G.I. Joe: Retaliation
After Cobra Commander and Destro got captured in the first movie by the joes Cobra seems decapitated but with Zartan disguised as the president of the US at the head of the most powerful nation in the world and Storm Shadow secretly expanding the criminal organisation they’re ready to strike back as never before
The Joes get trapped and after a heavy fight only few manage to escape. The survivors are branded terrorists and have to flee. Meanwhile Storm Shadow manages together with Firefly to free Cobra Commander and it seems that nothing can stop Cobra to take over control of the entire world. However, that’s without counting Roadblock, Snake Eyes and a handful of other Joes who are out for revenge and stop Cobra before their plan succeeds.
The first G.I. Joe movie had a reasonable cast with some familiars and a director who had a number of special effects blockbusters already on his name (Stephen Sommers who previously had delivered The Mummy and Van Helsing). However, the story was even for an action movie below par, the characters were cardboard and the effects too obviously computer animated. Result: the movie busted. We thought that would be the end of G.I. Joe on the big white screen, but see: G.I. Joe: Retaliation has arrived!
A true action hero in the lead (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson), Bruce Willis in a supportive role, and dance movie director Jon M. Chu (Step Up) taking control as director should be enough to breathe new life into G.I. Joe. Unfortunately that isn’t the case as where the first movie had story issues, it isn’t any different with this sequel of which we now got to check out the extended action cut on Blu-ray.
The movie starts with a summary of the first and that already in itself doesn’t make one expect a lot of good. And with reason even. The story seems a work of cut and paste, is at no time credible, and the only positive thing we found is the idea of a game of “chicken” between world leaders. Visually Retaliation is great to watch and it’s clear a lot of money was put into special effects, but some scenes – like the fight on the mountain – may be gorgiously filmed, they last too long and you quickly get bored.
The cast does its thing, but when you’ve got little more to say than some clichés there’s not much to make of it as an actor. All in all this Retaliation is therefore not better than the first G.I Joe but also not worse. With the brains turned off completely Retaliation is a very mediocre action movie that drives on special effects but apparently that’s enough for the makers as part three is already in the planning. Third time’s a charm? Let’s hope so!
As said G.I. Joe: Retaliation is visually spectacular at times and Paramount has done their best to bring this forth as good as possible on this Blu-ray. We didn’t see any compression errors, the colors are vivid and the black levels very deep. At times things may look a bit artificial but that’s only a small detail. The 7.1 TrueHD soundtrack is perfect for supporting the image and really worth listening to. Usually we prefer the more aggressive DTS-HD format but we have to admit that the Dolby Digital track in Retaliation really blows you away with lots of use of subtly placed effects that come forth through all channels while also the subwoofer definitely doesn’t get ignored. The image and sound of this release have therefore resulted in an additional point for our overall score.
Qua extras we get a couple of deleted scenes on the first disc besides an extensive behind the scenes (72 minutes) in “G.I. Joe Declassified” which is cut into pieces. On the accompanying DVD you can listen to an audio commentary track with director John M. Chu and producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura.