GI JOE: RETALIATION. Starring Starring Dwayne Johnson, Bruce Willis and Channing Tatum. Directed by Jon M. Chu. 99 minutes. Rated M (Action violence).
While the first GI Joe film, despite the explosions, shootouts and mayhem, was something of a guilty pleasure, this one is not so pleasurable and may make you feel guilty!
And, there are only a few of the cast from the original, mainly Channing Tatum. When it was rumoured that he was going to be killed off and fans protested, the company added some extra scenes – and then he is killed off.
The star of this show is Dwayne Johnson who has made quite a movie career after his wrestling life. He is a reliable screen presence, looks tough (his code name is Roadblock) but he can do family and nice (after all, he was in Tooth Fairy with Julie Andrews).
While we see the GI Joes in action in Korea, we see them as the victims of a conspiracy and attacked in Pakistan and being blamed for the death of the Pakistani president. What has happened is that an arch-villain has the technology to disguise himself as the President of the United States and so take over, call a summit for a nuclear-free world and then threaten all the world powers with his own more immediate and devastating weapons (with a destruction of central London to prove it).
But, most of the film is getting the GI Joes back together to take out the false president. Much of a muchness with other such adventures, except a lot more CGI – and explosions. Gung-ho would only be a mild description of the action.
Oh, and they recruit the founder of the GI Joes, Joe himself, something of a cameo for Bruce Willis in Die Hard mode. And they have distinguished British actor, Jonathan Pryce as the good president and the bad president.
It’s more or less like The Expendables but with some James Bond megalomaniac type of villains who want to conquer the world.
Fr Peter Malone MSC is an associate of the Australian Catholic Office for Film & Broadcasting.
Out March 28, 2013.