I went to a late showing of GI Joe: Retaliation last night (March 29th, 2013). I saw the 2D showing because 3D makes me feel dizzy. My mood going in was anticipation. It wasn’t based on the commercials or actors or director or anything that makes most people excited to see a film. Instead, I was excited because of my horrible lack of patience. I’m absolutely awful with surprises. So pushing this film back nearly a year made waiting go away. Plus, Joecon is a week away and new Joe toys are hitting shelves. So all around it’s a good time to be a Joe fan. Back to my story…I’m full of anticipation heading in. I want to wash the bad taste out of my mouth that was Rise of Cobra. And I was not disappointed. First, let’s talk action. The action sequences in ROC were pretty corny and overdone. While the action in Retaliation was also overdone, it was done in a much more fun and GI Joe’ey way. Yes I just made GI Joe into an adverb. They did the shaky camera thing during the fist fighting scenes and it made it a bit distracting. But overall, much better than ROC. Second, the Arashikage story was much better than anticipated. The ninja fight scenes were pretty well choreographed and the set design was pretty beautiful. Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow still have terrible costumes, but the addition of Jinx makes up for it a bit. Next, Cobra Commander was a much more imposing figure in Retaliation. The familiar domed mask is back and he’s ruling Cobra with an iron fist. This was much welcomed after the abomination in ROC. Finally, Lady Jaye is super hot and runs around in booty shorts and a sports bra for a while. She’s much better than any woman in ROC. The filmmakers realized that GI Joe needs some eye candy and Adrianne Palicki as Lady Jaye brings that. Kudos Jon Chu. Some final quick thoughts: The storyline was OK. Without giving it away, it is similar to one we’ve seen in recent years. Firefly was a decent choice. He brought the physical toughness, but lacked a bit of the crazy. The actor playing Flint was much too passive a character. And Dwayne Johnson as Roadblock was a decent choice, but I wanted more of the rhyming talk. Oh well. Overall it was an entertaining film. I’d love to see a whole Arashikage backstory film or more character-focused sequels, but with GI Joe, we take what we can get. And just a few spoilers below…. seriously, don’t read before seeing the film. I was bummed that there was almost no Destro. Hopefully we can have Iron Grenadiers in the sequel. I, much like everyone else, heard all of the grumblings about Channing Tatum as Duke dying in the movie and there being reshoots to have him live. But they booted him off pretty quickly. While his death was not upsetting in any way, the point that they spent so much time developing his character and the bond between him and Roadblock so much made it seem thrown together that they kill him so early. I think a better use of film time would have to been more of Flint or more backstory of Lady Jaye and her dad or more backstory on Joe Colton. Next, the use of Flint was pretty weak. He was a pretty useless character in the movie, in my opinion. And who were the other old dudes in the planning meeting? No further mention of them. But a big positive was that they used Hiss tanks and other vehicles they made toys of. This is important for fans and toy sales alike. As I said before, it was a pretty decent and fun film. It wasn’t groundbreaking. It won’t win awards. It could have been better. But it’s definitely good enough to bring in enough money to warrant a sequel. More Joes means more gooder. Yes, I said gooder.