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G.I. Joe: Retaliation  : MIA (Missing Ingredient Action)
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Friday, March 29, 2013
Science fiction adventure
Jon M. Chu
Channing Tatum, Dwayne Johnson, Bruce Willis, Adrianne Palicki, D. J. Cotrona, Jonathan Pryce, Ray Stevenson, Byung-hun Lee, Ray Park, Elodie Yung, Arnold Vosloo
In the sequel to G.I. Joe: The Rise Of Cobra (2009), the Joes fight for their lives, not only from the Cobras but also from people within the US government. While the Joes do their job up there, you squirm in your seat and fight off the yawns.

The plot: Framed by Zartan (Arnold Vosloo), the imposter US Prez, for stealing nuclear warheads from Pakistan, almost the entire G.I.Joe team is eliminated in a military strike, including Captain Duke (Channing Tatum). Roadblock (Dwayne Johnson), Flint (D. J. Cotrona) and Lady Jaye (Adrianne Palicki) are the only survivors who have to save the world from Zartan and Cobra Commander’s orbital weapons with the help of original Joe (Bruce Willis), Storm Shadow (Byung-hun Lee), Snake Eyes (Ray Park) and Jinx (Elodie Yung). No free samosas for guessing who wins.

The good:
The visual effects used to show London being destroyed by the orbital weapon are effective and impressive. How Snake Eyes and Jinx capture Storm Shadow in the Himalayas is a visual spectacle by Stephen Windon. Swinging from one mountain to another, fighting ninjas and beautiful snow-capped mountains add life to a listless menu.

The bad: It’s not a high-dose action thriller and its predictability is like a sleeping pill. This is one film that really didn’t need 3D. In fact 3D doesn’t enhance but goes completely against it. Such a shame considering the film’s release was delayed for almost nine months just to incorporate the unnecessary technology. For a huge action film, there’s more shooting and less physical combat.
Inefficient writing (by Rhett Reeser and Paul Wernick) includes the Joes saving the world but failing to capture the Cobra Commander who swaggers off to the helicopter unchallenged. With Roadblock swearing to avenge Duke’s death by killing the Cobra Commander, the ending’s laughably wide open for another sequel.

Unpardonably, Bruce Willis and Channing Tatum, seen for barely 15 minutes, are not effectively used despite being tagged as the main heroes. In fact, it’s completely a Dwayne ‘Rock’ Johnson show but he fails to carry it off despite those broad shoulders.

Overall: Rock fans, keep playing video games instead of going to the theatre this weekend for your fix of action.

– Latika Mehta

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