G.I. Joe: Retaliation is a Better G.I. Joe Story, But Not a Great Movie

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by Howie Decker @HowardTheDeck

in G.I. Joe

Oh boy, this one’s gonna cause some fights.

 

The “one” I’m referring to is both the movie and this review. Based on other early reviews I’ve read and the primary Twitter reaction, a lot of you are going to disagree with me. This review is not going to endear me to many of my fellow Joe community members- and don’t forget, I’m as big a fanboy as they come. To this day, I still roll up the sleeves of every shirt I wear because of this action figure. Trust me, I really wanted to like this movie.

The movie itself already caused one disagreement that I was in the middle of. Here’s a sample of the conversation that occurred between two of my friends sitting on either side of me during the end credits of G.I. Joe: Retaliation:

Guy 1: Besides The RZA, that was a solid movie.

Guy 2: Did you say “solid”?

1: Yeah, I liked it! Didn’t you?

2: You’re not being sarcastic at all?

1: No, I really enjoyed it – I thought it was a great movie.

2: Wow.

1: Why, what did you think?

2: I hated it.

1: What did you hate about it?

2: Everything.

Both of them, turning to me: What did you think?

I had trouble giving a concise answer. I really wanted to like it. I didn’t hate it. I didn’t love it. But it wasn’t until a few minutes later when I hopped on a call to record a podcast that I realized how much I didn’t love it. As I verbally gave my reaction, I was hearing my thoughts on the movie for the first time, just like the others on the call. I hadn’t had any down time to configure my thoughts and form an opinion. I just knew I wasn’t overly impressed.

READ ALSO: The 50 Greatest G.I. Joe Characters of All Time

Don’t get me wrong, G.I. Joe: Retaliation is the G.I. Joe movie we should have gotten in 2009.

As generally disliked as G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra was, I always tried to find ways to defend it. In the past, if I wanted to like something badly enough, I’d like it, regardless of whether or not that thing had truly earned my appreciation (see: Green Lantern). But let’s admit it- for every one of RoC’s redeeming qualities, there was a power suit, an unnecessary character relationship, or a Ripcord. Whenever I tried to sell the movie to someone who wasn’t a fan, I found myself apologizing for these things. Retaliation requires no such apology.

GI_Joe_Retaliation_Cobra_Commander

There’s nothing in Retaliation to be embarrassed about. If you’re a G.I. Joe fan, you’ll prefer this movie over Rise of Cobra simply because it’s more of a G.I. Joe movie. Joe fans’ comfortable feeling that their beloved property is in the caring hands of a fellow lifelong fan in Jon Chu were legitimate. It’s clear Chu loves G.I. Joe, that’s not the problem. There are a ton of homages to Larry Hama and the Marvel “A Real American Hero” comic run. For me, Hama’s comics are the default Joe continuity. They are what always has and always will bring Joe to life in my imagination. Seeing so many nods to them made me happy, and soon I’ll post a list of all of the Hama homages I noticed in the movie.

That said, something held Retaliation back. I’ll just throw out everything I can think of that prevented this movie from being the thrill ride I anticipated:

  • Many parts are very slow moving, and nothing is happening to move the plot or engage the viewer.
  • Flint was terrible. He’s a strong character in every Joe medium, and should have been a character on film that could step in as leader if a third movie is made. That was not nearly the case, and it’s a mixture of casting and writing.
  • I didn’t notice the 3D for much of the movie- meaning essentially all the delay did was give us 9 months to mentally hype the film and suffer from trailer overload. If you’ve seen all of the trailers, you’ve seen this movie.
  • Yes, we got the Cobra Commander we all want.. visually. We got a great costume design and a cool voice. The character himself was given no pivotal scenes or meaningful dialogue. Zartan was more of a main antagonist than Cobra Commander was.
  • There was no climactic scene. Again, this is where the trailers ultimately hurt the experience, but that has to be taken into account. The mountainside ninja fight scene was good, but by the time you watch the movie you’ve already seen it. The wow factor is gone, and no other scene steps up to take its place.
  • Jinx is cute but fully disposable.
  • There were lots of Cobra troopers, but no Cobra Troopers. Why stay so true to Cobra Commander and Firefly’s iconic looks but have Cobra soldiers wearing generic camo? A missed opportunity.
  • The plot depends too much on the viewer being wildly impressed with The Rock punching and shooting things. Hey, I like both of those things as much as the next guy, but not as the entire basis of the final scene. We need more. The ending was flat. No swerves, no surprises, no “OOH” moments.
  • No closure for any of the main characters. Maybe Lady Jaye, who has a special moment with Joe Colton.
  • Nothing was done to set up or hint at a potential sequel, besides the played-out “villain gets away” trope. And in this case, there wasn’t even a big deal made about the villain escaping. After the credits I had to ask someone, “Wait, what happened to Cobra Commander?”. I honestly couldn’t remember. Not a good sign.

None of my issues with Retaliation have anything to do with far out plots, cheesy dialogue or shallow characters, because that’s G.I. Joe. If you prefer realism, go watch Zero Dark Thirty. Like I said, we finally got a G.I. Joe movie, unfortunately it just wasn’t a good one.

There are definitely some highlights. Cobra’s top secret game-changing technology (Project Zeus) is reminiscent of such ambitious Sunbow creations as the MASS Device and the Weather Dominator. Lady Jaye is a visual scene stealer (fancy words for HOT), and I’m not just talking about the red dress scene. Adrianne Palicki’s dialogue with Bruce Willis was fun. The Rock is as good as Roadblock as you think he’ll be. Ray Stevenson’s Firefly is a treat. Storm Shadow and Snake Eyes are as good together as they were in RoC, and again Byung-hun Lee steals most scenes he’s in. I actually wasn’t as offended by The RZA’s portayal of the Blind Master as many other early reviewers seem to be.

lady jaye flint roadblock

I hope this movie is successful enough to warrant a third G.I. Joe film, in which Chu would have no previous mess to clean up before commencing with his own story. What I’d love even more would be Chu helming the film and Larry Hama brought on as a special consultant, in the same way that Christopher Nolan is “godfathering” The Man of Steel and seemingly all upcoming Justice League character-based movies.

gijoe the rock snake eyes

For everything the Transformers fanboys (and soon TMNT fans) feel Michael Bay is doing to desecrate their nostalgic memories, Jon Chu is carefully nursing G.I. Joe fans’ memories back to health. The fact that this movie was unmistakably G.I. Joe is a good thing, and a step in the right direction.

I’m prepared to defend my opinion, so please don’t hesitate to leave a comment or continue the conversation on Twitter or Facebook.

G.I. Joe: Retaliation opens Thursday March 28.

 

howie decker file card

 

{ 33 comments… read them below or add one }

Tank March 27, 2013 at 7:25 am

What he said! I think over time we will appreciate it more. For now it was a serviceable band aid over RoC. It had its moments but overall it was a generic action movie. No wow factor after 9 months of marketing.

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Howie Decker March 27, 2013 at 7:27 am

Well said.

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SharePointJoe March 27, 2013 at 8:30 am

I actually don’t think they did 9 months of marketing. Superbowl gave us a teaser…I think for them to call it a blockbuster, they’re marketing was scaled back until recently. The Hype was there but more for fanboys.

Movies like Iron Man and Avengers appeal to everyone (for whatever reason). Movies like Gi Joe appeal to pretty much just fans…That’s why it’ll fail on most levels.

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Tank March 27, 2013 at 8:39 am

Now remember I am basing it on the theater and getting in marketing materials and seeing the trailer on almost every movie for the past 9 months.

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SharePointJoe March 27, 2013 at 8:53 am

Then we have different views on marketing. You work in a movie theater. So yea, you’ll see that stuff everyday. The avg person doesn’t see that “luxury”.

In the end- this movie is still reaches the fanboy masses and very little of anyone else. The same goes with the toys, us 30 somethings are the ones that are buying them. No appeal for Gi Joe is not there.

It saddens me to know that the movie itself will probably fail and the Transformer movies thrive.

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Howie Decker March 27, 2013 at 9:00 am

That’s the thing that bothers me. Even though they’re not good, the TF movies make tons of money because kids love them. No idea why. As far as 80s/Hasbro property conversions to film go, this GIJoe has been the most true to its roots (compared to RoC and all TFs)

Tank March 27, 2013 at 10:31 am

Tina better than those shitty TF movies. Not sure why those thrive and this middling at best. This film is super respectable to the fans and moviegoers.

Tank March 27, 2013 at 2:15 pm

Not sure how Totally got changed to Tina for starters.

James March 27, 2013 at 9:31 am

I like that you tacked the filecard at the end instead of the usual “about the author” to re-affirm your Joe fandom. Look guys, I really am a fan, don’t hate me!

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Howie Decker March 27, 2013 at 9:37 am

you know it! *backs out of room slowly

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Engineernerd March 27, 2013 at 12:04 pm

Okay. I haven’t seen it yet. However, this sounds like a lot of the Star Wars Prequel feedback when they were released.

Having not seen it, I have the following counterpoints:

Did Cobra Commander ever have a pivotal scene in the animated series?

When the source material was new monochrome uniforms were still in use around the world. (My dad only had solid color uniforms.) However, most modern forces are wearing camo, if not all. I can’t see Cobra keeping their solid blue uniforms when camo is de rigueur and available off the shelf.

The marketing has reached other folks. I’ve been asked by people about it that aren’t GI Joe fans. Multiple people.

In short, there are two things that you have to keep in mind.

They have to make money. They didn’t make the film for just the fans, it has to appeal to a wider audience. Let’s face it the plot will get watered down due to this.

The second, and this is the harder one to swallow, we’re all older. If you are an adult fan or collector of GI Joe or any other property, you have to ask yourself why. The simple answer, most of the time, is you have nostalgia based on everything that happened around time you were introduced to the property. Once that genie is out of the bottle, you can’t go back. Nothing they do after will ever give you the feelings you harbor for the original property. I’m sorry how, you are just plain older now.

I respect your opinions, but for most of fans there probably was no way possible they could make a film grounded in reality that would compare to the vintage animated or comic book series.

The more important thing we all need to be concerned with is how kids will view the new film, not us older fans.

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Howie Decker March 27, 2013 at 4:28 pm

My answers to each question in CAPS (to differentiate the source, not to seem like I’M YELLING)

Did Cobra Commander ever have a pivotal scene in the animated series? HE WAS THE SPOON THAT STIRRED THE SUNBOW SERIES. I’D ARGUE THAT HE HAD A COMPELLING AND PIVOTAL SCENE IN EVERY EPISODE HE APPEARED IN. HE WAS MORE OF A MAIN CHARACTER THAN ANY JOE UNTIL SGT. SLAUGHTER ARRIVED. HIS PLOT TO OVERTHROW SERPENTOR WAS JUST ONE OF MANY PIVOTAL COBRA COMMANDER-BASED STORY ARCS AND MOMENTS.

When the source material was new monochrome uniforms were still in use around the world. (My dad only had solid color uniforms.) However, most modern forces are wearing camo, if not all. I can’t see Cobra keeping their solid blue uniforms when camo is de rigueur and available off the shelf. WHEN HAVE SOLID SILVER FACEMASKS AND SILENT NINJAS EVER BEEN COMMONLY USED AROUND THE WORLD. SINCE WHEN DOES G.I. JOE OR COBRA FALL IN LINE WITH WHAT REAL WORLD ARMED FORCES ARE DOING? IF RETALIATION IS GOING ALL THE WAY WITH COBRA COMMANDER, SNAKE EYES, AND FIREFLY’S LOOK, WHY STOP THERE? AND DON’T GIVE ME VINTAGE-DESIGN COBRA TROOPER ACTION FIGURES MARKETED AS CHARACTERS IN G.I. JOE: RETALIATION AND THEN GIVE ME A DIFFERENT LOOKING TROOPER IN THE MOVIE. WELL, YOU CAN DO IT, BUT EXPECT ME TO BE DISAPPOINTED.

The marketing has reached other folks. I’ve been asked by people about it that aren’t GI Joe fans. Multiple people. OF COURSE IT HAS. DID I IMPLY THAT IT HADN’T?

In short, there are two things that you have to keep in mind.

They have to make money. They didn’t make the film for just the fans, it has to appeal to a wider audience. Let’s face it the plot will get watered down due to this. THEY DIDN’T MAKE IRON MAN FOR JUST IRON MAN FANS EITHER BUT THAT SEEMED TO DO OK. I AGREE, THIS MOVIE WAS MADE FOR THE MAINSTREAM, AND IT DOES A GOOD JOB OF STICKING TO ITS GI JOE ROOTS (I MENTIONED THE COPIOUS HAMA NODS)- IN FACT, AND I THINK I SAID THIS, GIJOE FANS WILL LIKE THE MOVIE MUCH MORE THAN MOVIE FANS WHO DONT KNOW GIJOE WILL LIKE TH MOVIE. I SAW IT WITH 2 JOE FANS AND 2 NON-FANS. THE JOE FANS LIKED IT, THE NON FANS DID NOT.

The second, and this is the harder one to swallow, we’re all older. If you are an adult fan or collector of GI Joe or any other property, you have to ask yourself why. The simple answer, most of the time, is you have nostalgia based on everything that happened around time you were introduced to the property. Once that genie is out of the bottle, you can’t go back. Nothing they do after will ever give you the feelings you harbor for the original property. I’m sorry how, you are just plain older now. I AGREE, AND AM NOT ASKING FOR AN EXACT REPRODUCTION OF THE OLD SERIES. AGAIN, AS A GI JOE MOVIE IT IS GOOD. AS A MOVIE MOVIE IT DID NOTHING TO MAKE ME LOVE IT, NOTHING TO MAKE ME HATE IT. MY EXACT WORDS FROM THE REVIEW. I NEVER MENTIONED ANYTHING ABOUT IT NOT LIVING UP TO MY NOSTALGIC FEELINGS, MY ISSUES WERE STRICTLY WITH THE FILM ITSELF, NOT HOW TRUE IT WAS TO THE PROPERTY. IF I IMPLIED THAT LET ME KNOW WHERE AND I WILL EDIT IT, BECAUSE I CERTAINLY DON’T FEEL THAT WAY.

I respect your opinions, but for most of fans there probably was no way possible they could make a film grounded in reality that would compare to the vintage animated or comic book series. I THINK ALL GI JOE FANS, MYSELF INCLUDED, DO NOT WANT THIS OR ANY GI JOE FILM TO BE GROUNDED IN REALITY. THAT WAS NEVER THE BASIS OF THE PROPERTY. AS I SAID, THE NANO-MITES AND THE ZEUS PROJECT ARE WILDLY OUT THERE CONCEPTS THAT I CITED AS THINGS I LIKED ABOUT THIS FILM (AND RoC). THE FARTHER FROM REALITY THE BETTER. IF THEY MAKE ANOTHER I HOPE THEY GET INTO THE MORE SCI-FI JOE STUFF LIKE SERPENTOR AND MIND CONTROL BUT THEY WON’T.

The more important thing we all need to be concerned with is how kids will view the new film, not us older fans. I SAW IT WITH A 12 YEAR OLD, AND HE LOVED IT. I HOPE THIS FILM BRINGS HIM AND HORDES OF OTHERS INTO THE JOE FANDOM. IT’S THE ONLY WAY WE’LL CONTINUE TO SEE NEW CONTENT (BESIDES COMICS AND COLLECTOR-TARGETED TOYS)

SERIOUSLY, THANK YOU FOR THE WELL THOUGHT OUT, WELL CONTRUCTED COMMENT. I’M SORRY IF IT LOOKS LIKE I’M YELLING OR DEFENSIVE, ITS JUST THE CAPS LOCK. I WANTED TO SET THE REPLIES APART FROM THE ORIGINAL COMMENT.

FEEL FREE TO LEAVE MORE THOUGHTS, LOOKING FORWARD TO HEARING WHAT YOU THINK WHEN YOU SEE IT!

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Engineernerd March 27, 2013 at 5:14 pm

I’m really glad to hear the 12 year old loved it. It would be interesting to ask him in 20 yrs how it influenced what he thought of GI Joe.

For the nostalgia portion, I was driving at something a bit more subconscious. You know like how a the smell of ditto paper takes you back to grade school. I think these older properties play on those heart strings without you realizing it. I was huge into Star Wars as a kid. (I’ve got a few years on your, Junior.) The hardest part of watching the new ones for me, was it broke paradigms I had created for myself as to what a Jedi was, how the SW universe worked and so forth. At some point, I let go when I realized that I’d set those ideas for myself and Uncle George was operating in parallel but slightly different universe.

Here’s the best example I can think of. You ever pick up a jelly bean and it’s a different flavor than what you thought based on the color? That was what the SW prequel experience was like for me. And at first, it was odd which caused some feelings, but I’ve grown to accept and like it. (Same goes with RoC)

The marketing thing was directed at Joe’s comments, sorry should have said that.

I probably have an advantage here because I’m more of SW fan than GI Joe. I’ve also really tried to insulate myself from spoilers for when I get to see it.

To paraphrase Ben Kenobi said in ROTJ, “It’s all correct from a certain point of view.”

Thanks for making me think about it dude!

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Chad E. Young March 27, 2013 at 12:27 pm

I was satisfied walking out of the theatre. I personally felt it was worth the 9 month wait and I think they redeemed themselves.

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Howie Decker March 27, 2013 at 1:06 pm

I really am glad that you liked it, being as hardcore a Joe fan as you are, I hate to see when people are let down. Engineernerd said it best when he compared it to Star Wars prequel letdown, when you’re such a huge fan of something and there is so much buildup, and from the trailers you know that all the elements are there for a great movie (the visuals, the stars, the merchandise) it is always hard for the final product to live up. Had I gone in blind to all of that I may feel differently.

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Chad E. Young March 27, 2013 at 1:27 pm

eh. Personally, I felt it had all the right components. but like i said, stepping back and thinking about it, you have a couple points. I definitely could agree that Jinx is rather disposable and leaves nothing more than a female Snake Eyes, but I think maybe they’re holding off on expanding her character which is ok with me. The Cobra Commander ending made sense to me. i feel it’s setting up a sequel and did it the right way with him just “slithering” away like a snake usually does. Just like the original series, the story of these characters will continue another day.

The Cobra troopers were rather generic, yes. I really thought they would be using more of the designs we saw int he toyline, but I guess my naivety strikes again. lol.

Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow were pretty good in this one. Definitely good to see that continue, even if I wasn’t a fan of SE int he first one or ever. lol.

No Cobra La? Gypped. lololololol!!!!!

All in all, i stand by my comments about it being solid. But then again, that’s just one fans take. I always enjoy reading and hearing the different takes on things like this. I think some good debates and takes will come out of it(and already have!!!). Please keep them coming, people!!!!!

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Howie Decker March 27, 2013 at 2:01 pm

But Chad, you expecting to see Cobra Troopers that look like the action figures marketed as GI Joe Retaliation characters is not naive, it’s reasonable. You should be disappointed in that. Merch is part of the hype machine. If you advertise things ahead of time that your end product is not going to live up to, you invite and deserve reviews that use words like “disappointed” and “didn’t live up to expectations”.

Put it this way: if they advertised a Roseanne reboot, and the accompanying action figure line included a Sarah Chalke Becky, but the actual show featured the other Becky, people would understandably be disappointed/misled. It’s the same thing, albeit way less ridiculous and far fetched.

I don’t expect everyone to agree with that sentiment.

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Tank March 27, 2013 at 2:14 pm

You just compared GI Joe to Roseanne in some way! I love it.

Troy April 14, 2013 at 4:50 pm

I respect the opinions of not thinking it was a great movie movie. Imyself watch a LOT of movies, old, new, classic so I think of myself as a valid critic to argue this. I am a Joe fan since I was a kid. Equally with transformers. Now I’ll first say this- after the first transformers movie I lost interest. I haven’t read anymore of your reviews about those movies but did u think ALL of them were great movie movies?? Honestly comparing them the joe movies I think are a little more main stream appealing compared to TF. They’re almost a little hard to understand compared to Joe. The combat scenes and military should appeal to more than just joe fans. Military etc. bring their kids expose them to past cartoons that we grew up on now in movie form. I do think it was better than roc. But this was not an introduction of cobra movie. About the uniforms- perhaps the writers/director was thinking that it would transition to more of that once overthrowing whitehouse/world?.. When you start talking about sequels bombing compared to originals this did not. (Credit given) I walked out satisfied with one maybe two exceptions – they killed off Duke. Not happy. A staple in joe saga. Two I wanted an end clip of either him returning badly wounded or c commander plotting.. As for jinx being disposable.. I disagree. More characters being introduced was needed due to the kill off. Can’t be left with 2 or three. I myself remember her character and the blind traing in the cartoons no? I think there were still enough ninja action sequences left to keep it interesting and viewer fixed, just like the joes military ops throughout the movie, I introduced my fiancée to all this stuff and she thought it was a good movie when we left. She thought the same (disappointed they killed Duke). I myself would say it was a good-great film. Due to my exceptions. The trailer gave us enough action to pull us in without giving away what may happen. I myself didn’t get beat down with marketing and promo. Didn’t get the the theaters in the past 9 mos as you said so maybe that’s why I wasn’t let down as much as you/some? Now as time goes on just like in the cartoons the uniforms and characters do change. Involving the pres like it has is a nice change from back then, ESP with the new White House down movies coming out that are pretty popular. So I would say a third movie will be done. It will get its credit and revenue.. A good scene that drew me in was when we found out the truth that storm s was alive and then he was falsely accused. Like they said earlier after time and more views maybe opinions will change for the better. I know myself that happens to a lot of movies I watch. You always pick up on more thing, subtleties which add to your satisfaction. There’s my opinion/argument. I hope more ppl check it out and like it. I’m sure most viewers will agree that they did a better job overall compared to the first RoC…thx

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Howie Decker April 15, 2013 at 9:42 am

Troy – thanks for the bomb comments! I despise all of the Transformers movies (that I’ve seen- I stopped after 2). I just wanted to get that out there before I continued reading your comment. Thanks again!

Howie Decker March 27, 2013 at 4:08 pm

Tank: re: the Tina thing – it must be because you type about Tina Yothers so often, it autocorrects every ‘T’ word to Tina. Must be.

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Classick Material March 28, 2013 at 10:27 am

I’d pay to see Tina Yothers and Mindy Cohn do an action flick together. Like a Cagney and Lacey for the big screen. Let’s twitter-bomb Jon Chu and make this happen!

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Howie Decker March 28, 2013 at 1:16 pm

GIJoe, He-Man, Cagney & Lacey! It’s a natural progression for a director.

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handsybroad March 27, 2013 at 4:51 pm

I agree with 8 of your 10 dislikes. I also agree that its a better GIJOE movie, but not as good a MOVIE as I thought we were in store for. No dazzling fights or chase scenes. No surprises. Not enough Cobra Commander. Some of the figures that have been on shelves for almost a year are misleading, setting false expectations.

I’ll see it again and hope it makes enough to get us a third.

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Justin March 27, 2013 at 4:56 pm

I think there are a few reasons why the movie had some issues depending on your perspective, and I think Jon Chu sort of explained them in a round about way in an interview he did recently.

G.I. Joe has a massive amount of characters. Massive. So many characters that it can be a real challenge to give any of them the attention and direction that they deserve. Guys like Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow are obviously the central cogs, they must have a big focus. Jinx being disposable I would agree with. Chu mentioned that they had an entire backstory devoted to her (as shown by some clips during the credits of her in a plain white uniform that never made the final cut) but at the end of the day they were already doing a lot and decided not to muddy the water with more backstory that didn’t mean anything to the current story.

I kind of disagree with your sentiment about Cobra Commander. I thought he had a pretty huge role in this film. Or as huge as could be expected. He essentially orchestrated the entire thing. The nukes, the Zeus, Cobra’s infiltration of the presidential office, all of it. Of course Zartan is going to get more focus and screen time, he’s the President of the U.S. and that story had to be resolved in some way. His existence as the president is the crux of the entire film. Besides, Jonathon Pryce is the shit.

I must admit I was surprised that you felt parts of the film were “slow moving”. Most of the complaints I’ve read are that it moved to quickly and too “jerky”… it was all action all the time without any real chance to learn who these characters are.

I will admit I agree about the Cobra Troopers. I would have much rather have seen some more standard blue uniforms rather than the feux urban camouflage that we got. I think the perception is that they want them to look like a domestic security force and were trying to mimic the look and feel of a US Urban operations team. Ultimately I think they would have been a lot more effective in dark blue.

I do think G.I. Joe: Retaliation was probably trying to do a little too much.

1 – Clean up the mess from the Rise of Cobra
2 – Continue the story of Zartan as the President
3 – Write the Snake Eyes/Storm Shadow back story
4 – Begin the Flint/Lady Jaye romance
5 – Evolve the Roadblock character
6 – Include the 60’s “Original Joe”
7 – Appeal to kids
8 – Appeal to adult fans
9 – Feature a vast degree of numerous characters
10 – Set up a new foundation for future films/G.I. Joe stories

That’s a lot. And it’s a whole lot to try and do in a 110 minute film. I do think parts of the film suffered for it, especially at the beginning, but I still thoroughly enjoyed it and look forward to watching it again.

If nothing else, this has made me really look forward to a potential Blu Ray “Directors Cut” release, because I think if Chu can include even a portion of the footage lost on the cutting room floor (whether inappropriate for the younger crowd, or just because there was too much going on) I think the film could end up being significantly better.

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Classick Material March 28, 2013 at 10:26 am

*spoilers below*
Well put, Justin. I feel as though this movie was more of a clean-up and refresh of what we saw in 2009, but it also played out like an extended episode of ARAH, which, given how well it was cast, actually entertained me. I for one liked that they fleshed out Firefly a bit and showed him with mask and without. Ray Stevenson is a bad-ass and was right for that role. Sure, we could have gotten more Cobra Commander, however given the first movie was so devoted to his backstory and no return of JGL in this one, it made sense that they’d put him in the background more. I would be intrigued to see if they’ll consider bringing back Destro in the third one (or did he die in the explosion? Not sure how that went down), but CC getting away means there can and should be a third one, thankfully. Either way, I’m glad we got what we paid for and Channing “Duke” Tatum is dead! D-E-D… DED!!!

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James March 28, 2013 at 11:56 am

After having seen it I can’t disagree with any of your points. I feel differently on a few, but being open-minded I can see why you feel the way you do about them ( particularly Flint sucking and you not being offended by the RZA, who was awful)

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eclectik March 29, 2013 at 5:04 pm

I havent read all of the comments, but I read your review and I think you went easy on it

That. Movie. Fkn. SUCKED

I hated it … I prefer ROC … I’m 90% sure I will never see Retaliation again
I’m going to do a random thoughts post on my site soon but

I didnt ever care for the mountain fight scene … I recognized only Firefly … until he took his damn mask of 20,394 times

Cobra Commanders helmet annoyed me, but not as much as his voice

Destro!? So … he’s just there.

Im guessing the long reddish haired LADY JAYE is the Ultimate universe version

What was the point of Duke

and THAT was NO flint he was a wuss! C’mon

No Troopers, No vipers, we had those awful ninjas and of ALL the people Jinx?
Why not Big Lob then?

The Storm vs Snakes shouldve been a sepearte movie that spun FROM this one not the subplot

If you’re going to do a Joe movie use the characters, there were WAY too many extras not to have the names we all know

Let me stop before I punch my Mac

You can go over to er and read that Facebook post tho

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Howie Decker March 29, 2013 at 7:05 pm

I certainly don’t mind defending my opinion to those who disagree, but I gotta admit I love when someone agrees wholeheartedly. I may have been courteous in parts, but like you, I don’t know that I’ll ever take the time to watch it again, whereas I’ve watched RoC 4-5 times. It’s a bad GIJOE movie, but a better action movie.

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Troy April 14, 2013 at 5:00 pm

I have to disagree. Really better action? In their super suits?? There was mortal combat as well as more snake eyes -storm shadow action as well as military involvement. I’m a little pissed they chose to ruin UK first rather than china or North Korea! Lol

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Troy April 14, 2013 at 5:09 pm

Not watching it again, buying the movie and supporting something you are a ‘fan’ of doesn’t help for a third one. Keep that in mind. If most ppl thought that way most movie franchises would die after the first one if they even make the first thinking/acting that way.

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Fogs March 30, 2013 at 11:44 am

LOL. Wow. GI Joe debate central over here. I should have known.

I agree Howie, this movie was rough. Sad for you fans who hoped for more, for me it’s easy to just wash my hands of it and say, Oh well, “Evil Dead” next week!

I will say that RZA IS as bad as some people are saying. I penciled him in for a worst supporting actor nom for my year end awards. 🙁

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Howie Decker March 30, 2013 at 1:03 pm

Luckily I went in with lower expectations than last time (and was still disappointed). I still think the biggest problem is that we saw the whole movie and its best scenes via the trailers.

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