I will never understand my fellow moviegoers and critics. When you go see a movie like GI Joe, what exactly does one expect to see? While, I only saw it once, I walked away from it actually loving the heck out of it. Yes, I recognize that from a pure craft standpoint the movie was seriously flawed. But I don’t go to a GI Joe movie looking for craft. I go looking to be entertained, to watch a cartoon that I loved as a kid brought to life and see the property be treated with a modicum of respect. On that basis the first GI Joe delivered everything that I wanted. But the movie was a critical and (I thought, apparently wrong, Box Office failure) so I was shocked and pleasantly surprised to find that a sequel was in the works.
This movie delivered just about everything that I would want out of a GI Joe movie. The weapons were futuristic and advanced enough to put a smile on my face, yet remain “realistic” enough where I would go, yes – I totally buy into the idea that Cobra “Bats” (Helicopters with convertible Jet Engines) were possible, or that Firefly’s (Ray Stevenson) swarm of miniature exploding robot fireflies could be real.
I like that, like the cartoon, the balance between Cobra and the Joes are maintained. Like the Cartoon is usually winning the battle for most of the episode until some key mistake or bit of arrogance by Cobra Commander (Luke Bracey). In Retaliation it isn’t arrogance that ultimately brings the plan down, it is actually the intelligence of The Joes sorting out what is going on and what happened. In many ways Retaliation is a very “logical” procedural movie disguised as popcorn action.
I’m not saying there aren’t ridiculous moments, like the over the top cliff battle with Snake Eyes (Ray Park) , his protégé Jinx (Elodie Yung) a literally wrapped up Storm Shadow (Byung-hun Lee) and a whole bunch of Ninjas. Great, fun stuff. The movie missed mightly with the god awful, comical presence of (RZA) as the Blind Master or surprisingly Bruce Willis as the original Joe – Commander Joe Colton. He just seemed not interested in what he was doing and his character was annoyingly condescending.
Dwayne Johnson continues to have a great year, this time as the popular character Roadblock. Johnson never really acts all that differently in films, but he certainly has the charm and presence to make almost anything he does work. He manages to be able to poke fun at himself and those around him, without ever destroying his credibility as the resident “tough” guy. I loved the rest of this cast, Adrianne Palicki was great as Lady Jaye, Jonathan Pryce was fun as the fake version of himself as President. At times I really did think he was Zartan (Arnold Vosloo).
Director Jon M. Chu does a nice job of keeping the movie flowing, evenly paced and most of the action scenes are well staged with no shaky cam and everything was easy to follow. The screenplay by Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick was solid. I really don’t understand the vitriolic reaction some people have for this movie.It is a summer popcorn flick, not everything has to be a serious deconstruction of a post apocalyptic future. Sure, if you overthink this movie, you could find flaws – but that’s the case with any piece of entertainment. Enjoy it for what it is, not what you think it should be. It is one of my top 10 favorites of 2013.
Presentation, Audio, Video
From the top level you can select whether you want to be a Joe or a member of Cobra. The presentation layer changes based on your selection for Joes you get blues and clips of Joes for your screensaver while the Cobra layer is draped in red and includes clips of Cobra. Obviously the Cobra layer is the cooler one. The disc comes in standard jewel case packaging with a 3D slipcase. There are 3 discs – 3D Blu-ray, Blu-ray and DVD version. All the extras are on the Blu-ray Disc. Have I said recently how much this annoys me? I really like having the 3D and 2D movie on the same disc.
I wasn’t a fan of the 3D in the theater, as usual in a home environment on my nice Vizio Passive 55 incher the 3D is fairly solid, can’t really complain about it. The 2D version is even better and sharper thanks to the 1080p transfer. I’m still and will never be a fan of letter boxed widescreen – I have a 55-inch tv, fill that puppy up! The 7.1 Dolby TrueHD audio was nice, although it seemed like most of the audio mix was on the front center track and didn’t make a lot of use of the rear channels.
Language tracks includes – French/Spanish/Portuguese Dolby Digital 5.1 HD, English Audio Description. Subtitles are in English, French, Spanish, and Portuguese
- Full length Commentary by Director Jon M. Chu
- G.I. Joe: Declassified – 8 Featurettes that cover the making of the movie and total over one hour
- Deleted Scenes – 3 Scenes that total about 4 mins.
- DigitalUV – is both iTunes and Ultraviolet compatible (I wish more studios do this – I’m looking at YOU Disney!)
I don’t care what anyone says, I love this movie. On first blush it seems like there are no extras on this disc, look deeper and you’ll see it includes a full Commentary, basically a 1 hour documentary that covers all aspects of making this movie and a Digital Copy for both iTunes and Ultraviolet. As a fan of the movie, I really can’t complain too much about this release. It is solid.
- Movie – B
- Audio/Video – B+
- Extras – B
Final Overall Grade – B+