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Bad Movie Tuesday: GI Joe 2: Retaliation

April 16, 2013

GI JOE 2 MOvie poster

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GI Joe 2 is a step back from the absolutely bombastic original which featured Paris being destroyed by green goo, underground labyrinth headquarters and a massive underwater submarine battle. I had ZERO problems with the original and was actually hoping the sequel would approve upon the missteps and make for a HUGE slightly less dumb installment. The early previews were promising and the use of a thumping “Seven Nation Army” remix proved to be exhilarating. However, the movie was postponed 13 months to undergo tinkering (3D conversion, more Tatum) and the final product is about as thrilling as a blindfolded jog through the park.

gi-joe-retaliation-babe-sword-fight

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Sidenote: It took me three installments to watch the original Joe and thus was never able to be fully immersed in the dumbness. This probably helped by keeping the insanity to three 35 minutes segments.

GI Joe 2 is arguably dumber. It feels like a chopped up piece of filmmaking that lacks grand ambition. The plot revolves around world destruction but it feels like a saunter through various locations. The disappointing nature of the film is a true bummer because we here at MFF we expecting grand dumbness and fun loud noises.  I wrote about the film more than a year ago (read here) and John reviewed the movie thoroughly here. Also, the MFF crew had the movie figured out before it was released.

GI Joe 2 is bad because you wish it was good. You want things to blow up and then have other things blow up. You want The Rock to punch many people in the face while Snake Eyes engages in mountain sword fights with dangerous ninjas. All of this happens but there is zero story behind it. People pop up in random locations for no reason and when the action erupts you can’t help but think about better films like Fast Five, The Rundown or Battleship. These three movies knew what they were and had competent directors guiding the action. Imagine the film that Peter Berg would have directed with this poster below (he has brass knuckles on his gun). Berg worked with The Rock before (Rundown) and it was a blast of fun action

GI Joe 2 The Rock movie poster

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The best part of this film is Walton Goggins (Justified). He plays a warden that is holding Storm Shadow, Cobra Commander and Destro in his prison. The prison is attacked by a very angry Ray Stevenson and Walton puts up one heck of a fight. His scenes are so random and unexpected that they make you perk up a bit and appreciate the unknown happening in front of you. He is a little fella who is doing the best he can to not die, be annoying and deliver minor aches and pains to the evil bad guys. He shocks Storm Shadow with a defibrillator paddle, blows up a fuel tank and survives several gun shots. The dude is not a quitter and his actions make for the best moments of GI Joe 2. I’d love to see a film where he and Storm Shadow team up in an episode of Justified and battle Raylan Givens. It would never happen but it would be pretty great. Also, if you haven’t watched Byung-hun Lee in the bonkers film I Saw the Devil watch it now.

Gi Joe 2 storm shadow1

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GI Joe 2 revolves around three Joes trying to fight the evil Cobra nation. The Rock, Adrianne Palicki and DJ Catone glower and flex their way through various action scenes and eventually save the world. Joining them are Snake Eyes, Jinx and Bruce Willis as Bruce Willis. The dialogue feels forced and it is a shame to see so many good actors wasted. I am a huge Friday Night Lights fan and was stoked to see Palicki in a bug budget tentpole but she is restricted to wearing workout clothes, sleeveless fatigues and slinky red dresses. She is a great actress yet the director had no idea what to do with her. She fills the void left by Sienna Miller’s leather clad Baroness

Adrianne Palick red dress Gi Joe 2

GI Joe 2 adrianne Palicki

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GI Joe 2 is not better than the first film. The Rise of Cobra had an epic scale that felt like a sugar rush to the head (super suits, lasers, destruction of France). This film drags on a bit and can’t match the promise of the first trailer. I feel like there is a lot on the cutting room floor that didn’t make it into the final cut.  There is proof of this during the credits where they show minutes of unused footage that looks pretty cool. I’m hoping there is an uber cut out there that answers some questions and allows for more face punching. G.I. Joe is not a bad film. However, it should have been much more. Hopefully, the inevitable sequel puts it all together.

Don’t go to this Joe. Watch Fast Five, The Rundown or Battleship instead.

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