Before I begin my rant on ‘GI JOE: RETALIATION IN 2D!‘ I need to make some stuff perfectly clear before some of you (I know there will be) disagreeing with my approach by saying ”Yes Dom but it’s a bit of fun!”. To answer this… 1) Yes I know this was never going to be a cinematic masterpiece (it’s based on Hasbro Action Figures after all- essentially Human forms of ‘Transformers’ with GI JOE’s being Autobot’s and Cobra being the Deceptacons) and 2) I’m not the 14 year old American teenage target audience, but this shouldn’t undermine this rant which I’m about to begin.
First things first, this film is all about GUNS. In a weird way it glorifies Gun violence. 85% of this film had a gun shoved in your face (including in a scene featuring ‘Call of Duty’). This is usually in the centre of the screen where it more liable for your human eyeball to process. And too see this glorified Gun violence ultimately resolving the films story/main threat which essentially is happening right now in Korea with then on the verge of war, really doesn’t help. While I do sound like some ‘Daily Mail’ reader here it just disturbs me that 14 year olds are being told from this that Gun violence ultimately saves the day and world.
My next point on this film is how really (however one could argue the ‘Transformers’ and other blockbusters are made like this as well) blatantly made to sell toys to children. The opening scene has almost ‘Top Trump’ cards telling you who are the goodies and baddies and what their strengths and weaknesses are. Furthermore everything in its direction is really dull, not even the mountain top Ninja fight is as exciting as what just the mere words of ‘Mountain Top Ninja Fight’ really is. Essentially the cameras just been placed with a feeling of this will do. Channing Tatum appears in the first 10 minutes (thought to be originally 5 but reshoots which delayed the film from last summer bumps it up to 10). The Rock does try his best but hasn’t really given much material to make his ‘Franchise Viagra’ really work despite having some good tag-team chemistry with Tatum (see what I did there?).
One of the biggest issues thought regarding the character is the lady GI JOE person (Adrianne Palicki). There is a scene in which you are meant to feel sympathy for about her hero daddy issues and such, however it’s totally undermined by the fact that she saying this just in her underwear which I just found particularly amusing. And just don’t get me started what essentially is just a walking cameo of Bruce Willis doing this strange Bruce Willis thing he does now of just walking, pointing and firing a gun.
And finally there are no real shown consequences of this warfare in the story. There’s a huge money shot of London blowing up, but afterwards there is no mention about it other than that evil Cobra blow it up as their evil and that GI JOE kill them and celebrate forgetting the thousands that would have killed in an attack like that. At least in the first one when Paris gets attacked you see the panic and terror it has caused.
Anyway back to my original point this fun could have been juvenile fun, but it’s far too stupid to call it juvenile.