Written by / 3/30/2013 / No comments / , , , , , , ,

G.I. JOE: RETALIATION

year: 2013 cast: Dwayne Johnson, Bruce Willis, Channing Tatum rating: **1/2
Channing Tatum might have seen the Kurt Russell action thriller EXECUTIVE DECISION and thought highly of Steven Seagal, who played a potentially vital character for the first twenty minutes. Following a similar doomed cameo in SIDE EFFECTS, Tatum’s Duke is in charge of G.I. JOE, a crack unit based in the desert that winds up slaughtered by an assault team manned by the President of the United States, played by Jonathan Pryce. But that’s not really the President – a devious double has taken over and now the maligned unit, sans the unlucky yet heroic Duke and now led by Dwayne Johnson's Roadblock, has to stop whatever else Evil Prez has in store, including a stockade of nuclear missiles.

Once we’re out of the desert and into other regions, the best scenes take place around the perimeter of a mountaintop monastery where good guys and bad guys battle it out using tons of rock climbing rope and cables. These resilient heroes aren’t our central trio, who are busy crashing a Washington party before winding up in the suburbs where a third-act savior awaits in the form of Bruce Willis… the "original Joe" himself… providing enough guns and ammo to start a… or rather, hopefully end a… Third World War.

The finale is contained within an assortment of grumpy world leaders (with several jokes against North Korea) gathered around their own red nuclear buttons, as a mad-gleaming Pryce needs only a purring lap cat to be a world-dominating Bond villain (he was one, actually). Thus a worthy team up of The Rock and Willis is never quite realized… We needed more Army action figure types than the amour-plated Ninjas, who seem straight out of a corny graphic novel. Thus the combination of reality and fantasy make RETALIATION an assortment of bombastic action sequences that doesn't gel together as a whole.
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