“G.I. Joe: Retaliation” is one gigantic garbage heap of an action movie.
At least the people involved in making the film realized that going in.
By embracing its cheesiness, this sequel to the dreadful 2009 film actually works. Sure, it’s mindless fluff, but it proves to be a lot more fun than it should be.
“Retaliation” has a rather preposterous plot — the G.I. Joe team is framed and left for dead after Cobra infiltrates the White House. The surviving members include Roadblock (Dwayne Johnson) and Jaye (Adrianne Palicki), who enlist the help of former team member Gen. Joe Colton (Bruce Willis).
This is the kind of film where the president of the United States plays a prominent role, yet the character is never referred to by name and is listed only as President in the credits.
Director John M. Chu, best known for two of the “Step Up” films, attacks “Retaliation” in the same manner, staging extravagent action sequences to compensate for a silly plot full of gaping holes.
The cast seems to be having a lot of fun as well.
Johnson has settled in to a fairly reliable action star, never taking himself too seriously.
Willis also has some humorous moments, but Jonathan Pryce has the best moments – playing a dual role as the president and the Cobra villain Zartan, who is impersonating the president.
I’ll admit that “G.I. Joe Retaliation” doesn’t really hold up if you stop to think about it. But this isn’t a film designed to stimulate the mind. It’s a movie for people who want to see things blown up.
And on that level, “Retaliation” serves its purpose.
Opening this week
Returning to theaters this weekend is “Jurassic Park” (A-), celebrating its 20th anniversary with a conversion to 3-D and IMAX 3-D.
This Steven Spielberg blockbuster still holds up as a thrilling cinematic roller coaster ride that is a lot of fun.
For the one person unfamiliar with the premise, “Jurassic Park” tells the story of an eccentric entrepreneur (Richard Attenborough), who creates a theme park on a remote island full of living dinosaurs.
He invites four people (including Sam Neill, Laura Dern, and Jeff Goldblum) and his grandchildren (Joseph Mazzello and Ariana Richards) to the park’s premiere, but things take a turn for the worse when the power shuts down putting everyone in danger.
“Jurassic Park” begins as this quiet imaginative special effects vehicle, expertly crafted by Spielberg, before evolving into a series of tension filled action sequences that leave audiences on the edge of their seats.
Two decades later these sequences hold up well, even when you know what’s coming.
The film looks great converted to 3-D, adding depth and texture to an already visually stunning film. The IMAX version is even more impressive – allowing the audience to experience Spielberg’s vision in grand style.
“Jurassic Park” is rated PG-13 for intense science fiction terror and opens Friday at the Regal Bowling Green Stadium 12 and Highland Cinemas in Glasgow.