G.I. Joe: Retaliation
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G.I. Joe: Retaliation

3D Blu-ray

Blu-ray

DVD

Originally the science fiction action flick, ‘G.I. Joe: Retaliation’, was supposed to help fill the slate for one of the studio’s most lucrative prospects, the summer block buster. It had all the requisite elements to qualify in this category; martial arts, high tech weapons, rugged heroes and devious villains with plenty of explosions to go around. It was delayed to just before the less coveted spot of March, ready for spring beak viewing, because the producers felt the movie needed to be retro fitted to contain the illusion of depth commonly called 3D. This technique has recently reached a level where the technology is conducive to both theater and home presentation. It might have been as better use of time to overall the plot, that is to say actually introduce a plot. This type of film traditionally can get by with more sizzle than steak since the primary draw fir the film is the action not a deep commitment to character development. The thing is some recent comic book films like ‘Spider-Man’ 2’, Iron Man’ or ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ have repeated demonstrated that a film based on a comic book can contain all the action any adrenaline junkie could want blended seamlessly with a story that is sat a level that would excel without the special effects to buoy it up. The reason why this film was even made was its predecessor, ‘G.I. Joe: Rise of the Cobra’ was a financial poor but the studios felt the franchise still held promise. . Despite some derision for the critical community this sequel managed to be a fiscally sound investment which means a trilogy is a definite possibility.

G.I. Joe started as one on the first ‘Action Figures’ marketed to boys; sort of Ken with black ops experience. Hasbro not only started a persisting trend expanding to comic books and animated TV series. It was only a matter of time before it hit the Cineplex as a live action flick. That occurred in 2009. Now the exploits of the highly elite, special operations unit code name ‘G.I. Joe’ is still defending the country from the worse imaginable threats. The current tactical commander of the Joes is Duke (Channing Tatum). His tenure in the position is compromised when the Joes are framed for the theft of nuclear warheads from Pakistan, ostensible for a sizable profit on the black market. The architect of the deception is the master class villain, and mercenary and high ranking member of Cobra, Zartan. As a master of disguise aided by advanced nanotechnology, he finds it rather simple to impersonate the President of the United States (Jonathan Pryce).almost the entire unit is annihilated by an air strike. Duke manages to save his friend on the team, Flint (D.J. Cotrona). The only other Joes to survive are Roadblock (Dwayne ‘The Rock ‘Johnson), and Lady Jaye (Adrianne Palicki). Yes, most of the unit sport nifty, nom de guerre monikers. This appears to be a Hasbro peculiarity since their other hyper lucrative toy line cum movies, ‘Transformers’ share the same nomenclature schema.

This rag tag cadre of survivors are disgraced, hunted and cut off from their usual channels of support. This is a popular trope in a sequel to transform the invincible heroes into officially condemned criminals. This turns them into the underdog; an archetype Americans love and an ideal plot contrivance for a jingoistic themed franchise like this one. Because of the lackluster showing of ‘Cobra’ the studio decided it was a good time to reboot things. Reboots are becoming increasingly popular occurring with an alarming frequency. Cobra, like most evil overlord driven organizations, is plagued by a failure to completely destroy their enemies, especially when it is a militaristically structured opponent. Upon discovering some of their foes remain the Cobra Commander (Luke Bracey) dispatches a squad of highly trained assassins headed by Firefly (Ray Stevenson) to finish the job. This sets the board for another action film division of labor for the evil forces. We has the evil overlord, the Cobra Commander, his trusted captain, Zartan, the evil tactical commander, Firefly and, over course, the minions, there for the sole purpose of being killed off in exciting, imaginative and frequently explosive means. Just for good measure and to get to put a highly respected action hero name and face on the poster Bruce Willis has an exceedingly brief cameo appearance as General Joe Colton, one of the founding Joes.

Some of the martial arts effects are well choreographed and extremely well executed. Much of this is a direct result of the appearance of Rat Park as Snake Eyes. Fans will recall his high octane performances as Darth Maul in ‘Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace’ of the hyper agile Toad in ‘X-Men’. The man possesses some of the most incredible moves ever filmed and is the perfect choice for this character. With a classification nominally as a reboot there is no need to even attempt continuity with its predecessor so forget that film ever happened, a task achieved by many fans of the franchise. This turns out to be beneficial since the story line is gossamer thin and could not possibly hold up to the added responsibility of consistency with external plot lines. Beyond this there is not much that can be stated in the way of a synopsis; it is difficult to summarize something of little actual content.

It must be kept in mind that this was originally intended as a summer popcorn flick meant to elicit excitement not a thought provoking, post viewing discussion of the story layers and in depth examination of the themes presented. The thematic content can be summed up simply as ‘they blow things up real good.’ It is loud and with subwoofers online will shake your fillings. Thanks to the level of home theater technology you can have the same experience including Real 3D. While the current high definition incarnation of 3D id somewhat new to the filmmaker there are a few who have taken giant strides in utilizing this effect as an integral part of telling the story this movie is not included in that list. In a fashion similar to the inclusion of sound and color in the early years of cinema 3D is currently still in the gimmick phase as demonstrated by the usage in this movie. Most of the movie has objects careening out of the plane of the film directly at the audience.

Over An Hour Of Behind The Scenes Featurettes
Deleted Scenes
Commentary By Director Jon M. Chu And Producer Lorenzo Di Bonaventura
Digital Copy Included

Posted 07/27/2013

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