Release Date: 28 March 2013
Running Time: 110 minutes
Distributor: Paramount Pictures (under United International Pictures)
Director: Jon M. Chu
Screenplay: Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick
Starring: Bruce Willis, Dwayne Johnson, D.J. Cotrona, Lee Byung-hun, Adrianne Palicki, Ray Park, Jonathan Pryce, Ray Stevenson, Channing Tatum
Plot: In this sequel, the G.I. Joes are not only fighting their mortal enemy Cobra; they are forced to contend with threats from within the government that jeopardize their very existence.
Let me get this straight, I despised the first G.I. Joe movie. It was cartoony, too much unnecessary CGIs and plenty of woody characters standing around for doing nothing. Not to mention also the weak plot and exposition are very deterrent. The coming of the second movie, I welcome with cautious as I will most likely despise it too. But there are also wind of changes noticeable along the way; with director John Chu replacing the underperformed Stephen Somner and having The Rock added into the list of new Joes, aong other. The outcome is surprisingly good, and I was completely wrong. I believe too, perhaps, I might be the only few who actually thinks it is good. (This review does not contains any prejudice and hatred prior to watching it)
G.I.Joe addresses the past problems, tries to rectify and to correct them in this sequel. Aforementioned, Rise of the Cobra contains plenty of cartoony scenes that were lambasted with dreadful and overkill CGIs. Of course, the plot in Retaliation is not the strongest point for the movie. The plot is riddled with a pretty straight forward and standard theme - about how Cobra, the bad guys in the movie intended to destroy the world and how the Joes, the good guy intended to fight back. There also some unexplained elements like how Storm Shadow survived the first death and so on. Probably, Retaliation is not only aptly entitled, but also plays too safe and too comfy in their own existence. But the biggest assets that Retaliation holds over the predecessor is the ability to improve things way better than expected, way better than the first installment. Hence, not everything in the plot is a pure poison after all. The dialogues are cheesy but also coated with some humours you never see it coming. Retaliation changes the tone altogether with a different package of appearances, customary and core essences; while also attempt to continue the story elements from the first movie. Plus, it gets more serious and also displays more range of emotions this time around.
There are still some cartoony effects, ridiculous scenes and actions along the way, but such nauseating drills are executed and handled much better than any other action movies I have seen this year. Realizing how bad the CGIs in the first movie was, the effect team scale it down to appropriate uses and to enhance only the necessary scenes. Particularly the teflon cable-swinging and samurai-swashbuckling ninjas on top of the Japanese highlands, the addition of 3D increases the depth and excitement all round. Some of the hard pounding, hand-to-hand battles are highlighted with grit and full blown. There is also plenty of interesting shear and stunt energy that are truly mesmerizing. So to say, plenty of the choreograph works are serviceable to achieve the shortages in the plot department, for it manages to deliver the impact inside out. But, there is a problem - close camera works tend to be distracting and the use of 3D hyperbolically worsen the issue.
In the end, G.I. Joe Retaliation marks a huge improvement in styles and substances over the predecessor, but there are still plenty of room for improvement. Retaliation is a fun and exciting action-packed movie that is truly surprising. With some excellent stunt and fighting works on the deck along to go along with the less ambitious plot, it is still a small victory to be celebrated.