I write this with a heavy heart: the new G.I. JOE movie sucks.
I went to see the midnight showing (that was actually at 9pm. Remember when you used to have to wait until midnight for a midnight showing of a movie on opening weekend?).
I am pretty much biting my tongue completely off not to give away the hugest of all spoilers in G.I. Joe: Retaliation. Although to be honest, I wish someone would’ve just told me. I think I could’ve relaxed and enjoyed the movie a bit more. But probably not much more.
So what’s wrong with the movie exactly? Take your pick: it’s disjointed, bland, and tension-less – just kind of big and dumb. Will my 9- and 10-year-old sons like it? Oh heck yeah. After all, there are lots of fight scenes and raining ninjas and blowing shit up. (I give it a very soft PG-13, for any parents who might be wondering – it really could’ve almost gone PG)
But I was hoping for more…something. More anything but absurd action. After all, these characters are pretty holy to me – I grew up on G.I. Joe. In South Florida, running around as the only girl in a neighborhood of boys, we played G.I. Joe all the time. I was Lady Jaye. I know these characters and love them, but the film? Not so much.
There were some good things about the movie. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson brought his normal charming blend of charisma and swagger as Roadblock. Bruce Willis is gleeful as the original General Joe. Channing Tatum and D.J. Cotrona are both hot (although Cotrona’s Flint left me pretty cold). Adrianne Palicki played my namesake Lady Jaye with as much flair as could be mustered for a pretty one-dimensional role.
And Snake Eyes? Well, he’s still the most bad-ass mother fucker on the planet, isn’t he? And without ever saying a word. Ray Parks communicates all he needs to by leaving a string of dead and unconscious bodies in his wake.
The bad stuff I’ve pretty much already pointed out. But I would be neglect in my duty if I didn’t mention the mind-numbingly awful performance of RZA from Wu-Tang. He makes an appearance as the “Blind Master” about half way through the film and single-handedly kills all the momentum in the movie. Seriously. Screeching halt.
Not that it had a great deal of true momentum to begin with, but whatever it had was gone by the time RZA finished with his scene.
True Joe fans will be disappointed by this film. They can’t help but be. Non-Joe fans may not care as much. As a silly action movie, G.I. Joe: Retaliation is not really too bad. But not really too good either.
Now you know. And knowing is…well, you know.