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G.I. Joe: Retaliation

Movie Details

G.I. Joe: Retaliation
  • Genre: Action/Adventure, SciFi/Fantasy
  • Release Date: 2013-03-28 Nationwide
  • Running Time: 110 min.
  • Director: Jon M. Chu
  • Cast: Bruce Willis, Channing Tatum, Dwayne Johnson, Adrianne Palicki, Ray Stevenson, Joseph Mazzello, Arnold Vosloo, Ray Park, Walton Goggins, Elodie Yung
  • Producers: Lorenzo di Bonaventura, Brian Goldner
  • Writers: Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick
  • Distributor: Paramount Pictures
  • Official Site: G.I. Joe: Retaliation Official Site

It's not enough to call this the rare franchise action movie to bring the goods; it's the even rarer one whose creators seem to understand what the goods even are. Your ticket should come with a fight card: squad versus squad, bruiser versus bruiser, ninja versus ninja, second-string ninja versus ancient ninja training lady, jeep-tank versus tank-jeep, bullets versus throwing stars, everyone versus Walton Goggins, dumb pleasures versus your higher brain function. Ninjas swing and zipline through Himalayan peaks, giving dizzier Spider-Man thrills than The Amazing Spider-Man bothered to. A three-soldier escape from deep in a well is more satisfying-- and abbreviated!-- than Bruce Wayne's ponderous pit-climb last summer. Charming Dwayne Johnson declaims Jay-Z as scripture to pump up his Joes before a mission; he's so commanding that nothing pump-uppable in you is likely to languish un-pumped. In short, if you think it's possible you might have a good time at a picture named G.I. Joe: Retaliation, you will almost certainly have a good time, though it's still dumb as catbutt. The script, from Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, is touched with absurdist comedy and some of-the-moment wingnuttery. Here's a movie in which gun-toting lugs become convinced the president is an imposter who they have to take out--not really something we should be encouraging so soon after 2016: Obama's America. But director Jon M. Chu comes to dudes-fighting filmmaking from the most welcome of backgrounds: directing dance. When his characters battle, we see the bodies of accomplished physical performers moving together through space, mostly in shots that the eye can actually track.

Alan Scherstuhl

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