REVIEW: Channing Tatum’s character, Duke, has limited screen time in G.I. Joe: Retaliation

by Nikko Tuazon
Mar 27, 2013

G.I. Joe: Retaliation is finally here. With the sequel of G.I. Joe being pushed back by 9 months, fans have been anticipating its 3D release.

The film is directed by Jon M. Chu (Justin Bieber: Never Say Never, Step Up 3D) and written by Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick (Zombieland).

The sequel follows Channing Tatum’s character Duke, one of the returning characters from 2009's G.I. Joe: Rise of the Cobra. Duke is joined by Snake Eyes (played by Ray Park) and Storm Shadow (played by Byung-hun Lee). Viewers can also look forward to seeing Roadblock (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson), Flint (DJ Cotrona) and Lady Jaye (Adrianne Palicki).

The release of the movie was moved back because production had to reshoot more scenes of Duke and Roadblock. However, even with the additional scenes, some viewers might feel that their screen time is very limited.

In Retaliation, the Joes are framed and ambushed, leaving only a few characters to search for justice. The remaining survivors discover that the White House is being controlled by their arch-nemesis, The Cobras.

They seek help from a veteran soldier named Joe (Bruce Willis), who is the reason why their elite fighting group is called G.I. “Joe.”

It’s good to know that this sequel embraces the roots of a true G.I. Joe story unlike its predecessor. Converting the whole film into 3D is also a good move to attract more moviegoers since there are big weapons and even bigger explosions
in Retaliation.

One of the film's higlights is the scene set in the Himalayas wherein ninjas fight each other as they rappel off a mountainside. Moviegoers can look forward to the excellent fight choreography and the innovative use of ziplines.

However, the film suffers from weak storytelling. Although some of the characters are shown to have enough motivation and provided with suitable back stories, a few characters have subplots that seemingly have no impact on the main plot. These include the roles of Flint (DJ Cotrona) and Jinx (Elodie Young).

Some of the fight scenes could have been more interesting. One example is the supposedly incredible fight scene of Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow battling with red-masked ninjas. The two were established on the first film as ultimate rivals but viewers might be surprised by a twist that happens to Storm Shadow, which somehow weakens the tension in the movie. A more exciting fight sequence could have given their characters more justice.

The directing in general is a bit disappointing. Some fight scenes are confusing to watch and lack appeal. There are lots of chances where Jon Chu could have drawn more emotions from his actors.

There are funny moments including one-liners delivered by Roadblock and Joe. They try their best to make the film as entertaining as much as they can. There is enough humour in this sequel (yes, that’s part of the movie’s charm) and amazing fight scenes that make Retaliation an action-extravaganza.

Given the amount of action in this installment, I can say that G.I. Joe: Retaliation is just as worth watching as the first installment of the live-action G.I. Joe film.

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