G.I. Joe : Retaliation  (2013)    25/100

Rating :   25/100                                                                     110 Min        12A

So tedious I wanted to cry. I think I even caught Bruce Willis grimacing at the hammy acting at one point. This is the sequel to 2009’s disaster that was the original ‘G.I.Joe : The Rise of Cobra’, and wisely Sienna Miller has decided not to return for the sequel – or did her character die in the first one? I really can’t remember, I don’t think it was important either way. The story feels so devoid of attention that it would be more at home as an eight page comic sold with one of the action figures that the wannabe film franchise is based on, and the director, Jon M. Chu (‘Step Up’ & ‘Step Up 3D’), thinks sticking a camera in front of actors and shaking it frantically adds to the visual experience – and that cutting to a fourth rate title sequence by interrupting the phrase “Mother-” in their aimed at younger kids film is perfectly ok.

One can easily imagine the writers researching the film by shooting at defenceless woodland creatures with bazookas. It even manages to put a narrative event which can normally save a dire film from the trash can into a blink and you’ll miss it non-event, not to mention (spoiler alert, but it is in the trailer + you shouldn’t see this film anyway) having the whole of London nuked, and then never mentioning the event again. It was as if it didn’t happen…

Hasbro make the toys, and also run the Transformers line, and here they have used some of the same sound effects from Michael Bay’s films, and seem to have even remixed some of the same music and made the main bad guy sound eerily reminiscent of Megatron. I sincerely hope this doesn’t mean they are planning to do a joint ‘Avengers Assemble’ style team-up. Presumably the Autobots will not be visiting the irradiated dead zone of the United Kingdom if they do.

To be fair, there is a reasonably good action sequence that takes place on a cliff face, with decent vertical shots that actually show where 3D can be effective, and the story does get slightly more interesting toward the end, with Jonathan Pryce gleefully playing with the nuclear launch buttons. Also with Channing Tatum, Dwayne ‘not The Rock anymore but still is’ Johnson, more swipes at politically sensitive Pakistan and North Korea (see ‘Red Dawn‘) and with Willis playing the eponymous G.I. Joe himself.

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