Neenja's Blog

little thoughts and feelings that I write down…

Thoughts on G.I. Joe Retaliation:

I have the best timing for joining fandoms. I kid you not. I became a fan of Transformers in the summer of 2009 – just a month before Revenge of the Fallen came out. I became a fan of G.I. Joe at the end of December 2012 via Rise of Cobra (a fact I’m not too proud of). Then – lo and behold – I found out that Retaliation was coming out in March 2013.

Needless to say, I was one very happy neenja.

So, today at 1:30 PM, I watched G.I. Joe Retaliation in IMAX 3D. Let me tell you; it was quite awkward being the only Asian girl in the entire audience. Then again, there were only about twenty people – mostly what looked like husbands with a few reluctant wives.

I’m not going to tell you the ENTIRE movie – go see it for yourself! – but I do have some thoughts.

 ***WARNING: HERE BE SPOILERS***

What I liked/found interesting:

  •  Channing Tatum is WAY better in Retaliation than in Rise of Cobra. He actually acts like the leader of G.I. Joe. It kind of bummed me that he died.
  • Snake-Eyes spoke… or did he?
  • Storm Shadow looks pretty darn nice in Snake-Eyes’ outfit.
  • Cobra (specifically Storm Shadow and Firefly) had a well-laid out plan for busting Cobra Commander out of prison.
    • I especially liked the scene where Storm Shadow slipped into the Sleeping Phoenix trance. It was funny seeing the doctors freak when his heart almost stopped beating. Once a doctor got to him, he dragged him into the tank and held him there until one of the guards shot the tank to save the doctor (and, as a result, free Storm Shadow).
      • However, Storm did get shocked when the warden shoved… something containing electricity against the floor. Since said floor was covered in liquid, Storm spazzed.
      • Storm’s body – his chest in particular – is very, very shiny. I find this pleasantly distracting.
  • Lady Jaye in her red dress. Can you say ‘beautiful’?
  • Flint watching Lady Jaye undress in the reflection of a TV. Smart guy – knows not to stare directly at a woman capable of shredding him to bits.
  • Storm’s recovery procedure is… questionable. I didn’t quite understand. It involved an old woman clapping powder over his back then dripping something gray onto it and then… scanning it? I’m assuming ninja magic. Yeah, that must be it.
  • Snake and Storm do – in fact – fight like brothers in this movie. This includes childish clawing-at-each-other’s-faces-ness. It’s hilarious.
  • Storm gets emotional while talking about Hard Master’s death. Turns out, he was bitter that nobody believed that he didn’t kill his uncle. Lee Byung-hun’s experience in dramas comes in great use here. I’m convinced he actually teared up. It sure looked like it – red eyes, unshed tears, and all.
  • Roadblock commented that he might be faster than Snake-Eyes. Snake then pointedly looks at where his pistol is aiming. Damn ninjas.
  • General Colton hid little round green grenades in a FRUIT BASKET.
    • He has guns everywhere. Under the couch, in the cabinet, in the closet – everywhere.
      • Snake-Eyes seems appreciative of the Uzis Colton supplied him with. He stroked them carefully before picking them up.
        • As he’s doing this, Storm is leaning in the doorway, looking at Snake-Eyes skeptically.
  • A faint hissing sound accompanies Cobra Commander’s appearances. I like it.
  • Zartan started and ended World War III in under fifteen minutes.
    • He played Angry Birds while waiting for the world leaders to self-destruct their nuclear warheads. Epic win.
  • Storm Shadow walking around the table of world leaders and sword-tapping in front of every one of them. He looked like he was saying, “I will kill you… then you… then you…”
  • The 3D totally worked when Firefly shot at the camera. I flinched so badly.
    • The mountain scene also worked with the 3D. I felt really, really high up.
  • Storm Shadow and Snake-Eyes fighting side-by-side. My fangirl side SQUEALED at that scene.

What I found questionable/didn’t like:

  •  How the hell did the Joes manage to slip into North Korean territory with a watchtower a mere few hundred feet away?
  • The little ‘competition’ between Jinx and Snake-Eyes for the Sword of Justice should have been WAY longer. They just start off fighting. At least have Blind Master announce beforehand that one of them must carry the Sword of Justice and find Storm Shadow. Also, the Blind Master seems to MAGICALLY know that Snake-Eyes mistrusts Jinx. How he does this, I have no idea.
    • Speaking of Jinx, they should have chosen another actress. Elodie Yung’s European accent rubs me the wrong way. Also, when standing next to each other, Elodie Yung looks almost nothing like Lee Byung-hun save for dark eyes and dark hair. Cousins – yeah, sure. Convince me.
    • Despite her supposed animosity towards her cousin, she has little to no interaction with him other than at the end when he hands her the Sword of Justice. I was hoping for some closure between the two, but I don’t even remember her speaking to him.
    • There is a CGI fail at the mountain fight scene. When the red ninjas burst through the doors, Jinx makes the pulling-sword-out motion with her arm, except… sans sword. Her arm then unnaturally teleports back to her sword and she finally gets it.
  • The film was 75% explosions. I’m sure my eyes exploded somewhere along the half-hour mark.
  •  Firefly’s fireflies are very explosive for such tiny little things.
  • … Why the heck are the surviving Joes strolling around a run-down neighborhood as if nothing happened the few previous days? Shouldn’t they be – oh, I don’t know – trying to disguise themselves? Just a suggestion.
  • When Storm Shadow’s heart stopped beating, the doctor who reached him first ripped the oxygen-supplying mask off of his face. Yes. Deprive a possibly dying man of oxygen. Brilliant idea. I love it. Yes, I know that it’s probably impossible to bring him to the surface with his helmet still on, but it kind of bugs me.
  • Storm threw shurikens at the guards once he broke free. Where did he keep them? They had to completely undress him to fit him into the suit.
  • Storm Shadow managed to get a Snake-Eyes outfit… how? I doubt there are ninja wardrobes randomly hiding around the world.
  • If Storm had kept his shirt on, he wouldn’t have gotten burned so badly. Think about it. Oh, well. We fangirls are hungry creatures.
  • The red ninjas are awfully inept at zip-lining. The mountains are surrounding their freaking home. They should be pros at it.
  • After so many years of everybody blaming him for the Hard Master’s death, all Storm got was an, “I’m sorry,” from the Blind Master. At least Snake let him kill Zartan.
  • It took Zartan approximately two seconds to ready a Zeus satellite and fire it at London. Somehow, when the Joes were doing their usual saving-the-day thing at the end, it takes MUCH longer to ready a satellite. Nice.
    • Despite being under attack by the Joes and betrayed by Storm Shadow, Cobra Commander still does his Walk of Badassery all the way to his helicopter. I won’t deny that you look badass, Commander, but I think you should be running.
  • Somehow, Zartan pushing a pile of crates onto Storm Shadow makes the ninja’s mask disappear. Odd.
  • Many scenes in the trailers – such as Duke’s “Yep; as long as I can bring this” comment – didn’t make the film.
  • Since Snake-Eyes supposedly took a vow of silence because of Hard Master’s death, shouldn’t he be allowed to speak now that Hard Master’s death has been avenged?
  • Storm Shadow gave the Sword of Justice back to Jinx to supposedly give back to Snake-Eyes… but Snake-Eyes shows up milliseconds later, so what was the point?
    • Storm said nothing to Jinx. Gee, loving cousin much?
    • At that scene, I feel that Storm should have said something. A, “Goodbye, brother,” would have been nice, along with a pat on the back from Snake. Heck – I expected them to HUG. Storm kind of deserves one and they totally looked like they were going to.
  • The ending Walk of Badassery was… a bit cheesy and a bit too slow-mo, but it’s didn’t bother me too much.

Random (Ninja) Side Notes:

  • Am I the only one who likes Storm Shadow’s leather outfit? Everybody else seems to hate it. 
  • The jaw part of Snake’s mask had to be removed first. Then the helm and the visor were removed as one. This gives him (or Storm Shadow, since it was him in the scene) a Robocop look for about a second.
  • Although Storm Shadow looks taller than Snake-Eyes, Lee Byung-hun is actually a centimeter shorter than Ray Park. I think his hair poofs up his mask a little and makes him look taller.
  • Storm Shadow’s evil smile – I like it.
  • When Storm prepares to turn his two katanas into a double-bladed sword, he paused, listening. Distant footsteps are heard. I don’t know if this is a homage to the Ear that Sees, but I sure hope it is.
  • Storm Shadow seems to have a fondness for pushing Snake-Eyes through glass. Instead of the flying-through-air that we saw in Rise of Cobra, they kind of awkwardly flop onto the windowsill and wriggle out.
  • THERE WAS NO TIMBER. I WANT TIMBER.
  • The Blind Master said Arashikage as “Arah-shi-kah-gee” while Storm Shadow pronounced it correctly as, “Arah-shi-kah-gey”.
  • love the soundtrack, and I’m picky with my epic music. My personal favorites are ‘Get Me the G.I. Joes,’ ‘Storm Shadow,’ ‘Bad Dojo,’ and ‘Honor Restored.’

Final Thoughts: G.I. Joe: Retaliation is, as expected, much much better than G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra. However, there are a bunch of plotholes, and I can nitpick at it all day long. Nonetheless, I enjoyed it a lot. There was a nice number of ninja scenes, which pleases me, since Storm and Snake are my two favorite characters. The military scenes felt more genuine than in Rise of Cobra, in which G.I. Joe looked sci-fi. The number of explosions could be reduced, though. Then again, probably not much. Firefly – that’s all the explanation you should need. The 3D is only worthwhile during the mountain fight scene and that one brief moment where Firefly shoots at the camera. That’s… pretty much it. I suggest 2D.

Am I going to see this again? Of course. Will I buy the blu-ray? Yes, for all the deleted scenes.

There are no post-credits scene, although you should stay for the beginning of the credits for the deleted scenes.

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Neenja here! 😀