G.I Joe: Retaliation [2013] ★★

GI-Joe_Retaliation_Poster2Sounds like fun. A sequel to the 2009 surprise “hit” based on the popular children’s toys and cartoons. Cool right? Not right. But here’s a little confession: I actually wanted this one to be good. Or at least decent. Or at least a reminder of what got us all fired up about the Joes in the first place. The story this time around involves Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, D.J. Cotona, and Adrienne Palicki being ambushed on a mission in Afghanistan. Sounds like an inside job, which forces our heroes to head back home and figure out who could be responsible for such sabotage. That would be Zartan, masquerading as the president. Now who exactly is Zartan? Oh, fuck it! If you care about this movie — and multitudes do — you’ll figure it out. Newbies aren’t likely to play catchup. Meanwhile, Storm Shadow and Snake eyes are battling each other in what seems to be an entirely different movie. There’s tacky special effects, worse-than-cardboard acting, a weak script and it’s all wrapped up into a corny $130 million film courtesy of director Jon M. Chu, who previously assaulted audiences with “Justin Bieber: Never Say Never” and two “Step Up” movies. It goes without saying that this film is better than his previous efforts. But that’s no compliment. Key actors like Bruce Willis make an appearance and his smirk is always a welcome sight. But his one-liners are cringe-inducing, especially when he tries to be funny. My advice? This series needs to die here. That would be something cool. We waited an extra year for this; it wasn’t worth the wait.

Rating: 2/4

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