Mindless, forgettable action flick; plus the sly Pinochet satire ‘No.’
I played with G.I. Joe action figures with my brothers as a kid but that, apparently, does not mean I am part of the target audience for the supremely silly movies made based on the action figures and later the animated TV series.
Since I missed the original G.I. Joe movie, The Rise of Cobra, this review will not be about how G.I. Joe: Retaliation compares to the original. As a stand-alone film, Retaliation is a mindless collection of action-set pieces, only one of which is visually interesting, a ninja battle that takes place with trapeze artists/soldiers flying across the face of a mountain.
That splendid bit of action aside, the rest of the film features some of the worst hand-to-hand combat 3D scenes ever perpetrated on movie patrons. The film was not originally filmed for 3D so it was converted. The action style these days that features quick cuts and close-ups of an arm here and a flying kick there does not adapt well for 3D.
It is hard enough to get a feel for the action with the use of close-ups; you are never quite sure who’s fighting whom and the 3D technology just makes it worse. Many of the fight scenes are murky in 3D and led to an occasion bout of motion sickness.
Now, as you might guess, there are actors involved in this action. Dwayne Johnson and Bruce Willis, two action-film icons, turn up to provide the bare minimum — performances that should be in the hall of shame under the category “Best example of going through the motions for a paycheck.”
Channing Tatum seems to have a bit more fun as the returning G.I. Joe leader Duke, but that’s probably because he gets to bail from this dreck when his character gets killed. Oh. Sorry. Guess I should have said “spoiler alert” before that.
Thank goodness the summer will arrive soon with a few action movies that hopefully will provide real popcorn fun rather than leave us with a taste of burnt popcorn.
G.I. Joe: Retalitation
Before the improvements in 3D that have made them a regular part of the moviegoing experience, great classic movies needed an excuse to be re-released, usually a major anniversary. These days, popular movies are showing up back in theaters heralded as the “new 3D version.” The Lion King was the most successful so far, hitting the top of the US box office. Titanic and Finding Nemo were also hits in 3D.
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