Caitlin Grey (foenix) wrote,
Caitlin Grey

Foe Watches Stuff: GI Joe - Retaliation

First off, a reminder that I *liked* the first GI Joe movie.  Yes, it was flawed, but for something based on an 80s toy line, cartoon, and comic, it hit a lot of the right fanboy buttons, and as long as you didn't take it too seriously, it was a lot of fun.  And yes, with a few plot holes.  And a Wayans.

A lot of what you can say about the first movie still exists in the second movie.  It's still silly at times, but a LOT less.  Part of that is ditching the Wayans brother.  That got rid of a huge goofy factor right there.  Still, they brought in some weird bits of humour in this one that still bugged me just a little.  The jokey silliness between Duke and Roadblock was dancing on the line of just enough and overdone.  I'm still not sure which.

But most of the laughs it gave were genuine and not awkward, "Oh that's kinda painful to watch...' laughter.  So, that's a plus.

The story is appropriately over the top.  You expect Cobra to have utterly insane world domination plots, and this movie does not disappoint.  Although I'd like to see the science on their doomsday weapons, since I think just dropping something in space would mean it would just, y'know, hang there.  But maybe in the precisely right position to maintain orbit and still be within the Earth's gravity well, it MIGHT be possible.  But I am ill equipped to do that science.  But fine, whatever, they gave their inanimate carbon rods a little push instead of JUST a drop.  And this is a long paragraph to bitch about science in a silly movie. ;)  And I may even be wrong on it.

The acting was...solid, enough.  Rock is the Rock, and does what the Rock does, and he does it well.  Lady Jaye put in a good performance, as I'd expect.  My biggest complaint with the cast was that Flint was a bit of a bland non-entity.  Heck, I didn't even know who he WAS for most of the movie.  Bruce Willis puts in a great role as the original Joe, although it was maybe TOO reminiscent of his role in the two RED movies.  Ah well.

I literally said in the theatre, during an early surprise, "Well played, GI Joe."  I did not see something coming, and will leave it out since it is a decent little surprise.  I *think* I may have heard rumours about it early on in the movie's life, but that was forever and a day ago, and I'd forgotten by the time I was in my seat.

The action in this movie is holy shit amazing at times.  There are some genuinely unique sequences here, and the high flying rock climbing ninja fight scene was worth the price of admission.  And keep an eye out for the guy that misses the zip line and made me blurt out in MST3K fashion, "Shit!  Shitshithshitshiiiit!"

Some of the editing didn't really work, though.  The scenes outside at Fort Sumter did NOT mesh well with the war room like bunker underneath.  They were almost certainly two different locations, the latter being a set they could control and explode, and they never really felt tied together, no matter how much they tried.

In short, this movie was a lot of fun, more than the first, and they fixed a few of those flaws the original had.  There's a number of treats for the fans of the 80s stuff again, and it had some very watchable action.

If you liked the first one, you should like this one.  If you thought there was something to the first one, but the flaws bugged you too much to enjoy it, this MIGHT be more to your liking, but it is very much a GI Joe sequel with a few lessons learned.


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