The Rock leads an “almost” new team of Joes against the forces of Cobra.
When we last left the GI Joe team, the franchise was in shambles. There was black leather armor, CG power suits, Dr. Mindbender/Cobra Commander and Marlon Wayans. In this installment the franchise gets a much needed face-lift starting with the addition of action superstar and pro wrestler Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. Johnson stars as Roadblock, the GI Joe’s second in command. Joining Johnson is DJ Cotrona as Flint, Adrienne Palicki as Lady Jaye, and Ray Park returning as fan favorite ninja Snake Eyes. Also returning is Channing Tatum’s Duke as the Joe’s new team leader.
The film picks up right around the end of the first movie with Cobra Commander and Destro locked away in a top secret prison, Storm Shadow M.I.A and Zartan in deep cover as the President of the United States. President Zartan orders the Joes to retrieve some nukes from a country that is destabilizing fast, and the Joes swoop in and complete the mission, however as they are waiting for the security team to arrive they are taken out by Blackhawks. Zartan then announces to the world that GI Joe went rouge and that a new SpecOps team Cobra will take their place. Unbeknownst to Cobra, 3 Joes (Roadblock, Flint, and Lady Jaye) survive and plan to avenge their fallen brothers and sisters and take down Cobra with the help of the First Joe, Gen. Joe Colton, played by Bruce Willis.
This movie does it right on many levels. It depicts the Joes as an American fighting force for starters, whereas, in Rise of Cobra they were a global team. This film also brought back a lot more of the practical military elements of the Joe team. Granted, they had high tech military gear like Lady Jaye’s remote controlled ammo but they didn’t have the over the top campy tech from the first film, like the holograms and the entire Pit. This Joe team was a practical military organization and functioned like one. Practical military means more practical effects, which I love. CG images and scenes are very well done in this film, but it’s not over used. I applaud director John Chu for the use of more practical effects in this film, as it really grounded the film.
There were some really good performances this time around. Jonathan Pryce, who played both the President and President Zartan, did a great job. I loved him as President Zartan, especially when he was dealing with the world leaders, that scene was hilarious. Cobra Commander, for the short time he was in the film, was maniacal and witty. Tatum and Johnson really meshed well together. I understand why they added the extra scenes with the two of them. I think they could have flushed out Flint’s character a bit more, but maybe we will see that in the third film. All in all this film was a good popcorn flick and is a good starting point for newcomers and fanboys alike.
OXIDIZATION LEVEL: 3/5
All images are property of Paramount Entertainment.