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Movie review: 'G.I. Joe: Retaliation' is dumb, but not fun

Published March 29, 2013 11:59 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Complaining that "G.I. Joe: Retaliation" is a brainless action movie is like whining that rain is wet. Stupid is the nature of this Hasbro-produced action franchise — but would it be too much to ask for something that was dumb fun?

No, the Joes are deadly serious here, as Sgt. Maj. Marvin Hinton, aka Roadblock (Dwayne Johnson, living up to the character's nickname) and two of his soldiers, Flint (D.J. Cotrona) and Lady Jaye (Adrienne Palicki), are the only survivors of an ambush that kills the remaining Joes (including Channing Tatum from the last movie). Discovering the attack was orchestrated by a Cobra operative masquerading as the president (Jonathan Pryce), the remaining Joes enlist their silent partner Snake Eyes (Ray Park), old nemesis Storm Shadow (Byung-hun Lee) and the retired original Joe (Bruce Willis) to stop the fake president from letting evil Cobra Commander (Luke Bracey) take over the world.

Director Jon M. Chu (who directed two of the "Step Up" dance films) throws action sequences together haphazardly, with chaotic editing and little story sense. With a too-serious revenge plot, and an emphasis on low-tech weaponry over cool high-tech gadgetry, this "G.I. Joe" misses the over-the-top silliness that makes an idiotic action movie fun.

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'G.I. Joe: Retaliation'

Opens Thursday, March 28, at theaters everywhere; rated PG-13 for intense sequences of combat violence and martial arts action throughout, and for brief sensuality and language; 110 minutes.