Monday, April 15, 2013

Movie Review: G.I. Joe: Retaliation

This weekend I paid to see G.I. Joe: Retaliation in theaters.  I have mixed feelings over this movie.  If I separate myself from it and view it as it’s own separate movie (and not a sequel to Rise of the Cobra), then I mostly enjoyed it.  If I view it as a sequel (and this is how I went into the theater expecting), then I am thoroughly upset!

I expected this to be a sequel.  So when the movie started and there were a bunch of new characters, I started questioning where Ripcord, Baroness, and Scarlett were.  But I was comforted at least by the fact that Duke (played by the delicious Channing Tatum) was still in this movie.  The new characters were not bad – the new girl Lady Jaye, played by Adianne Palicki was very pretty.  And new eye candy D.J. Controna as Flint was a nice addition.  And of course Dwayne Johnson (aka The Rock) always adds some nice muscle to the movie.  But here comes the rant, and if you have not seen the movie, beware, there are MAJOR spoilers in this rant!

I really enjoyed the relationship that was developed between Duke and Roadblock (Dwayne Johnson).  And I’ve fallen in love with Duke.  And come on…Duke IS G.I. Joe.  Boy scout. Handsome. Loyal. What do they do??? THEY KILL HIM!  Are you serious?  I spent the rest of the fricken movie expecting a “wait, I’m not dead! I’m going to save the day” moment.  But it never came.  And what’s worse, is they killed him off in like the first 20 minutes of the movie!!!  And they didn’t really slow down to accept it.  He just got blown up, that’s sad, let’s grab his dog tags, and then keep moving. There wasn’t even a funeral!! 

I just read an interview with the screenwriters of the movie, and they said that that is what the whole movie is about.  Revenging Duke’s death.  REALLY?  That is not what I got at all.  That didn’t come across to me at all throughout that movie because I felt like Duke’s death was just so glossed over.  And honestly, ALL of the Joes supposedly got wiped out, so it seemed more like a survival movie to me than a revenge movie.  So I guess that’s supposed to imply to us that Ripcord and Scarlet got killed too?  I’m so frustrated.  What the hell?  Why???  They really couldn’t have come up with another story line?  There was plenty to go on there.  With those same characters.  It’s stupid.  I wish they would have just made it a spin off basically, and never even put Duke in the movie.  Then I could take the movie and say that it was pretty decent.  But this was dumb.  And I was hoping to read that it was perhaps because Channing Tatum wanted out of the series, but that didn’t sound like it at all.  It was just want the movie “needed”.  Ugh.

But I did read during this interview that apparently in the original animated movie they were going to kill Duke also.  But I guess Hasbro got serious backlash when they killed Optimus Prime, so they were worried they’d get backlash with killing Duke, so they just put him in a coma.  Well, I would have taken a coma over flat out killing him.  And never really getting to say goodbye?  That is dumb. At least if you’re going to kill him, you better do it right.  He better be saving a LOT of lives (not just Flint) and he better get a proper send off (which he didn’t) and it better be for a good reason (revenge story? which did not come across in the movie).

So now we don’t have the gorgeous Channing Tatum to look at anymore.  We have the Rock.  Not that I don’t like the Dwayne Johnson, I do, but I think everyone can agree that he’s no Channing Tatum.  Even after reading that interview, I am still not quite sure the reasoning of killing him off – why not just leave him out, like they did Ripcord and Scarlet, and then it’s just implied that they all died when the Joes were wiped out, but I could live in blissful denial that Duke died.   Because honestly, it probably cost them an arm and a leg to have Channing Tatum in the movie for 20 minutes to be killed and on the poster.  And part of the reason they didn’t have Joesph Gordon Levitt as Cobra again is because he was behind the mask the entire time and it wasn’t financially smart to pay him for that.  But it was financially smart to pay Channing Tatum to die 20 minutes in to the movie?

Is anyone else upset about this?

Another thing I didn’t like was how many bad guys were in it.  It was hard to keep everyone straight and who was doing what. There was Cobra, Firefly and Zartan.  But Zartan was impersonating the President, so that was hard to keep track of.  I don’t know, I think I’m so frustrated about killing Duke, that I just had a hard time enjoying the rest of the movie.

I did like having Bruce Willis in it though, that was a nice touch.  But again, I’d rather have Channing Tatum in it.  I’m not sure what the female audience will be now because there are just a bunch of old guys in it now.

I’m interested to see how everyone else feels about this movie.  Let me know your thoughts.


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