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FILM REVIEW: G.I. Joe: Retaliation

Categories: Movies

This week, Hasbro — the people responsible for the movie version of Battleship — offer filmgoers G.I. Joe: Retaliation, a sequel to the 2009 opus. Is it an action film or just a bunch of action figures? Perhaps it's a sign of cinema's coming apocalypse or the dawning of a new bromance between Magic Mike and The Rock.

So, what kind of film is this? Your mission briefing starts below.

  • It's the kind of movie that opens in North Korea (Hollywood's new favourite evil empire), where Roadblock (played by man-mountain Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson) cuts a hole into a chain-link fence by using high-tech thermal gloves to melt the metal — because bolt cutters are just so old-fashioned.

Channing Tatum, Dwayne JohnsonChanning Tatum, left, and Dwayne Johnson are fist-bumping bros in G.I. Joe: Retaliation. (Jaimie Trueblood/Paramount Pictures/Associated Press)

  • It's the kind of movie where the soaring popularity of Channing Tatum required a series of re-shoots, which seem to mainly consist of fist-bumping bonding between Roadblock and Tatum's Duke

  • It's the kind of movie where Roadblock quotes rapper Jay-Z in the team prayer before the Joes launch into battle, as the movie's soundtrack shreds like the wayward child of Skrillex and Good Charlotte.

  • It's the kind of movie that makes one feel slightly sad for Jonathan Pryce, who appears as the villain Zartan, in disguise as the U.S. president (stay with me), but makes you yearn to see him in Brazil instead.

  • It's the kind of movie where a Cobra explosives expert named Firefly uses ... fireflies. Oh, and speaks in a bourbon-soaked accent like Francis Underwood on House of Cards.

  • It's the kind of movie in which Lady Jaye recounts fighting to convince her father that female soldiers deserve to be in combat situations alongside their male counterparts, while stripping down to her thong in front of colleague, Flint.

  • It's the kind of movie where — amid gun battles, sword fights and the decimation of tanks, buildings and, in one spectacular case, the entire city of London — not a single drop of blood is shed (Hey, just like the cartoon!).

  • It's the kind of movie where an evil president quips: "They call it waterboarding, but I never got bored."

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  • It's the kind of movie where you've already seen all the best Bruce Willis moments if you've seen the trailer.

  • It's the kind of movie that feels like the cacophonous, fevered dream of a nine-year-old, pulled together through slap-chop editing in the style of a John Woo knock-off and featuring dialogue reminiscent of a lesser season of Entourage.

  • It's the kind of movie directed by Jon M. Chu, best known for his Step Up dance films and Justin Bieber's Never Says Never. Next up for Chu: the He-Man reboot Masters of The Universe.

  • It's the kind of movie where the 3D is pointless, the pace relentless and the box office impact inevitable.

Even bad movies deserve better than this.

RATING: 2 out of 5.

Bruce WillisG.I. Joe: Retaliation is the kind of film where you've already seen all the best Bruce Willis bits in the trailers. (Jaimie Trueblood/Paramount Pictures/Associated Press)

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