G I Joe: Retaliation
This review first appeared in the Sunday Star-Times, 31st March 2013
Brought to you by Hasbro, the toymakers whose alpha response to Barbie’s Ken has morphed into a fully-fledged upholder of the Free World, G I Joe: Retaliation starts off like an mediocre Transformers movie – a team of soldiers gets the band back together in order to ward off the threat of nuclear terror at the hands of their adversaries.
The unfunny but warmhearted banter between Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Channing “We’re not in Step-Up anymore” Tatum keeps things light in between explosions and gun-play, but once the team has been smashed and burned and things get serious, the film jolts into life. A subterranean prison, some political manipulation and a cameo by Action-Man Bruce Willis all inject what could be a by-numbers sequel with great energy and some very watchable sequences.
Director Jon M. Chu has performed an impressive move himself, coming fresh to this action behemoth from directing a string of dance and concert movies. Naturally, therefore, the fight scenes are done well, but nothing I have seen in recent memory beats the incredible mountain-top (rather, mountain-face) choreography of one sensational set-piece. This revenge tale was one worth making.