Oh! Lord someone please give me the blue pill(remember the blue and red pills from The Matrix ?). I want to forget everything that I saw. I was better off with the memories left by the first installment of the Joe franchise. Stephen Sommers created a visually captivating and highly entertaining crap without which the whole concept of the summer action-adventure genre would cease to exist. There were a couple of factors which truly worked wonders for the first installment. The biggest of these factors was the exhilarating action. Be it the destruction of the Eiffel Tower or the protagonists clad in their Gyro stabilized suits rocketing their way through the city to stop the baddies from wreaking havoc, the action just tanked and rocketed our imagination to a whole new level. With such a worthy predecessor and a whole gamut of new stars and a bigger budget, GI Joe Retaliation really raised my hopes and now after sitting through this train-wreck, I have to accept the fact that my hope was ill-placed.
GI Joe Retaliation follows the events of the first Installment with the team of Joes now having to contain with an enemy within apart from their mortal enemy Cobra. The Enemy within is no one else but the President himself who disbands the Joes and settles for the Cobras as the first line of defense for the country. Soon a rag tag team of Joes lead by Roadblock (Rock) finds themselves negating with threats bigger and nastier than ever before. Their fortunes get a push over with the addition of Joe (Bruce Willis) himself and the return to their side of a foe who cannot just die. Snake Eyes returns and so does Storm Shadow. Jinx (Elodie Yung) and Firefly (Ray Stevenson) make an appearance too.
Enough said and done. Whose idea was it to kill off Duke within the first half an hour. Duke was one of the best thing about the first installment and here too, the screen sparkled every-time, he appeared on it but they had to kill him. Why for God’s sake!!! Why ??? With Duke gone the story and the writing along with it takes a downward plunge. A plunge that it is unable to recover from till the very end. The next big want in this film is its unimaginative action sequences. There isn’t a single action sequence that will extract the kind of wow feeling that almost all the set pieces of the first installment did. The proceedings were almost laughable and so amateurish that the action on screen could not be given any meaning or reason what so ever. I know we cannot expect nuances from a movie titled GI Joe, but a little sense is the need of the hour if a movie has to make any impact at all. The action, inane as it is, is rendered meaningless by the horrendously flawed script. The 3D, used as an accessory is unable to light up the proceeding. even though it is neatly done, but we all know that lack of story and sense cannot be compensated with 3-dimensional imagery. in fact it compounds the ill effects adding another dimension of torture to the existing two.
The ensemble cast is reduced to mere props with none of them getting any chance what so ever to flex their skills. I am a huge “Rock” fan but this is one of those few movie where even the great “Rock” is ineffective. Elodie Yung tries hard to look menacing but fails. Jonathan Pryce as the president extracts a few smiles. whose idea was it to cast RZA as the blind monk. RZA seems to be going crazy over turning a oriental avatar shunning his native origin. having said that, for me the biggest star of this movie would be my friend seated to my left. Her constant funny pokes at the insane and stupid proceedings on-screen kept a constant smile on my face. Not to forget we were cautioned by the audience to keep our chatter down as they could not hear the dialogs. I am yet to comprehend what they were actually trying to understand.
GI JOE RETALIATION is a mess that you should steer clear off. It will wipe away every good memory that you might be having from the first installment.