Walking into the theatre to see the new G.I. Joe sequel, I hoped and prayed that I wouldn’t be disappointed. I wasn’t. Action packed from beginning to end, praise has to be given to writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick and director Jon M. Chu for their work on the second installment of the G.I. Joe franchise.
The story picks up from the end of G.I. Joe: Rise of the Cobra a short time after Zartan (Arnold Vosloo), using nanomite technology, had altered his appearance to look like the President (Jonathan Pryce). As president he sends the G.I. Joes to retrieve nuclear weapons that have become a threat.
The acting and action are well done but to any fan of the first G.I. Joe movie there is disappointment. Of the “Joes” there are only two returning actors; Duke (Channing Tatum) and Snake Eyes (Ray Park). Duke is now leader of his own squad of “Joes” and instead of Ripcord (Marlon Wayans) who was his close friend in the Rise of the Cobra he now has a new friend and ally, Roadblock (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson).
Roadblock, although not as comical as Ripcord, brings strength and laughs to the team of “Joes” but that comedy is lost when he has to step up, taking the leading role of the few that remain after the helicopter attack ordered by Zartan. Johnson does great with this role but it is one that he is used to. Just like in “The Rundown” and “Fast Five,” he is the muscle and these are the roles he does best.
General Joe Colton (Bruce Willis) is one of the last people the remaining “Joes” have that they can trust because he is the original “Joe.” Willis brings laughs and a lot of firepower to the big screen. The Department of Defense has forbid him to be called back to active duty so he re-enlists to help the “Joes” stop the Cobra organization.
Cobra is the organization led by Zartan, Storm Shadow (Byung-hun Lee), and new ally Firefly (Ray Stevenson). Before long, with these three in charge, Cobra Commander (Luke Bracey) is once again a threat to the world as he aims for world domination.
Storm Shadow is also a returning character, thought to be dead at the end of Rise of the Cobra, but we are lucky enough to learn of the true story of his past and how he ended up the way he is now. With that being said, one of the best scenes in the movie takes place with Storm Shadow and Snake Eyes.
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This movie is what is to be expected of a G.I. Joe movie. It is full of action and closes on every part of the story except for what will more than likely carry viewers into the third installment of the franchise.
As a sequel I was satisfied with the outcome. There is always the worry of a sequel lacking what was strong in the original but this was far from it. G.I. Joe: Retaliation is exciting and entertaining and the perfect installment to the franchise.
Rating out ****/5 stars
Director: Jon M. Chu
Cast: Channing Tatum, Bruce Willis, Dwayne Johnson, Adrienne Palicki