‘Retaliation’ redeems ‘G.I. Joe’ name

Joe Llorin, Features Editor

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For years, G.I. Joe has been a household name when it comes to classic American pop culture. So when a motion picture was released in 2009, longtime fanatics were thrilled to see their favorite characters come to life on the big screen. However, the movie bombed with both critics and fans due to its multiple mistakes that made even the younger fans turn their heads in disgust.

With almost an entirely new cast, “G.I. Joe: Retaliation,” released on March 28, stepped up to the challenge of redeeming the movie franchise.

Following the events of the first film, Zartan, who is disguised as the President of the United States, sets up the G.I. Joes and frames them for stealing nuclear warheads in Pakistan. After a military strike ordered by Zartan eliminates the majority of the Joes’ forces, Roadblock (Dwayne Johnson), Flint (DJ Cotrona) and Lady Jaye (Adrianne Palicki), after surviving the assault, seek out revenge against Zartan and the rest of Cobra, led by Cobra Commander (Luke Bracey), a ruthless dictator hellbent on ruling the world.

It’s safe to say that expectations were especially high for this film, given that the first was an utter failure, complete with lackluster action, terrible acting and the overall feeling that the film never really took itself seriously. It’s also safe to say that “Retaliation” met and soared above any and all of these expectations.

There was plenty of action to go around and not once did it feel stale or tiring to watch. Whether it was Snake Eyes (Ray Park) taking on a gang of ninja in the Himalayan mountains or Roadblock and Firefly (Ray Stevenson) duking it out in a pistol battle, this is one of those films where there’s actually more bang for the bucks you’ll be paying.

The story was drastically better than that of the first film and although most fans saw “Retaliation” as a reboot of the series, the film dwelled on plot points developed in the first, such as the “Nanomite” technology and the feud between Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow (Lee Byung-Hun). On the contrary, the film abandoned key characters from the first film like Scarlett, Ripcord and General Hawk, but you can only fit so much awesome into one film.

The film currently holds a 29% “rotten” rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with the general consensus criticizing the movie for being “overwhelmed by its nonstop action” but remember: these are the same people who gave “Zero Dark Thirty” a 94% approval rating. If you’re not a big fan of awesomeness, this is not the film for you.

Whether you’re a fan or not, “Retaliation” will finally fulfill the bloodlust you’ve kept through movies like “Olympus Has Fallen,” “A Good Day to Die Hard” and other “action” movies you’ve had forced down your throat this year. “G.I. Joe: Retaliation” has all of the works for the perfect “man-semble” film- guns, explosions, ninjas and of course… Bruce Willis.

Rating: 5/5

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