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‘G.I. Joe: Retaliation’ review: Proof every movie does not need a sequel

Dwayne Johnson stars as Roadblock in this sequel to the 2009 film. Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

Dwayne Johnson stars as Roadblock in this sequel to the 2009 film. Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

One can only hope that this movie will finally convince Hollywood to leave Saturday morning cartoons alone.

“G.I. Joe: Retaliation” is the sequel to 2009’s “G.I. Joe the Rise of Cobra,” which boasts a 34 percent score on Rotten Tomatoes, so this is not exactly a film the world was clamoring for, nevertheless, it is here. Unfortunately, in making this sequel, the filmmakers did not bother to improve upon things.

The story picks up with the G.I. Joes getting framed as traitors to the United States. Roadblock (Dwayne Johnson) and the rest of the surviving team members must fight to stop Zartan as he tries to take over the world by impersonating the President of the United States (Jonathan Pryce).

It is actually a difficult plot to try to explain, because it is so convoluted, needlessly so. This is a G.I. Joe movie after all. It should be a mindless, popcorn flick, with fun action scenes and witty one-liners. It is a simple enough road map to follow, but “Retaliation” just cannot do it.

The jokes fall flat, the storyline is too busy and possibly worst of all, the action is merely so-so at best.

With the exception of one particular scene involving Snake Eyes fighting some ninjas on the side of a mountain, none of the action is memorable or even that exciting, and that one scene is shown in the trailer.

The acting is not great in this movie either, which should not come as too big of a shock, but these actors were not given much of a chance to be good. The script gives them virtually nothing to work with, stranding the actors with nothing but weak one-liners to try and keep them afloat.

They somehow got Bruce Willis to agree to do this movie, but it is clear it is nothing more than a paycheck to him. He is a shell of himself here adding none of that Willis-charisma that could have saved this sinking ship.

The other new additions to the cast, D.J. Cotrona as Flint and Adrianne Palicki as Lady Jaye get very little to do. Palicki does look gorgeous by the way, one of the only positives this movie had going for it.

As Roadblock, Johnson ends up the only new character that feels fleshed out, but that is only in comparison to his two-dimensional counterparts.

Originally, this film was slated for a June 29, 2012 release, but in May, Paramount Pictures decided to delay it to this weekend so it could be converted to 3D and race the interest level in international markets. Perhaps though, Paramount just knew it had a dud on its hands and did not want to try to compete in an already jam-packed summer.

Subsequently, rather than releasing this movie in the summer, where it would have been trounced by far better options, it gets a March release where it will make way more money than it deserves. That means there will probably be another sequel, because two bad movies are just not enough.

“G.I. Joe: Retaliation,” a Paramount Pictures release, is rated PG-13 for intense sequences of combat violence and martial arts action throughout, and for brief sensuality. Running time: 110 minutes. F

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