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G.I. Joe: Retaliation - Film Review

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by Lydia C. Lee (subscribe)
Lydia C. Lee is still trying to work out what to do with her one wild and precious life. She currently is a haphazard blogger. Read more at or
Published April 1st 2013
Ninjas, Guns, Explosive Action

I have been eagerly awaiting this film since May last year, when the ads in the cinema were pulled and the June 2012 release date was suddenly cancelled as they decided to put it through the 3D machine.

While I hated Rise of the Cobra, this movie, from the trailer at least, had all the elements I like - Bruce Willis, ninjas and heaps of action. So I rushed out to see it, in 3D no less, for that sensational mountain aerial ninja fight that you catch glimpses of in the trailer.

Compared to the first movie, it's way more entertaining, but it is what it is. The fact that it's made in conjunction with Hasbro, the toy company, should give you an idea of what to expect.

Its weak points are also its strong points. There isn't a complex plot nor strong characterisation, but they don't waste time on lengthy conversations and it's pretty much action sequence followed by another action sequence.

I found it pretty funny (look for the French President's eyes rolling) and it serves its purpose as pure entertainment. I'll admit, I enjoyed it. It looks slick and there wasn't any long dialogues filling in back-stories or slowing down the action.

As I've not read the comics, I'm not sure what happened to Heavy Duty in the first film, but he seems to have turned into his cousin Road Block, and the film is all the better for it. Dwayne Johnson carries the film on his fortunately broad shoulders.

The other two who delight are Jonathan Pryce, who is hilarious in villainous portrayal - he revels in the role and as a result, his scenes are the best and Byung-Hun Lee is a treat to watch, if only for the anticipation of battles to come. It's not indicative of his best work by any means (The Good, The Bad & The Weird is my top pick of his).

Some odd choices for cameos, but I guess fans may get excited, so maybe I'm the wrong market.

If you go, it's worth the 3D, especially for the ninja moments. It's rated M but I'm not entirely sure why. There is a lot of action, fighting and explosions but not really anything up close or disturbing. Teens will love it. If you want to while away 100 minutes, then it's a bit of fun that flows over you. If you only go to one movie a year, then this is perhaps not the one to choose.
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Why? Action, action and never a dull moment.
When: Now showing
Where: In cinemas
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