HOLLYWOOD—“G.I. Joe” returns once again on the screen, but with a new cast and director, “Retaliation” seems more like a reboot than the sequel to “Rise of Cobra” from two years ago.
Director Jon M. Chu takes over the job from Stephen Sommers and features an ensemble cast including Channing Tatum, Arnold Vosloo, Ray Park, Jonathan Pryce and Lee Byung-hun, but oddly enough is headlined by two newbies-Dwayne Johnson and Bruce Willis.
The film begins with a conflict already at hand with little time to waste. Framed for stealing nuclear weapons, the G.I. Joe team are targets in being terminated. Fans will be able to get a rude wake-up early on and the surviving Joes are left with a huge mission to endure.
The Joes are downplayed as the nation’s leading protecting unit to none other than their infamous mortal enemies-Cobra. With the President of the United States being against the Joes and a conspiracy looming beneath, the Joes bring their own backup in the form of General Joseph Colton (Willis).
The film is obviously promoted as a sequel, but with a new cast and crew-and most of the film’s first cast not even returning-the film seems like a stand-alone film, which can or can’t bug fans from the first. If the goal was to majorly improve the second film from the first, there’s not much improvement.
Then the new-lead star, Roadblock a.k.a. Dwayne Johnson, changes the direction of the film. Adding Johnson may have improved “The Fast and the Furious” franchise, but the same can not be said for this film.
“Retaliation” is not a horrible film, but there’s not anything too memorable about it either. Similar to watching a video game unfold on the big screen, the film can be watched to see explosions and some impressive CGI action, if anything. The long-hauled push back date was not worth much unless you’re a 3D fanatic.
The film may be enjoyable for loyal fans of “G.I. Joe” and for anyone looking to see a highly explosive action film, though there’s nothing too special about it to talk about for a period of time.
By Carmen Herrera