GI Joe is back to kick some Cobra ass. I was really excited about this movie after watching some of the trailers, since Cobra Commander is in his full glory with his classic helmet, taking over the white house, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson stars as Roadblock, also Bruce Willis is in it, and some pretty cool action scenes. However, actually watching the movie, it didn’t really meet any of my expectations at all, and in fact, it’s pretty dull. Now, I’m not the biggest fan of GI Joe, I didn’t even watch the original growing up, just the 90’s reboot where Cobra Commander wears a burette and a skull mask, but I do know the awesome sauce that the series poured over the nerd culture, and I do know how good it tastes. The sauce in this movie is a bit mild.
There are a lot of things I’m going to talk about this movie, so here’s your spoiler warning. The movie starts off explaining that Duke, reprised by the handsome Channing Tatum, taking over a new group of GI Joes: Roadblock, played by The Rock; Lady Jaye, played by Adrianne Palicki; and Flint, played by DJ Cotrona. We get to see the Joes in action, and some relationship history between Duke and Roadblock, which wasn’t executed well since their jokes were pretty lame. We get some feeling that they’ve been friends for years, however it seems to undermine everything that happened in the last movie. We’re missing other characters such as Scarlet, Heavy Duty, and General Hawk, some of whom are my personal favorites from the cartoon. Then, out of nowhere, the Joes are under attack, which results the least tragic death for a main character ever, the death of Duke. We just see his face, cut to a vehicle explosion, and the emotionless expression of The Rock. We couldn’t tell if he actually died. The Rock didn’t even seem to care that his best friend died so horribly, it’s pointless. So, at this point the villain Zartan, posing as the president (Jonathan Pryce), states that the GI Joes has became evil, and Cobra has defeated them, thus making them the good guys. So, now it’s up to the remaining Joes to stop Cobra.
Meanwhile, Storm Shadow, played by Byung-hun Lee, and Firefly, played by Ray Stevenson, broke into a high security prison to rescue Cobra Commander. It was a cool breakout, with Firefly’s motorcycle breaking apart into rockets to destroy the facility, and Storm Shadow using his awesome ninja skills cutting through bullets and a bunch of guards. Now, here’s the problem with this scene. Destro is in the prison also, and all we get to see is his eyes squinting once in awhile and looking angry. Then, out of nowhere Cobra Commander said, “You’re out of the band,” and left the fool to die in the prison. It does not make sense at all, since Destro is one of the key villains in the GI Joe universe, and just to write him off like that is almost a kick in the balls. I have a feeling they did this because they couldn’t get the original actor from the first movie to play him in the second, but Joseph Gordon-Levitt played Cobra Commander in the first one, and they replace him in the second, so it does not make sense at all.
Then we get to Japan where Snake Eyes spars against Jynx, where the RZA plays the blind master, narrating what they should do to bring Storm Shadow to justice. Here is where I find the movie to be enjoyable is how Asian the RZA acts. He really got the accent down, even the pronunciation sounds so Asian it made me laugh. The guy really wants to be Asian; I mean he is part of the Wu-Tang Clan. Now, Snake Eyes and Jynx goes to some mountain to capture Storm Shadow, and the action sequence here is really cool. They use zip lines and fight a ton of ninjas on the side of the mountain, and the way it’s done looks like a realistic portrayal of a ninja anime. The ninjas they fight have to be the worst ninjas in the world since they keep falling, tripping over each other, and can’t hit anything for the life of them. It’s like they graduated from the storm trooper ninja school or something. After all this, Storm Shadow all the sudden changed sides, and decides to help the Joes. Here is where the movie starts to lose me. One thing I always looked forward to when I was younger was the fight between Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow. We barely get that in the movie, and at this point, I never will. Then Bruce Willis shows up, and his character was a waste, it was pointless to have him here.
Now, I’ve been focusing so much on the plot on this movie, and I’ll be the first to tell you that when it comes to action movies, plot don’t matter it’s the action. However, when the action scenes are really dull, you just can’t help but notice everything about the plot. The action scenes suffer the problem of being shot way too close with a shaking camera, so it’s hard to tell what’s happening, and the explosions aren’t even impressive. A lot of it is stuff that I’ve really seen. Eventually Cobra Commander recruits all the world leaders into a war room, where he then reveals that he has a doomsday device that will destroy each of the major cities. Guess what, the Joes manage to stop him from destroying the world. He did escape, but he never did a cheesy “I’ll get you next time,” line. I was really expecting it when he climbed atop his helicopter to fly off. The plot may seem enjoyable to watch, but a lot of it fell flat. Many characters are wasted, everything is all over the place, Cobra Commander barely makes an appearance, and all the action scenes except the ninja fight aren’t that great. If you’re with the right people who like to make fun of movies as they watch it, this one is good for you, but other than that, it really isn’t worth watching in my opinion.