Talk about a massive miscalculation. When Paramount decided to make a sequel to G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, they jettisoned most of the cast and reduced Channing Tatum’s presence drastically. The sequel, G.I. Joe: Retaliation, was ready to release last summer until something unexpected happened: Channing Tatum became a box office draw, thanks to The Vow, 21 Jump Street and Magic Mike.
Under the guise of a post-production 3D conversion, Paramount pushed the film back to March to add in a little more Channing Tatum. They may have been better off adding in a lot more. The opening scenes show some promise with some homoerotic tension between Tatum and Dwayne Johnson that makes the film far more interesting than the majority of the rest of the cast can muster (save for an over-the-top, highly entertaining turn from Jonathan Pryce). That includes an extremely phoned-in performance from Bruce Willis, who’s also coming off a lackluster turn in the latest Die Hard film. Hopefully he’s saving the good stuff for RED 2.
Otherwise, this film is pretty much exactly what you’d expect: lots of big, dumbed down action sequences surrounding a ridiculous crisis. In this case, it’s the threat of nuclear disarmament. Yes, you read that right. If you’re a fan of action sequences over character development, decent acting, or storylines without plot holes the size of The Rock’s muscles, then this is the film for you. Otherwise, move along.