRedemptionPride and Prejudice, The Contract)

20-29   What did I just watch? Cliches, stupidity, nothingness, did I mention stupidity? Just…wow. (X-Men: Days of Future PastThor: The Dark WorldThe Sum of All Fears)

0-19      Watching this movie resulted in one or more of the following: seizure, loss of brain cells, falling asleep/unconsciousness, feel you wasted your time/day, accomplished nothing for you, left the movie knowing less about it then you did going into it, constantly asking yourself why you came to see this movie, or near-death experience. In short, staring at a wall was just as entertaining as watching this movie. This movie deserved a sticker or a label that said, “WARNING: EXTREME AMOUNT OF SUCKAGE.” (Clash of the TitansA Haunted House 2Open GraveAlien 3Dark Fury)

My score for G.I. Joe: Retaliation: 57.

G.I. Joe: Retaliation was a fun ride for the first ten or so minutes, but then starts over mid-movie, with a blank slate when we were pleased with what we had in the first place. Easily one of the most forgettable sequels of the past decade, G.I. Joe: Retaliation can rest assured that no one will be interested in “fighting” with them anytime soon.

Also, I’ve finally gotten Netflix, so look forward to more reviews, especially ones of bad movies that I’ve wanted to do for a very long time!

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