Based on the enduring Hasbro toy franchise and comic books, GI Joe: Retaliation acts as a (kind-of) sequel and reboot to the 2009 box office cash cow The Rise of Cobra which made $302 million worldwide. This time around, the Joes have dropped the power suits for a more traditional and old school style of ass-kicking. With master of disguise and Cobra ally Zartan (Arnold Vosloo) impersonating the US president (Jonathan Pryce), the GIs find themselves being framed for crimes they didn't commit.
With just three Joes left after an ambush in Pakistan, the survivors - Roadblock (Dwayne Johnson), Flint (DJ Cotrona) and Lady Jaye (Adrianne Palicki) - make it their mission to save the world and clear their name. It's not long until General Joe Colton (Bruce Willis) lends the trio a helping hand with his Colt Mark IV Combat Elite gun, and his souped-up armoury.
Meanwhile, old enemies Snake Eyes (Ray Park) and Storm Shadow (Byung-Hun Lee) are back to their old tricks, but this time the majority of fighting takes place on a Japanese mountainside.
Dwayne Johnson rocks his part as the buff leader who will stop at nothing to protect his country. His bromance with Channing Tatum (Captain Duke Hauser) makes for a sweet storyline, but is shortlived. Willis makes a welcome addition to the movie and provides some entertaining one-liners, but his character is also in desperate need of more screen time. Cotrona and Palicki add little to their supporting roles, and seem to be more caught up in flexing their muscles and flaunting abs than delivering lines. Byung-Hun Lee steals the show as the indestructible ninja, but his character lacks direction.
Director Jon M Chu, who previously gave us Step Up 2: The Streets, Justin Bieber: Never Say Never, decided to delay the movie's release so he could give it the full 3D treatment. He has been proved correct, especially for the ninja cliff fight. However, the disjointed script and lack of imagination make it difficult to fully appreciate the special effects.
When lyrics from a Jay-Z song are referenced by an action hero before his team dives into a warzone, it's almost a given that the movie is going to have more than 99 problems.