CREATED by Hasbro in the 1980s, the GI Joe series is, at heart, a toy franchise. That was painfully evident while watching ‘GI Joe: Retaliation’.
The GI Joes are a special team of soldiers sent on secret assignments for the US. While serving on a mission, they’re double crossed and most of them, bar three members, are killed. New leader, Roadblock, and his two partners set off to find out who betrayed them and why. Roadblock is played by Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson. They enlist further help from Bruce Willis, the general from whom the GI Joes get their name.
I’ve coined the term ‘committee filmmaking’ to describe films like ‘GI Joe: Retaliation’. I use this term, because when watching such a film, you get the impression a group of Hollywood producers got together and asked, ‘What do we need to appeal to all demographics?’. Contemporary pop culture references? Cue mentions of Miley Cyrus and appearances from Call of Duty and Angry Birds. Eyeball rolling comedy? Check. Wafer thin plot? Oh yes.
Every cliché is here; CGI heavy fight scenes with characters jumping in slo-mo (with the slow motion then sped up), items being thrown at the viewer to show off the overrated 3D and obligatory faceless, deformed super villains, plotting to take over the world. It was at first tedious, then it gradually became insufferable.
There simply isn’t enough room in this column to fully articulate this abomination of a movie.
With Willis’ appearance amounting to little more than a cameo, The Rock is the film’s sole positive. He’s an entertaining lead, his charisma translating well from wrestling ring to big screen. He alone was not enough to save this atrocity and both he and Willis were wasted.
Boring and unoriginal, this is a poor excuse for a film.
By Kelan Headley