Sunday, June 2, 2013

G.I. Joe: Retaliation "A Real American Review"

Cobra Commander: "Muahahahaha!!! That's right people of the world! I have successfully brought the nation of the United States under the control of COBRA, and now holding YOU hostage with my new super weapon!"
Audience: "Boooooooo!!!!!"
Cobra Commander: "Ah SHADDUP!"
Audience: "BOOOOOOO!!!!!!"
Cobra Commander: "Well, like it or not, you now have only two options: Surrender to COBRA or be destroyed!  You have no other choice! And further more~"
*The audience goes crazy, cheering for Rock as he enters the complex while Cobra Commander is stunned and confused*
Jerry "The King" Lawler: "OMG JR! It's the Rock! I don't believe it!"
Jim Ross: "The Rock has returned, ladies and gentlemen! To lay the "smackdown" on Cobra Commander, here tonight, on Monday Night RAW!"

Ok ok, that did not REALLY happen in the movie, but it might as well have with a story line that is  just as creative as the people who do the WWE storylines. Is that a good thing? Well let's take a look at the second installment of Paramount Picture's G.I. Joe: Retaliation. (Warning: Some spoilers included below)
Now, first of all, was this movie better than the first one? OH YEAH!!! (Read that in Randy Savage's voice) Yes, not a high hurdle to jump over, but at least they learned some of mistakes that were made in the first one.
The movie continues (sort of) after the events of G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra. Zartan (played by Arnold Vosloo) is still masquerading as the (British...still confused about that) President of the United States (Jonathan Pryce). He finally finds out where Cobra Commander and Destro's underground prison is located and the still-alive-Storm Shadow (Byung-hyun Lee) and Cobra saboteur, Firefly (Ray Stevenson), break Cobra Commander out, but leaving Destro behind. Meanwhile, the G.I. Joe unit are having a good time humiliating North Koreans and preventing Middle-eastern terrorists from acquiring a nuke. However, "President" Zartan puts the blame of the nuke-stealing on the Joes and most of the unit is wiped out except Roadblock (Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson), Lady Jaye (Adrianne Palicki), and Flint (D.J. Cotrona). Duke (Channing Tatum) is one of the casualties (sorry Duke, no "He's gone into a coma" line to save you this time). The surviving Joes then regroup with Snake Eyes and Jinx (Elodie Yung), who were busy fighting ninjas while trying to capture an injured Storm Shadow in the mountains. They then meet up with the "original Joe" General Colton (Bruce Willis), and they figure out a way to take down the fake President and kick Cobra out of their nation's capitol. Thus, over-the-top-80's-cartoon-fashioned action sequence commences.

So, not too complex of a story right? Simple, yes. However, the execution of the plot(s) could have been done alot better. There were just too many things going on at once. We're trying to get used to the new characters, but then the story throws us to Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow's story, and while you are trying to figure out what's going on, the story throws you back at the other Joes while giving shallow character development. The plot feels out-of-focus, like a child being easily distracted by every new toy that comes in front of him before finishing playing with the last one. Despite all that, it at least did not make the movie boring, I recalled very few slow moments, which I cannot say the same for the last GI Joe movie. Basically it was like watching another episode of the 80's cartoon, just without the Cobra troops jumping out of vehicles before their destruction.

Regarding the characters in the movie, we get some interesting ones, some have improved, while others were...pointless. Duke, who was probably given last-minute screen time just to make Channing Tatum fans happy, was written off really fast, which was a shame because the movie attempted to give him some relevance with his friendship with Roadblock, but it was so shallow it was hard to care about it. Being that he was the main character in the last movie was the only reason why you would care. Roadblock was basically...the Rock. Don't watch this movie thinking he'll be the friendly-rhyme-talking cook like in the cartoon, because he isn't here. Nah, he's just here to look cool killing Cobras with his 50 cal., which actually is more like him in the comics, but even then while watching the movie I only saw...the Rock. Lady Jaye was awesome. Adrianne Palicki did a great job playing the sexy female soldier. Kicking butt, but not in that unrealistic "girl power" way that I LOATHE! Naw, she shows that she can be vulnerable at times, but uses her wits and strengths to get out of the situation. Flint man...why was he in this movie? He had such a weak character that you pretty much forget that he is in the movie a bunch of times, which is a real shame because his cartoon/comic book persona was awesome! I mean, when we think about the old PSA's, we usually picture Flint doing the "...and knowing is half the battle!" He doesn't do much important things in the story, basically just someone who gives support fire for the other Joes, but I admit, he did do something really cool in the opening scene to the North Koreans...but that's about it. Snake Eyes was there just to have awesome action scenes. Love the improvements in his new costume (goodbye "lips")! Jinx, just there as support character for Snake Eyes. I kinda wished she had more lines. General Colton...basically an excuse to throw Bruce Willis in the movie. However, I did enjoy that they brought in a character who is based off of the original 12 inch GI Joe dolls-I mean...action figures.

As cool as our heroes were in this movie, what made it enjoyable, in my opinion, were the villains. Cobra Commander got a huge upgrade in both character and design, and I loved it! Gone was that hideous mask from the previous movie. Now he has the classic chrome mask that makes you go 'ok, now THAT is Cobra Commander'. He is way more arrogant and evil in this movie, blowing up London and was like ' one will miss it'. Every scene where he's walking is always in that slow-mo, wind-blowing-the-cape "I'm bada$$" attitude.
Storm Shadow was awesome as well. "Well duhhhhhh, he's a white ninja!" Yes yes, I know, but that scene when he takes out the prison guards to free Cobra Commanders got me excited! Oh yeah...why is he still alive after being stabbed and falling into freezing waters in the last movie? Well don't expect to find any clear answers in this movie. Also, I don't quite care for his 180 degree turn from bad guy to good guy in this movie, or at least how they presented it. Yeah, I know it follows the comics more, but in the pace of how this movie was going, it felt really out-of-place.
Zartan was funny yet evil as the fake President. Hats off to him, he actually succeeded in getting rid of nuclear weapons in the world. Time to take notes President Obama! In a unrealistic way of course, but it was sure entertaining (see it for yourself).
Firefly really caught me by surprised. I always knew he was gonna be cool since I was a fan of his character in the comics and cartoon, but they really pulled it off in the movie.
Appearantly, Zandar was also in the movie as the head of Zartan's security, which I don't think made sense since he was a Dreadnok in the comics/cartoon (basically a biker gang who were also mercenaries for Cobra) but now is an agent. Other than the connection of serving under Zartan in all versions, I think this character could've been just a Crimson Guardsman.

What I enjoyed in this movie is seeing a bunch of things that made me feel nostalgic. They brought back alot of Cobra vehicles and troops that I remembered from the comics/cartoon and even had toys of. They had the classic HISS tanks, Fang helicopters, Moray skipboats, and planes that resembled "Rattlers" (although the Joes were using them). They had the Night Creepers (Cobra ninjas), and the Cobra soldiers now look more like the Vipers from the comics/cartoon, except without the visors. I kinda wish they had the visors because the helmets look like the ones boxers use while training which I think look kinda silly, but oh well, at least they're blue now!

All-in-all I say that this movie is a basic "popcorn-flick". A simple action movie that focuses on just guns and explosions more than the story, but fortunately not the "Michael Bay" kinda way. It catered to the fans way more than the first movie (especially with Cobra Commander), which I appreciated. However, at the same time, they slapped the fanbase in the face with what they did to Duke. I am also disappointed with their decision to not bring Destro and the Baroness back, but the damage was already done with their awful versions of themselves in the last movie (Baroness was cool until her abrupt switching sides). GI Joe fans may actually find this movie amusing, which I actually did. I will definitely buy it on DVD (Blu-ray...kinda pushing it). Non-GI Joe fans may just see it as another basic action movie which would probably be forgettable after a couple days (or right after walking out of the theatre for some). Think of this movie as a theme park ride that just got redone and is mediocre but seems really good because the last version was awful. We will most likely see a third movie in the future since Cobra Commander did escape capture, or another spin-off video game (please no). Who knows, maybe they'll magically bring Duke back?
So that's my review of GI Joe: Retaliation! This is WimpLo sayin-*BAM*
Audience: "OOOooooooooohhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!"
Jerry "The King" Lawler: "Woah! Did you see THAT JR!?"
Jim Ross: "The Rock just smacked WimpLo in the back with the chair, ladies and gentlemen!"
Jerry "The King" Lawler: "Uh oh, he's picking up WimpLo and...OMG!"
Jim Ross: "Rock Bottom!!! The Rock just Rock Bottomed WimpLo! He's now going for the cover..."
*The Rock's theme plays*
Jim Ross: "The Rock did it! He is now the Rave Corner Heavyweight Champion!!!"
Jerry "The King" Lawler: "It would have been nice if that was an actual title HA HA!"
Jim Ross: "Thank you everyone for joining us live at the Rave Corner! Goodnight everyone!"

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