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Movie Breakdown: G.I. Joe Retaliation (Noah)

March 29, 2013

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People are doing traditional-style reviews all over the web, so we decided to try something different.  In each “breakdown” we’ll take a look at what a film’s marketing lead us to believe, how the movie actually played, and then what we learned from it all.  Read on!

The Impression:

It’s a strange thing how curious I’ve always been about the original Stephen Sommers-helmed G.I. Joe film because it doesn’t look particularly good and didn’t, for its time, have a very reliable team behind it. Chalk it up to my father’s stern refusal to never purchase the much coveted action figures I wanted as a child, but the film has lodged itself in my “want” pile and this, this second possible G.I. Joe masterpiece, has wedged itself right next to it. Will it be good? I doubt it. Do I or any of the other 40-year old teenagers who will be dressed like Storm Shadow or Snake Eyes care? No.

The Reality:

G.I. Joe: Retaliation is like a giant bong hit of super sticky-icky weed. As soon as it pile drives in to your lungs the room gets kind of fuzzy and you might cough a couple times and feel a little squinty but then that sweet sweet THC starts a dank parade through your bloodstream and everything is looking up. The Rock and the dude from Magic Mike totes hanging out with guns? Yes! Super-secret underground prison besieged by explosive motorcycles and tiny boom-boom flies? Better believes. Ninjas, ninjas, ninjas, ninjas, ninjas and then a few more ninjas (all dressed in the most rainbow of outfits)? Fo’seriously. At this point, in being stoned allegory world, the Bob Hope (that’s weed) starts plateauing a bit and you might be feeling paranoid, might be thinking, “Weird, that this ninja storyline is just glued on to all the rest because clearly director John Chu loves himself a ninja,” or maybe, “Why does Adrienne Padlecki look like she herself might have been chiefing a few from the old Bongzilla?” or possibly “Ray Stephenson is a badass but Ray Stephenson with a Southern accent sounds like a cabaret dancer” or maybe even “Why did they show the end of this movie in the trailers?” And then that deep dark stick-ick is making a concentrated effort to escape pod it from your blood stream and you’re lethargic and even a little bored and you just want to grab a hot dog and hit the snooze button a couple times. Which in G.I. Joe Retaliation land means the plot unravels, things makes less sense, and when the ending lands, it does so with little grace or interest. G.I. Joeeeeeeeeeeeee!

The Lesson:

This movie was just about everything I wanted in a film with characters named Firefly and Storm Shadow.

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