Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Welcome to Hell.

When you have a bad experience, if you're like me, often you're looking for some reason as to why things went south. Maybe even a person, a face, to pin the blame on. And as I left the theater that night, my list of responsible parties had been narrowed to three: myself, Jack White, and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson.

All equally responsible. All equally handsome.

There's a reason he's looking down. It's called shame.
Okay, so what the Hell was I doing at G.I. Joe: Retaliation on opening night, anyway? I had finished the first one earlier that day, basically hated it [review], so what gives? Let's look at that list a little closer...

Me - Though you likely need no convincing, I really am an idiot. I hadn't seen anything on opening night in forever, and I'm a sucker for anything even bordering on event movie. Did I just call the second G.I. Joe flick an event? Reread that first sentence. But what really got me?
Jack White - Damn that awesome trailer. You could play Seven Nation Army over footage of a basket of sleeping kittens and it would come off all kinds of badass. Throw in ninjas and a mountainside instead? Oh, I'm done. But even worse?
The Rock - Even though I'm a happily married man, every time I see The Rock on the big screen I become the direct opposite. No matter how many times I've been burned by his sub-par cinematic resume, I'm helpless to his charismatic awesomeness. It's sad, really. I wish I knew how to quit him.

Hey, if you made it this far it's a pretty safe bet you don't give a damn about the plot of this movie, right? But in the unlikely event that you actually do, here goes. The Joes are double crossed and essentially wiped off the map. The bad guys, Cobra, have used their magical (six-needled) powers to infiltrate the White House, and with the Joes gone, can hold the world hostage to their ridiculous demands of sharks with frickin' laser beams on their heads. Or something. Basically, it's one of those situations where the good guys are the bad guys and no one can be trusted. So the only thing left to do? Well, that's simple. Mountainside. Ninja. Battle.

Also decidedly simple, are the Yays and Boos. Don't expect them to really deliver this time around (well, or any time around), as not only were they entirely uninterested about eleven minutes in, but they're still muttering to themselves in the corner after I brought them to the theater on Saturday with Father Flem.

This is a real tender moment in the film. And in the pants of boys nationwide.
  • Director introduction? Weird. But he seemed like a nice dude.
  • So, I totally need those fence-melting gloves used in the opening sequence.
  • The videogame sequence with Tatum and The Rock was honestly kind of funny. Even if that two minute scene was 55% of Tatum's overall contribution.
  • So, um, Lady J, pictured here? She more or less became the only reason I didn't just succumb to my exhaustion and go to sleep in theater 1. As much as I loved the red dress, the jogging outfit was infinitely better and certainly made me, too, want to do some cardio immediately. Oh, let's not forget the ridiculously awesome conversation that takes place while she's changing in the middle of the room. No way those words couldn't have been delayed the forty seconds it takes for someone to put a shirt on. No way.
  • Even though the 3D visuals were dreadful, the stylish 3D glasses were not. Whoever started this trend of custom 3D glasses was a genius. I'd like to shake the hand of that fiendish bastard for giving me yet another useless trinket to collect. My wife? Oh, she wants to shake his neck.
  • Even though it's only for a few minutes and entirely ridiculous, I was a fan of the RZA making a surprise appearance. I mean, if I knew he was going to show it would have been totally lame, but being surprised? Wow. Made a huge difference.
  • And finally, maybe the U.K. didn't take kindly to the first G.I. Joe flick, but for whatever reason, it gets completely destroyed via a nuclear bomb. As stupid as almost everything in this movie was, that explosion was truly inspired. I hope the director's cut is twelve minutes long, and split-screen. On the left, that explosion on loop. On the right? Lady J casually going about her day.
I love how they have headsets on. That's clutch in the same room.
  • You might be surprised that the safe transportation of nukes isn't a huge priority, even by the bad guys. The presumably dangerous warheads are handled by the two worst lackeys ever. Seriously, those two jerks shouldn't transport a wedding cake.
  • As expected, the dialogue is intermittently atrocious, with an occasional stop in soul-crushing. Once, someone is talking to Flint, who by all accounts is a capable soldier. They mention, stay with me here , the complicated term extraction. To which Flint wryly responds, What are we teeth? I was so furious, I punched the woman sitting behind me in the mouth as hard as I could. Okay, not really. But had I done so, I'm pretty sure that she would have found my unwarranted assault funnier than that line.
  • Bad Guys on Clean Up Duty. Oh, you think you saw some runaway Joes jump into that well, eh? I mean, your flashlight's awesome and all, but maybe shoot, say, more than two bullets into it. Just to be safe. Nevermind. Just forget it. No way they'll come back and eventually kill everyone you know.
  • Speaking of, is there anyway that three people could climb out of well in that fashion? Seems ridiculous. Well, extra ridiculous.
  • Fine. They get out of the well, whatever. But where does the most elite group of soldiers end up from there? A rec center in the 'hood. My parents didn't buy me that playset.
  • So, a major character dies a few minutes in aaaannnd....that's it? Maybe I blacked out, but it was handled so unceremoniously, I assumed it didn't really happen. I thought we were being set up for a triumphant return, damn it.
  • James Carville. Why is the King of Snakes in a G.I. Joe flick? Oh, wait. I get it now.
  • A plea to Sound Designers. Please. Please. Can we go ahead and retire the sound that time makes when it slows down? I know, it's pretty rad and everything, but sweet Jesus, I think we're all set with that one. Wurrrrrr-rowrrrrrr.
  • And finally, we have an action movie with Ray Stevenson, Bruce Willis and The Rock and it sucks? Um, how about no. What they should have done is tabled the whole thing for a few months and brought it back when the movie was actually worth seeing.
Anyway, that's it Mr. Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson. I'm done with you. Never again. Well, until Pain & Gain comes out in two weeks. Then we're done.

For real.


  1. Let me get this straight. You saw the first movie and it thoroughly sucked so you went out the same day and watched the sequel? And I thought I was a hopeless masochist. :)

    Anyway, hilarious review!

    1. Steph, I don't know what to say. There is no defense. But...

      That damn preview compelled me to see the second one. Figured I might as well crank up the first.

      The good news? At least the whole, awful experience of both films cost me only 8 bucks.

      Although, I guess that's like being punched in the balls and thinking well, they missed my face.

    2. Ha ha! No defense is necessary. I do crazy, masochistic shit all the time. :-)

  2. Actually, you're not done with The Rock until The Rock says you're done with The Rock.

    1. Well, that mofo better speak up soon.

  3. I had a feeling you'll see this one :) Well, at least the pretty chick was half-naked so...money almost well spent?? :)

    1. Not to mention his little man-crush on The Rock. ;-)

    2. This is funny. First, Sati drops the I had a feeling.., which is obviously a thinly-veiled way of saying I am indeed, the idiot I claim to be. Well done.

      Then, Steph comes by, sees me down, and goes ahead and kicks me.

      Ladies, ladies, ladies. I'm appalled you'd stoop so low. It's very unlady like.

      And here at Two Dollar Cinema, clearly we're above such nonsense. Clearly.

    3. You saw right through me :)

      I just meant that you took the effort to review the previous one just as the new one is in theaters...that could only mean one thing :)

    4. Your observation skills are unrivaled, counselor.


  4. I share your man-crush on The Rock but rather than wait for Pain & Gain, I'll wait for Fast & Furious 6.

    How come a long retired soldier like Bruce Willis has enough hi-tech MODERN weapons to start a war? I might need to enrol in the army to, just so I can get my hand on those cool weapons....

    1. Whoa! Asrap! Dude, it's been awhile.

      C'mon now, Fast 6? I didn't see the 5th one. My tastes are too highbrow for that kind of stuff.

      Wait. No they're not. At all. Just missed it.

      As for Willis, I don't know why the Hell he has those weapons, nor do I know why the Hell he signed up for this movie. Both are completely illogical!