WRITTEN BY: Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick
DIRECTED BY: Jon M. Chu
STARRING: Dwayne Johnson, Adrianne Palicki, D. J. Cotrona, Bruce Willis, Channing Tatum
RATING: 2 stars
Did the world really need a sequel to G. I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra? I doubt it, but we've got one anyway. Thankfully, we've got a film that is a million times better than the original film. Unfortunately, it had such a low starting point that even being that much better doesn't say much for it. It is still absolutely terrible. Unless you had any interest in the original film, do not even bother seeing the sequel.
Most of the characters in the first film are not in G. I. Joe: Retaliation. I'm not sure how many people would even notice though. When a surprise attack on a G. I. Joe team near North Korea wipes out most of the soldiers, the survivors promise to retaliate. But the attack seems to stem all the way from the White House. So, Roadblock (Dwayne Johnson), Lady Jaye (Adrienne Palicki) and Mouse (Joseph Mazzello) enlist the help of retired Col. Joe Colton (Bruce Willis) to stop the threat from destroying the world.
The weak plot is really just an avenue for the heroes to blow things up, especially for Johnson's character. But the most exciting action sequence is actually set in the Himalayas after Snake Eyes (Ray Park) and Jinx (Elodie Yung) raid a Nepalese monastery to capture Storm Shadow (Byung-hun Lee). Snow Shadow is unconscious in a body bag while Snake Eyes and Jinx have to fight a bunch of red ninjas on zip wires. It's a long sequence, but it's quite exciting. In fact, this entire sub plot is actually the most interesting part of the film.
All of the performances are unmemorable and there is not enough screen time for Channing Tatum or Bruce Willis. This is definitely a Johnson film. Also, the 3D is almost non-existent, so it is certainly not worth paying extra for it. I hope the film makers do not bother with a third instalment.