G.I. Joe: Retaliation **

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I was not a fan of the first “G.I. Joe” movie. It was a complete mess of a film. I gave the sequel, dubbed “Retaliation” a shot because the studio recognized this and brought on a new team of filmmakers and added names like Dwayne Johnson and Bruce Willis to the mix. The result is a noticeable improvement but is still a pointless exercise in non stop action and CGI sequences.

I will sum up the plot by saying that the Cobra have come up with a plan to pretty much destroy the world with weapons of mass destruction. This involves replacing the president with a clone and all but decimating the G.I. Joes.

As the film opens we meet Roadblock, played by Johnson, and Duke, played by Channing Tatum. Tatum is pretty much the only returning actor from the original film. They are joined later by Bruce Willis as the original Joe.

From there they engage the Cobra in a series of non stop sequences of sword fighting, shootings, hand to hand combat and explosions. All of it is not very original but at least it is not chaotic and is generally easy to follow. One sequence that stands out is a ninja fight on the side of a mountain.

The director is Jon Chu, has helmed two of the “Step Up” movies as well as the Justin Bieber concert flick. Hardly a resume that prepares you for a massive action film but he actually manages to put this together pretty well. It is too bad he isn’t working with a better script.

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