If there is one thing that can be said of GI Joe: Retaliation is that it effectively wiped the memory of GI Joe: Rise of Cobra from my long term memory. From this point forward there is no further need to revisit the horror that Stephen Sommers had wrought: Accelerator Suits, Ripcord, or that ridiculous Duke/Baroness back story. Director Jon M. Chu delivered the GI Joe movie that my inner 9 year old self always wanted.
Let’s just start with the fact that Retaliation had goddamned ninjas fighting on the side of a mountain, and it was awesome. Cobra Commander actually looked like Cobra Commander (no more Joseph Gordon Levitt behind a silly transparent mask and respirator). And let’s not forget about the fact that there were honest to goodness real life versions of GI Joe vehicles in this one: AWE Strikers, Cobra Fangs, Water Moccasins and HISS Tanks!
Retaliation is the closest in tone to GI Joe: Resolute, the 2009 animated mini-series penned by Warren Ellis (which is a very good thing). And much like that mini-series, what made this movie enjoyable was the fact that the GI Joes actually did what they are supposed to do .. use high tech gadgets on covert missions all in attempt to thwart Cobra’s plan for world domination.
From here on out the discussion will be mildly spoilerish ….
- I love, love, loved Snake Eyes’ & Jinx mission to recover Storm Shadow from the mountain fortress. Which was a huge call back to Larry Hama’s GI Joe #21 the Silent Issue.
- Of course Cobra Commander’s plan for ruling the world was overly complex and super expensive. How does Cobra have the capital for this kind of thing?
- I have to agree with Rob Bricken of io9, that The Rock was born to be in a live action GI Joe movie.
- I really dug RZA as the head of the Arishkage Clan, and the turning of Storm Shadow onto the Joe’s side (for now).
- Hey Paramount is it possible to get a Snake Eyes & The Ninja Force spin off? MAKE IT HAPPEN.
- Despite being one of my favorite Joes, Flint was pretty much useless throughout the film. He was the Joe’s parkour/free running specialist … and specialist in not following orders.
GI Joe: Retaliation earns an Official DDOY Rating ofstars if only for the fact that it’s so good at making me forget that Rise of Cobra ever happened and for the prodigious use of ninjas.