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With: Dwayne Johnson, Adrianne Palicki, D.J. Cotrona, Lee Byung-hun, Bruce Willis, Ray Park, Jonathan Pryce, Ray Stevenson, Channing Tatum
Written by: Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick
Directed by: Jon M. Chu
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for intense sequences of combat violence and martial arts action throughout, and for brief sensuality and language
Running Time: 110
Date: 28/03/2013

G.I. Joe: Retaliation (2013)

2 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

'Joe' Time

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

With director Jon M. Chu -- who is experienced in making musicals -- taking over this franchise from the sloppy, noisy Stephen Sommers, the second G.I. JOE movie has a great deal more grace and goodwill than its predecessor. It moves well, offers up the occasional surprise, and never takes itself too seriously.

Sent on a mission to Pakistan, the G.I. Joes, led by Duke (Channing Tatum), find that they have been set up. After a brutal surprise attack, only Roadblock (Dwayne Johnson), Jaye (Adrianne Palicki), and Flint (D.J. Cotrona) survive. Looking to avenge their fallen comrades, the trio discovers that the evil plot goes all the way up to the President of the United States (Jonathan Pryce). It turns out the remaining members of the evil organization Cobra are controlling the White House in an effort to take over the world with a terrifying new weapon. Joined by old friends, old enemies, and some new friends, it's now up to our ragtag team of survivors to save the world.

The plot and dialogue are absolutely ridiculous, but the movie seems aware of it all and it inspires more giggles than groans. Fortunately, it moves quickly enough that any questions of logic -- did London really just completely explode? -- never really come into play. It helps that most of the cast, notably Dwayne Johnson, Bruce Willis, Jonathan Pryce, and Channing Tatum (in a smaller part) seem to be having a good time. Serious fans of G.I. Joe may be disappointed that this entry all but ignores many of the characters and events of the last film, but for many others, that's a step in the right direction.