Film review: GI Joe: Retaliation (12A)


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The Independent Culture

The first GI Joe picture in 2009 grossed more than $300m, so this sequel was always a formality. Based on the toy (our Action Man), it displays a level of intelligence that will not tax a 12-year-old boy.

The evil COBRA agency has infiltrated the White House and put a doppelganger in place of President Jonathan Pryce. You can tell how dastardly he is from his awful puns: "They call it a waterboard – but I never get bored."

Channing Tatum and Bruce Willis can only spare 10 minutes' screentime each, so chief Joe duties devolve on poor old Dwayne Johnson, whose biceps are now wider than his head. Can that be healthy?

Director Jon M Chu throws in ninja fights on sheer cliff-faces to shake up the blend of massive explosions and hi-tech flummery. It's pretty much a purgatory, punctuated by volleys of macho shorthand: "We secure the football we secure the world." I have no idea what that line means, and I sense it won't matter, either.