From action figures to comics to feature films, G.I. Joe is an old soldier that just won’t resign. He’s been around for more than 40 years. So with the release of “G.I. Joe: Retaliation,” it’s safe to say that the movie has a lot of source material to play with.
Director Jon M. Chu (“Step Up 2,” “Step Up 3-D”) does just that, taking in a deep breath of past iterations and putting it on the screen while combining his cinematography background to create well-pieced action sequences and great set pieces that do a good job of putting viewers in this crazy world. The movie is hard to explain: It’s like a story you would have made up when you were 10 or so playing with action figures but with nuclear deterrents, kung fu, guns and terrorism.
In this action-fantasy brought to life, it’s the actors that really shine. Channing Tatum (“Step Up” “G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra”) plays Duke. He is commander of an elite team consisting of Road Block (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson), Flint (D.J. Cotrona, “Dear John,” “Detroit 187”) and Lady Jaye (Adrianne Palicki, “Legion,” “Red Dawn”). The Joes get set up and have to rebuild, which leads to Bruce Willis’ hilarious introduction (a man who honestly needs no introduction).
The interaction between all the main characters is 100 percent believable, if not cheesy at times (but what do you expect? It’s a movie designed to sell toys; cheese is necessary and expected). A movie so over the top needs good chemistry among its characters, and this film has it in spades. You feel like if you sat down and listened to a conversation among them for an afternoon, it would be considered an afternoon well spent.
The dialogue is also over the top, but not out of place. You will be surprised by how many smiles/laughs you will have while watching this film. It is genuinely funny.
“G.I. Joe: Retaliation” isn’t reinventing the wheel. The story is formulaic and completely crazy, but fun. What more can you ask for when the main villain named Cobra Commander wears a Darth Vader-esque mask and talks kind of like the Syth lord from a galaxy far, far away and the good guys are called Joes who do things that are anything but average? You just have to sit back and let the craziness ensue, have fun and be ready to buy the new “G.I. Joe” toys for your little brother or sister.
Max Fisher is a senior at Leonardo DaVinci High School.