Knowing that ‘G.I Joe: Retaliation’ isn’t very good certainly is half the battle

Courtesy Photo

Adrianne Palicki, Bruce Willis and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson headline the cast of Paramount Pictures "G.I. Joe: Retaliation."

Duke, Snake Eyes, Storm Shadow and Cobra Commander are back in the science fiction-action flick “G.I Joe: Retaliation,” the second film based on the prolific G.I Joe toy line.

After being betrayed by their commanding officers and left for dead, the last remaining Joes must regroup and fight to prevent the nefarious Cobra Commander from executing his plan for world domination.

John M. Chu directs a fresh cast including Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, who continues his slow Hollywood takeover as the heavy-hitting Roadblock. As well as Bruce Willis who adds star power as the original G.I Joe, General Joe Colton in this lackluster sequel to the 2009 flop “G.I Joe: Rise of Cobra”.

‘Retaliation’ fixes one thing wrong with ‘Rise of Cobra’ by giving us a G.I Joe film with a Cobra Commander that actually looks like the Cobra Commander, but sadly that’s where the positives of this film cease to exist.

The problem with ‘Retaliation’ is that the film doesn’t do one particular thing that well. Instead limping home with a boring action film that non-G.I Joe fans will have trouble keeping interest in.

The acting is nothing above-average, with the best performance coming from Hollywood veteran Willis. As General Colton, Willis is cool, calm and collected, while supplying some of that trademark Willis style that has made him such a commodity in the acting world.

On the other hand, Johnson’s performance is horribly wooden, but his role as Roadblock didn’t exactly call for an Oscar worthy tour de force so it doesn’t detract from the film. The only cringe worthy acting job was forced out of hip-hop pioneer, The RZA (“The Man With The Iron Fist”), who was horribly miscast as the wise Blind Master.

Writers Rhett Reese (“Zombieland”, “Monsters, Inc.”) and Paul Wernick (“Zombieland”) supplied a plot that we’ve seen over and over again in action films: a group of hardened soldier’s have to band together to defend the world from certain doom. It’s as if Reese and Wernick took a piece from every 80’s action movie and slapped a G.I Joe coating on it.

Not only is the plot generic, the action is nothing to write home about either.

‘Retaliation’ suffers from the same problem that hurts so many other action films. The coolest action scenes are featured heavily in the trailers Paramount Pictures released. The entertainment value of seeing The Rock single handedly mow down Cobra goons with a tank weapon is automatically dulled when you’ve seen the same scene plastered over all sorts of promotional material.

Outside of the trailer material, there’s nothing exciting about “G.I. Joe: Retaliation,” which is disappointing considering the potential the film had.

In about five months, “G.I Joe: Retaliation” will take its rightful place in a channels movie rotation where this film will fade into generic movie obscurity.