G.I. Joe is a brand that I am quite familiar with having played with the 3 3/4 inch toys, watching the cartoon, and reading the comic books as a kid. After Star Wars, G.I. Joe was next on my list of favorites in grade school.
When they came out with the first live action movie a few years back I was excited to see it. It was okay…not as fun as I hoped it would be, but there were some things I enjoyed like the portrayals of Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow, my two favorite characters from the property. Then they announced a sequel, G.I. Joe: Retaliation, followed by the casting of The Rock Dwayne Johnson as Roadblock. Now I was getting hopeful for a much better second movie since I am a big wrestling fan and really feel that The Rock has made an excellent transition to movie making. I did not see this movie until very recently through Amazon Prime and was very pleased with what I saw.
I had heard about the beginning featuring the death of the majority of the Joes except for Roadblock, Snake Eyes, Flint, and Lady Jaye. I was still a bit surprised by the scene though. Channing Tatum’s Duke was fairly popular and killing him off seemed like an odd choice, but it worked out since the leads really came off well. The Rock was his typical fun, badass self who always seems to have a way of making the audience root for him right off the bat. Ray Park as Snake Eyes and Byung-hun Lee as Storm Shadow were simply awesome and Adrianne Palecki was an effective Jaye. The only one that seemed a little off from the way the character was portrayed in the comic books/cartoon was D.J. Cotrona as Flint. Flint was always one of the leaders of G.I. Joe and in the film version he came off as an unsure of himself subordinate. Of course, the plan could be for him to build up to being a leader in the next movie which would work, but it still was a little strange to see the character portrayed the way he was in this movie. Also worth mentioning is Bruce Willis as Joe himself. He was typical Bruce which worked great for the role.
What pleased me the most in this movie was the portrayal of Cobra Commander. In the first movie he came off as a non threatening, weenie of a future commander. In the cartoon his voice was so over the top it would become annoying at times. In Retaliation he was a much more menacing figure and really seemed like the type of character that could take over the world. The other character on the Cobra side that was a ton of fun was Ray Stevenson’s Firefly. You could tell he was having a blast being the bad guy and it made for a very enjoyable character.
Overall, this was a fun, solid film that did not disappoint. It was much better than it’s predecessor and made me look forward to a possible third film.
This type of movie is not supposed to be an Academy Award winner. It is not supposed to be critically acclaimed. It’s only goal is to provide the movie audience with a way to escape from their hectic days and just have some good old fashioned fun.