Sunday, February 25, 2018
Things To Do

Review: 'G.I. Joe: Retaliation' is a macho mess

If you're buying a ticket for G.I. Joe: Retaliation because Channing Tatum is showcased in preview trailers, be seated at show time because he's out of the picture after 15 minutes.

If you're going as a Bruce Willis fan, take your time. He doesn't show up for 45 minutes, and if you're running late don't rush because after one scene he disappears for another half-hour.

And if you admire the way Dwayne Johnson's movie career has progressed lately don't bother seeing G.I. Joe: Retaliation at all. The charm, the chops, the desire to be considered as more than a sweaty side of beefcake is completely missing here. This is the kind of role that Johnson would have settled for two years ago and did.

Filmed in 2011, G.I. Joe: Retaliation's planned release last summer was postponed to allow its conversion to 3-D — never an improvement to any movie — and for Tatum to shoot a bit more footage, capitalizing on his post-Magic Mike stardom. The delay wasn't upsetting; after 2009's loud and dumb G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra nobody was especially itching for a sequel.

G.I. Joe: Retaliation is even louder and dumber, a collection of action set pieces ranging from mildly entertaining (a Himalayan zip-line fight) to dull (everything else), glommed together with comic book balloon dialogue. Ray Park as the good-guy ninja Snake Eyes gets the best lines because he remains silent but deadly. At one point before combat Johnson quotes "the immortal words of Jay-Z" and solely by comparison they are.

The Joes (and a couple of Josies) are framed by the evil organization Cobra for the assassination of Pakistan's leader by America's president who really isn't. Our president (Jonathan Pryce) has been kidnapped by Cobra and replaced by Zartan, disguised through "flawless microtechnology" to look like Pryce, who has some fun with the dual role. The Joes are mostly wiped out in an ambush ordered by the fake president, with only Roadblock (Johnson), Flint (D.J. Cotrona) and Lady Jaye (Adrianne Palicki) left vowing revenge.

Snake Eyes was off in the Far East doing ninja stuff with the mystical Blind Master (RZA) and a Joe trainee named Jinx (Elodie Yung). Meanwhile, Cobra Commander and Destro (played by actors who should be grateful their faces aren't shown) are sprung from their subterranean suspended animation by Storm Shadow (Byung-hun Lee). That's six macho-silly names in two sentences, which must be some kind of record.

The plot clots into a typical world domination scenario with a countdown clock to beat. Willis as the original Joe comes out of retirement, stoking the movie's firearms fetish with a tour of his house, straight out of Better Homes and Arsenals. This movie never realizes how ridiculous anything it does truly is, right up to the last-second promise of another sequel.

Steve Persall can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 893-8365. Follow him on Twitter @StevePersall.

Comments

Sunday’s sports on TV/radio

TODAYAutosMonster Energy Cup: Folds of Honor QuickTrip 5001 p.m.Fox;102.5-FMNHRA: Arizona Nationals (taped)6 p.m.FS1Baseball, spring trainingRays at Twins1 p.m.Fox Sun; 620-AMYankees at Phillies1 p.m.MLBBowlingPBA: Players Championship1:30 p.m.ESPNCo...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Orchestra explores spirit of Florida and the U.S. with ‘Triptych’ and ‘New World’ Symphony

Orchestra explores spirit of Florida and the U.S. with ‘Triptych’ and ‘New World’ Symphony

ST. PETERSBURG — One of the more important programs in the Florida Orchestra’s season combined Antonin Dvorak’s best known symphony with the debut of a major commission. Dvorak’s Symphony No. 9, better known as the "New World," reaches to the roots o...
Published: 02/24/18
Rotary prepares for annual ‘Wild Game Night’ in Plant City

Rotary prepares for annual ‘Wild Game Night’ in Plant City

PLANT CITY — The Rotary Club of Brandon will host a Wild Game Night at 6 p.m. on Friday (March 2) on Lupton’s Boggy Bottom Ranch, 8407 Lupton Place in Plant City. This is an annual stag-only event with $100 donations to benefit local charities.This i...
Published: 02/23/18
Updated: 02/24/18

Saturday’s sports on TV/radio

TODAYAutosXfinity: Rinnai 250 qualifying9 a.m.FS1Trucks: Active Pest Control 200 qualifying10:30 a.m.FS1Xfinity: Rinnai 2502 p.m.FS1Trucks: Active Pest Control 2004:30 p.m.FS1Baseball, spring trainingRays at Red Sox1 p.m.MLB;620-AMWhite Sox at Marine...
Published: 02/23/18
Some ideas for things to do outside in spring

Some ideas for things to do outside in spring

Published: 02/23/18
Annihilation' is strange, beautiful biological mystery

Annihilation' is strange, beautiful biological mystery

Published: 02/23/18
SoundBytes: The Shadowboxers, Lit, O-Town, Saba, Wolfgang Gartner and more

SoundBytes: The Shadowboxers, Lit, O-Town, Saba, Wolfgang Gartner and more

— The Shadowboxers will open for their mentor Justin Timberlake on May 15 at Amalie Arena in Tampa. You might remember the pop-rock group from their several performances around the 2017 College Football Playoff national championship game in Tam...
Published: 02/23/18
Top things to do on Friday

Top things to do on Friday

Here are our editors picks for things to do on Feb. 23.
Published: 02/23/18
Your 4-year-old daughter could land a role in ‘Waitress’ at the Straz

Your 4-year-old daughter could land a role in ‘Waitress’ at the Straz

TAMPA — Could your 4-year-old be the next Lulu? A touring Broadway show wants to find out. Waitress, which runs April 24-29 at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, is looking for a local 4- to 5-year old to play a small but c...
Published: 02/23/18
Top things to do on Friday, Feb. 23

Top things to do on Friday, Feb. 23

Blast Friday: The Romantics: The family-friendly food and craft vendor festival featuring a free live concert and a beer garden. 5:30 p.m., 400 Block of Cleveland Street, Osceola Avenue and Cleveland Street, Clearwater. Free. (727) 464-7200. Pasco C...
Published: 02/23/18