“The Rock” Rocks as “Road Block” in “Retaliation”

Community, Opinion

First and foremost I must say, those who did not enjoy “G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra,” are wrong, just plain wrong. The first live action G.I. Joe movie was awesome; it’s actually my all time favorite action movie, well it was until “The Avengers” came out. It truly follows the original cartoon and is full of action and just general awesomeness so please, STOP HATING. If you think I’m wrong check your copy of “G.I. Joe” season one, I know you have one, if not just borrow a buddy’s; use “Transformers” season one as collateral. Don’t pretend that just because we’re in our 30’s we don’t have the classics on DVD or record them on “The Hub;” I know I’m not the only saying,

“What, I bought it for the kids. So they can have something to watch. Why you looking at me like that?”

That being said, the sequel, “G.I. Joe: Retaliation” is like the younger, bigger, faster brother to the original.

I must say that in general I absolutely abhor when a movie has a sequel that does not truly continue from the first movie and is generally just another movie with slight references to the first, and after seeing the trailers for this one was highly suspicious.

SPOILER ALERT: My suspicions were confirmed as Duke, Snake Eyes, Storm Shadow, Zartan, Destro, and Cobra Commander are the only returning characters. I got over it quickly because I smell what “The Rock” is cooking. Yes I am a proud member of “Team Bring It” and yes Rock does promise to put “boots to (donkeys)” in the movie.

Now as one can see from the trailers the Joe’s are wiped out by an executive order issued by Zartan, who as we saw in “Rise” is impersonating the president. All that is left is “Roadblock” played by “The Rock” and a few others.

SPOILER ALERT: Shades of Optimus Prime in “Transformers: The Movie” the original not the one with guy from “Holes.” While not nearly as traumatizing, I was a bit surprised to see Roadblock as the proverbial “Radimus Prime;” under 30 crowd, ask your parents, or nerdy uncles.

Of course Roadblock must lead what’s left of the Joe’s to unmask Zartan and stop Cobra Commander with a little help from John McClain.

SPOILER ALERT: No “Yippy Ki Yay’s,” it’s PG-13 after all, although there are an abundance of explosions, and a host of ninja’s. Yes Snake Eyes and Storm shadow have another showdown, but SPOILER ALERT: everything is not what it seems, and I must say “The Man With the Iron Fists” as the blind master was almost as surprising as his being drafted, along with the rest of Wu-Tang, number one by the Asian coalition in Dave Chappelle’s racial draft.

Did I mention that there are a plethora of explosions and epic fight scenes? Because if not, there are a plethora of explosions and epic fight scenes. By the way, a ninja fight on the side of a mountain is as cool as it looks and sounds.

Overall I’d give it an A- or a hard B+. It was good fun, much like a Fast and Furious movie or a tamer version of “Faster” which if you are a man and have not seen it, you sir are missing out. I haven’t seen somebody kill bad guys so indiscriminately since Clint Eastwood and Charles Bronson were in their hey-day; again under 30 crowd, ask your parents. What I didn’t like was the glossing over from the story line from the original; the missing characters bugged me. I know they got killed, but I truly liked Marlon Wayans’ Rip.

“I told you.” “Not now Rip”.”

is one the all time movie buddy exchanges, right up there with

“Have you ever met anybody you didn’t kill?” “Well I haven’t killed you yet,”

and

“I want a pack of tropical fruit Bubblecious!” “And some Skittles.”

There were also a few, “Oh come on now” moments but hey it’s an action movie, nobody’s trying to win an Oscar, so okay. I also must admit, that the 3-D was a little less than awesome, just didn’t pop off the screen, pun intended.

Now in the interest of an old tried and true tradition, the two for one movie special. I’m going to double up reviews. I was too ashamed to write on out for Oz: The Great and Powerful so I’d figured I put it at the end of G.I. Joe so as not to feel also watching Twilight while listening to Drake-like, over 30 crowd ask your kids.

Oz was, great and powerful. I loved it I absolutely did. It was visually amazing, the 3-D was bright and colorful, even if the beginning was a bit long and in black and white, it was still pretty cool looking.

Os, short for Oscar pronounced Oz, a magician/con man, is brought to Oz, the magical land tornado. There’s a prophecy about a great wizard who will save the land blah blah blah. We all know what happens of course wins, because he has to send Dorothy back.

What makes this movie so enjoyable is the ensemble cast, there’s a talking flying monkey named Finley that might just be the funniest animal road trip side kick since “Donkey” in Shrek. He spends the entire movie dropping one liners like Michigan was dropping three’s on F.U.F. en route to the final four. See what I did there? F.U.F. for life!

There’ also an orphan from China Town, named China Girl, and believe me I mean that in the least offensive, most literal way imaginable, that gets a leg up due to Os’ “magic in a bottle” and joins them on the to thwart the evil queen.

Of course things are not as they seem, and here’s where it gets interesting and a bit difficult to suspend disbelief. Um I’m supposed to by Jackie as an ugly green witch? Nope not possible, while I can accept that Kelso’s girl as a witch, the green paint, broom and cackle, just don’t quite hide the hotness. I’m sorry it just doesn’t. What, I’m married, not blind.

Overall it was good family fun that kids of all ages should enjoy.

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