G.I. Joe: Retaliation

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

The Joes are framed for stealing nuclear warheads from Pakistan by Zartan (Arnold Vosloo) who is impersonating the President of the United States (Jonathan Pryce). The entire team is eliminated in a military strike, with Duke (Channing Tatum) as one of the casualties. Roadblock (Dwayne Johnson), Flint (D.J. Cotrona) and Lady Jaye (Adrianne Palicki) are the only survivors.

Meanwhile, Storm Shadow (Byung-hun Lee) and ex-Joe Firefly (Ray Stevenson) rescue Cobra Commander (Luke Bracey) from a penitentiary in Germany. Storm Shadow is injured during the escape, and retreats to a temple in the Himalayas to recover. Upon learning that he is alive, the Blind Master (RZA), leader of the Arashikage Clan, sends Snake Eyes (Ray Park) and his apprentice Jinx (Elodie Yung), Storm Shadow’s cousin, to capture Storm Shadow so he can answer for the murder of his uncle, the Hard Master.

Roadblock, Flint, and Lady Jaye return to the United States where they set up a base of operations in a rundown gym. After Zartan announces that Cobra will replace the Joes as America’s main protective unit, Lady Jaye deduces that someone is impersonating the President, and Roadblock leads them to General Joseph Colton (Bruce Willis), who provides them with weapons and helps them infiltrate a fundraising event that the President will be attending. Lady Jaye steals a sample of the President’s DNA and confirms that he is Zartan. They escape after a brief confrontation with Firefly and Zandar (Matt Gerald), the head of the Presidential Detail and a member of Cobra.

Snake Eyes and Jinx locate and capture Storm Shadow after a battle with ninjas and take him back to Japan, where Storm Shadow reveals that Zartan murdered the Hard Master and he joined Cobra to avenge his uncle. Storm Shadow then accompanies Snake Eyes and Jinx as they join the Joes’ efforts to stop Cobra.

Zartan invites the world leaders to a summit, where he blackmails them into disabling their nuclear arsenals, and reveals that he has created Project Zeus: seven orbital kinetic bombardment weapons of mass destruction at his command. He destroys London to prove his superiority, and threatens to destroy other capitals if the countries don’t submit to Cobra. However, Storm Shadow betrays Cobra Commander and kills Zartan, revealing Cobra’s deception to the world leaders. While Snake Eyes, Jinx, and Flint fight Cobra’s soldiers, Cobra Commander activates the remaining six weapons and instructs Firefly to protect the launch device. Firefly is killed in combat with Roadblock, who deactivates and destroys the orbital weapons. Meanwhile, Colton and Lady Jaye rescue the President.

Cobra Commander escapes during the battle and Storm Shadow disappears after avenging his uncle. The real President addresses the nation at a ceremony where Roadblock, Jaye, Flint, Jinx, and Snake Eyes are commemorated as heroes. Colton thanks each of them, and presents Roadblock with the gun of General Patton, for when he finally finds Cobra Commander. Roadblock proudly raises the gun in the air and lets out one shot.


I would be willing to wager than if you were a boy growing up in the 80s, then you watched Transformers, G.I. Joe, and He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (Thundercats came along later). When I heard they were continuing the G.I. Joe franchise with G.I. Joe: Retaliation, I couldn’t help but think and hope that it would be a love letter to the classic cartoon.

What is this about?

This action-packed sequel to G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra finds the elite G.I. Joe assault team framed for treason by the global mercenary Zartan. Forced into hiding, the surviving warriors form a desperate plan to defeat Zartan’s combined forces.

What did I like?

Knowing is half the battle. One of the things that bothered me about G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra was how they chose the most obscure, if not made up Joes to make up the team, with the exception of Hawk,Snake Eyes, Scarlett, and Cover Girl. This time around we get three of the most popular Joes. I guess when they sat down to write this, they figured the audience was missing those familiar characters.

Continuation. Although most of this film is meant to be a reboot, of sorts, there is very little mention of the previous flick. As a matter of fact, the only subject that connects the two is Zartan and his infiltrating and impersonating the President. Yes, there is a short little rundown at the beginning, sort of like a ” last time on…”, but that doesn’t really count, now does it?

The Rock. The past couple of years,Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has returned to the WWE on a part-time basis. Getting in shape again for that has done wonders for his physique, because I don’t recall him ever looking so big and buff. Rock has come a long way since we first saw him in a film, because now he is the headliner and star of at least 4 major motion pictures this year. As Roadblock, he kicks ass and takes names. Not exactly, the lovable, rhyming chef-to-be we know from the cartoon, but some of the characteristics are there, and he does have the look.

What didn’t I like?

Herky jerky. For the first 15-30 minutes of the film, it seems a bit herky jerky. What I mean is that it doesn’t really seem to have any focus until after a major event happens. After that, there are suddenly a couple of subplots. The first involves Snake Eyes, which I will touch on later, and the other has some random guy holding Cobra Commander and Destro hostage. If he would have been some government/military official, it might not have been so weird, but this was just some random dude. I just didn’t get why they chose to do that, and then never follow-up or mention it for the rest of the film.

Roadblock. I don’t really have much issue with The Rock’s portrayal of Roadblock, but I do take issue with how he was written, in comparison to the character. I know that no one talks in rhyme, but it would have bene nice to at least have a nod to his cartoon roots by having him slip into a rhyme now and then. Maybe even have someone mention it, similar to the way it was done in Underdog. Also, the chef part of his persona was mentioned once. From what I recall, this is a major part of his character, and yet they felt the need to just gloss over it.

Mastermind. Cobra Commander wasn’t anywhere near as major a player as he should have been. This is the leader of Cobra, after all, and what does he do? Shows up here and there barking orders. Not much different, in actuality, from his portrayal in the cartoon, but for some reason, I felt that this Cobra Commander could have done more.

Trailer. Arguably the best scene in the film involves Snake Eyes’ trek to Tibet to retrieve Storm Shadow. All of the ninjas flying around the mountains. It is truly awesome! Unfortunately, the scene’s greatness was diluted by the face that the most recent trailer showed it to us entirely. This seems to be the thing to do nowadays and I don’t like it. If you’re going to show the scene, then how about a clip here and there. Save the best for the movie!

Delay. This was supposed to have been released back in the summer, but was pushed back to convert it to 3D. There is also a rumor that they wanted to add more Channing Tatum scenes since he has become a much bigger star than he was when the first film was released. Whatever the reason, I can’t say that either was worth it. However, given the financial success this film seems to be on its way to be perhaps they should have just released it as is at this new date, rather than forcing 3D (which isn’t worth it, btw) or more Channing Tatum scenes on us.

As a G.I. Joe fan from back in the day, I was disappointed in how much this wasn’t like what I was expecting, However, as a movie, G.I. Joe: Retaliation does deliver an action packed adventure that is sure to entertain audiences worldwide. Is this the best film like this? No, but it could be worse. Check it out!

3 4/5 out of 5 stars


4 Responses to “G.I. Joe: Retaliation”

  1. Mystery Man Says:

    Reblogged this on Mr Movie Fiend's Movie Blog.

  2. […] 10. Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters 9. Oz the Great and Powerful 8. Gangster Squad 7. Man of Steel 6. Olympus Has Fallen 5. G.I. Joe: Retaliation […]

  3. […] have taken place anywhere in Riddick’s timeline. Maybe they should have taken a hint from G.I. Joe: Retaliation, and avoid any mention of its predecessor except for what was absolutely […]

  4. […] mentioned that she wants to open a restaurant. Yes, it is implied, but just like Roadblock in G.I. Joe: Retaliation, it seems as if it is a plot point that is forgotten until the writers realized that it was an […]

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