Elite military organisation, G.I. Joe, has grown in size and strength since the threats posed by MARS and Cobra were subdued. However, a threat within the US government helps Cobra to re-group and attack the Joes while they are unprepared. Now, with only a few members left and needing to stay hidden, the remaining G.I. Joes must decide who they can trust and go out to track down those who have killed their friends and stop Cobra before they can take over the world.
G.I. Joe: Retaliation (2013) – Director: Jon M. Chu
Running Length: 110 mins
Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Jonathan Pryce, Byung-hun Lee
Jon M. Chu has taken the reins from Stephen Sommers for the second ‘G.I. Joe’ movie and has created a disappointing sequel with little in terms of redeeming features. While ‘G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra’ had a decent plot with plenty of comedy and hi-tech gadgets, ‘G.I. Joe: Retaliation‘ is all about guns with a few devastating weapons used by the villains.
Unfortunately, the majority of characters from the original movie who made it fun to watch, like Ripcord, Scarlett, Heavy Duty, etc have been removed to make way for bland and clichéd characters, especially Lady Jaye, the token woman who has ‘daddy issues’. The villains also suffer; particularly ‘Destro’, who was created as a potentially lethal antagonist at the end of the first movie but is barely mentioned in this film. Thankfully, as the trailers have shown, Storm Shadow has returned and is a fully developed character, providing most of the entertainment in the film and, much like in ‘The Rise of Cobra’, his rivalry and fights with Snake Eyes are enjoyable to watch.
IS ‘G.I. JOE: RETALIATION’ SUITABLE FOR CHILDREN?
Like most action movies, ‘G.I. Joe: Retaliation’ contains plenty of scenes where people are killed with guns, knives, swords, explosions and several henchmen are thrown from a mountain, although these moments are quick and not graphic. In order to escape from a prison cell, Storm Shadow kills a doctor by hitting his head against a solid glass wall several times. This lasts a few seconds, the glass cracks against the doctor’s head and he slumps, showing that he is dead. When attempting to escape, an explosion causes a fireball which hits a character’s back, causing him to cry out in pain. His charred back is shown graphically for a few seconds but this shot is not particularly gory. Again, this whole scene isn’t overly graphic but it is perhaps the strongest of violent scenes in the movie. There is also a fist-fight between Roadblock and Firefly; this is quite brutal and, as both men are incredibly strong and quite equally matched, they are both hurt badly in this brawl.
There are a few sexual references in the script. There is some banter between Duke and Roadblock; after Roadblock’s young daughter’s have playfully attacked Duke, they run out of the room screaming. Roadblock says to Duke ‘Not the first time you’ve sent a girl screaming out of the room.’ And Duke replies ‘Not the first time I’ve sent 2 girls out of the room screaming’. While there is obvious innuendo here, it is clearly playful dialogue and Roadblock jokingly tells Duke that what he said was inappropriate. It is unlikely that children will understand the double meaning of this. As the attractive woman of the group, Lady Jaye is used twice as a honey trap. She wears revealing clothes on both occasions. The first outfit is a tight t-shirt and hot pants as she runs along the street, she then stops and bends over in front of her intended target. The second is a low-cut red dress, the skirt of which is long but with a split along one side. When she is changing out of her dress, the male character of Flint unzips the back of her dress, exposing a small amount of her bra. She turns around to face him and he hesitates, then after a disapproving look from Jaye, he walks away from her. She is then seen in a distorted reflection to remove her dress (showing her back) and then put other clothes on.
CAN I SEE A CLIP?
While the content of the movie is much more acceptable to a younger audience than ‘The Rise of Cobra’ in that there is virtually no gore or bad language, the plot of the movie is quite hard to follow and there are several leaps in logic which are hard to ignore. Having said that, ‘G.I. Joe: Retaliation’ is action-packed and bound to be a fun film for kids to watch. We would therefore recommend this movie for kids aged 8 and over.
- Violence: 3/5 (there are a lot of deaths during the many action sequences, however they are generally not lingered upon. Some key characters are killed by explosions, stabbings, etc but these moments are not gory and the characters are not seen to suffer)
- Emotional Distress: 1/5 (when the Joes are attacked by Cobra towards the beginning, several characters are killed and the survivors mourn the loss of their friends briefly)
- Fear Factor: 3/5 (Cobra Commander may be quite scary as he wears a mask for the majority of the time which distorts his voice, making it deep and frightening)
- Sexual Content: 2/5 (the clothes that Lady Jaye wears are often tight and revealing. There is also some banter which includes innuendo between Roadblock and Duke)
- Bad Language: 1/5 (some mild cursing and blasphemy. One character is asked to show how many fingers he has left. He holds up all ten, then as he puts them down, he leaves the middle fingers of each hand extended at the person who asked)
- Dialogue: 0/5
- Other notes: Deals with themes of friendship, loyalty, teamwork, betrayal, knowing who to trust and fighting against evil.
Words by Mike Record