Coming to you live from Washington DC this weekend! I am sitting at an outside café watching foreign folks buying drinks in weirdly shaped vessels and listening to three girls have a conversation about salted caramel. Democracy! Speaking of democracy, I saw a film this past week. Not a movie, a film. It was dry, smart, a little drawn out, and featured the RZA. Not only did it feature the RZA, but the RZA as a blind Kung Fu master. You’re goddamn right I paid $4.99 to watch G.I. Joe: Retaliation. It honestly had everything I could have possibly asked for in retaliation movie based on a line of plastic figurines, save for that it wasn’t directed by Woody Allen. I would have paid $500 for an alternate version directed by Allen in which a sexually frustrated Cobra Commander wandered the streets of Capitol Hill before having an unsatisfying intimate encounter with a Congressional staffer named Hamilton.
Directorial fantasies aside, the movie left me fairly entertained. The feeling of entertainment was one more reminiscent of witnessing a walk of shame than an intentional performance, but entertaining nonetheless. The whole thing starts off showing all of the G.I. Joes’ profiles and stupid names.
“Why do they call you Duke?”
“I’m a lifelong frontrunner.”
SUCK IT COACH K.
Then, BOOM, you’re at the DMZ between North and South Korea. The only different is, instead of looking like a mine-infested pit of human suffering, the DMZ more closely resembles the grassy portion of a bleak industrial park. Because the notoriously secluded nation of DPRK is only defended by a singular chain link fence apparently, the Joes have no trouble getting in. Once they are in, I honestly have no idea what happens next. Seriously, I was warming up a grotesque amount of pasta in the microwave and neglected to pause the film when I got up to retrieve my sustenance.
When I sat back down the President of the United States was on the screen. Only, he isn’t the President, he’s Ron Weasley. Just kidding, he’s one of Cobra Commander’s lackeys in a really good nano-tech costume; did I mention that he’s SUPER BYAD. He’s all up in the real President’s face like, “Yeah, and you know what I did to your little wife when I got home yesterday? I let her watch the English Patient and I didn’t complain one goddamn time. In fact, I told her that we should do that more often.” It was at this point that the true President emitted a loud KAHNNNNNNNN. Oh yeah, and Cobra Prez is going to fuck over the G.I. Joes.
We’re back in a desert somewhere, presumably surrounded on all sides by hostile A-RABS. The Rock and Channing Tatum are making gentlemen’s bets over marksmanship. Channing Tatum is still in character from Magic Mike and the Rock is wearing something from Baby Gap. Channing misses his first shot, and then the Rock pulls out a fucking giant machine gun and wins because the Rock is one of those kids who plays Madden on rookie. So, Channing Tatum is dead. Oh, rewind, Cobra shows up and kills all of the Joes except for the Rock and a woman they picked up at a Men’s Health Magazine photo-shoot. Everyone is really mad and totally going to get revenge.
At this point the whole Snake Eyes/Thunder Shadow (or whatever the hell his name is) story line just sort of happens. I would go into detail, but this is the general gist:
1. The RZA makes an appearance. As I mentioned before he is blind, presumably from gazing upon Lil Kim’s busted plastic surgery.
2. They brutally murder some Japanese grandma.
3. Snake Eyes brings guns to knife fights (SHIT’S WEAK).
4. Shadow Cancer (sp.?) frees Cobra Commander, but then he is all like, “You know what, I regret doing that.”
The Joes are ostracized from society, so they go to Bruce Willis’ house for sanctuary. Now this is my first major issue with the movie: does Bruce Willis ever have kids over to his house/prepare dinner? I ask because everything in his Kitchen is a WMD. You know, god forbid he has to watch his grand children for even one day because they will all die. They will all die, and then we will have to listen to posturing from both sides of the argument.
Wayne LaPierre – “It is Bruce Willis’ GOD GIVEN RIGHT to put live grenades in his fruit bowl!”
MSNBC – “What do the sub machine guns in Bruce Willis’ freezer tell us about the divide among Americans?”
After visiting Bruce’s Doomsday prepper’s paradise, it is time to take Cobra DOWN. *Jump to a world nuclear weapons summit* Cobra Prez demands that everyone liquidate their nuclear arsenals. They say no because they are not dumb. So Cobra Prez is like, “Alright, then check this shit out.” This is when the movie became detached from reality. As punishment for not disarming, the entire city of London is vaporized. We aren’t talking San Francisco earthquake or something here; London is full out taken off the map. Tens of millions dead, the certain crashing of world financial markets, essentially the worst thing to ever happen on Earth. How did everyone react? The whole room had this “Well, sucks to be them” look on their face. Seriously?
Obviously Cobra is defeated in the end, that much is a given. The last scene is some sort of celebration of the Joes’ heroism. At this point I don’t even care. Why don’t we just spit in Britain’s eyeball some more? If I were Prime Minister Cameron I wouldn’t let the Rock into my country anymore. Like, listen you living, breathing tribal tattoo, how about you take a trip to fuck off mountain. Right now, as I write this, there is a man slamming a cup against the ground yelling indiscriminately, and he is making more sense than the latter part of G.I. Joe: Retaliation did. So, in conclusion, two main takeaways here:
1. Don’t let Bruce Willis watch your kids.
2. Hasbro doesn’t care about Britain.
P.S. I think I could write dialogue about Cobra Prez talking to real Prez about his family all day.
“You know what I did to your little piece of shit dog when I got home? I fed it Indian food until it desecrated your walk in humidor.”
“You know what I did to your precious little Gmail when I got home? I gave $2 to Obama. He’s gonna solicit you until you rot in hell.”
“You know what I did to that sweet little daughter of yours? I bought her that pony she wanted, and then sold it to some German guys from War Horse.”