REVIEW: 'G.I. Joe' like a blast from the cartoon past
A better-than-average, gravity-defying ninja duel leads to an epic chase — by leaps, swings and ziplines — through the Himalayas in the big set piece sequence of “G.I. Joe: Retaliation.” Masked villains in red ninja suits chase Snake Eyes and Jinx as they attempt to spirit a ninja villain out of a mountaintop lair. It may be the most dazzling bit of business of its kind from the age of digital stunts.
The rest of the movie? Seriously, it's a live-action version of an '80s cartoon that was designed to sell toys. This is “Transformers” without the Bumblebee Camaro, a lot of action, a few one-liners, and a lot of gunplay. And, it was entrusted to the director of the Justin Bieber concert documentary. How good can it be?
But it has Dwayne Johnson, an action hero who knows his way around a raised eyebrow and a catch-phrase. His character, the G.I. Joe-force sergeant known as “Roadblock,” quotes Jay-Z for motivational speeches. He's a father of two who tells his boss (Channing Tatum) that their little “extraction” from Pakistan is so easy that they'll be “home in time for ‘Top Chef.' ” Only, they aren't.
COBRA has an impostor (Jonathan Pryce, playing the real prez and the fake one) in the White House and all manner of evil henchmen and ingenious gadgets to wipe out the G.I. Joes. And that's not even mentioning the ninjas.
It's up to team members Roadblock, Lady Jaye (Adrianne Palicki) and Flint (D.J. Cotrona) — with maybe an assist from masked marvel Snake Eyes (Ray Park) and the fetching fury Jinx (Elodie Yung) to foil evil — the masked COBRA commander and his sidekick, Firefly (Ray Stevenson).
Maybe the Joes can enlist Bruce Willis, who needs to be reminded that John Wayne never played fifth banana in other people's action pictures, even in his dotage.
Things go boom and bodies go down and the 1 hour and 50 minutes zip by like oh, 2 hours and 10.
But, at least there are no jive-talking, joking and pontificating robots.
Roger Moore reviews movies for McClatchy-Tribune News Service.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Review: Young love lives or dies with one decision in ‘If I Stay’
- ‘Calvary’ a meditation of sin and redemption
- Review: Despite sameness, ‘Sin City’ sequel a slice of nihilistic noir
- Review: ‘Island of Lemurs’ is the perfect IMAX nature film
- DVD reviews: ‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2,’ ‘Only Lovers Left Alive’ and ‘The Sacrament’
- Review: ‘Game Stands Tall’ is ‘Friday Night Lite’