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Friday, March 29, 2013 

GI Joe: Retaliation is just as abortive as the first movie

In terms of script quality anyway. The sequel to the 2009 movie (with at least a few of the cast members returning, it doesn't look like the reboot they might want people to think it was), which was delayed for almost a year because Paramount wanted to reshoot Tatum O'Neal's part (so they say), has opened to more negative reviews, and from a political perspective, there are some elements in it just as annoying as in the first one. For example, as told by the Fox News review:
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson takes over the franchise as Roadblock, a Joe hell-bent on clearing his elite team’s name after having been framed for killing the Pakistani president and stealing nuclear weapons. Behind the setup is Zartan, a Cobra operative impersonating the President of the United States (Jonathan Pryce). Like many movie megalomaniacs, this villain is after a super-secret weapon that can destroy any Earth city from space. How Bondian of you.
Why is the audience being asked to side with a country that's harboring some of the nastiest jihad in the mideast, including bin Laden? Another fishy scene in this movie sees:
...Jonathan Pryce at a nuclear summit methodically manipulating the world leaders to destroy their nuclear arms, leaving him in control of a far superior weapon.
Even if this is an imposter, there's something wrong with a plot where everybody is persuaded to can their nuclears while maintaining and exploiting American-made weapons. At worst, it suggests there was some anti-American cynicism lurking in the background. And realistically, it's obvious that countries like Iran won't get rid of theirs on their own accords, so the story does not hold up well.

The UK Telegraph says:
The former wrestler Dwayne Johnson stars as the elite marine Marvin “Roadblock” Hinton, who looks like the result of a misbegotten military initiative to shave and arm gorillas. Roadblock and his team, AKA “the Joes”, are despatched by the US government to various geopolitical hotspots to mete out Team America-style justice. One typically incomprehensible sequence sees the Joes parachute into Pakistan and liberate a nuclear warhead, while the pre-credits sting has them, terrifyingly, showing up in North Korea.

North Korea appears again later in the film, when the US President (Jonathan Pryce) tells a Workers’ Party Grand Poobah that he is going to nuke his country 15 times over, “just to be sure” – except he isn’t the real US President, but a disguised member of a terrorist cabal called Cobra. “They call it a waterboard, but I never get bored,” he cackles at one point, and nobody has the heart to tell him that they actually call it “waterboarding”.
He's threatening North Korea when they're the ones with nuclear labs?!? Is this some kind of pro-commie sentiment being injected into the screenplay? And is that missile the Joes get hold of in the beginning brought back to the US so that the Cobra imposter in the Oval Office can use it himself? It even sounds like they threw in a leftist stand against "torture of inmates" all for the sake of it too.

As a GI Joe fan, what really angers me here is the contempt the studio had for this franchise to start with. They may have gone into the Transformers franchise with respect for it, but here, it's clear they didn't. Bruce Willis doesn't even get much screen time. If this is as bad as it sounds, and does less well at the box office this time, it'll be throughly deserved. It's shameful that a famous francise of toys, comics and games has suffered such a horrible injustice, all because of the kind of left-wing politics eating up Hollywood today.

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Honestly, killing off almost the entire cast of the first movie has to be a step in the right direction.

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