Kick-ass sequel to a decent movie
This sequel kicks major ass. While the first film fell flat on ponderous buildup and self-seriousness, this film, like Terminator 2, evens out the tone to a crisp, with nothing too out of place. The CGI and action sequences weren't really anything new, but they were still thoroughly entertaining and riveting, particularly the mountainside ninja battle and the destruction of London. The casting is some of the best I have ever seen in an action movie, particularly Dwayne Johnson, Jonathan Pryce, and the king himself Bruce Willis, who all fit their roles perfectly (although I wish Willis got more screen time). And, in a significant step-up, the white house takeover plot was actually very intriguing and interesting, a vast improvement over the clunky and messy plot of the first film. The humor also worked better, largely due to the fact that it never takes itself too seriously. I also thought that, both in terms of characters and plot, the film was closer to the source material, particularly with Cobra, who finally regains his evil suit from the cartoon, an element which was not present in the previous film. But the plot, although interesting, was still filled with holes: how did Storm Shadow get Snake Eyes' suit? Where was Snake Eyes during all this? Where are the other G.I. Joes from the previous film? Where is Dennis Quaid? Why did Cobra abandon Destro? Why is the destruction of London almost completely glanced over? But these didn't get in the way too much. This movie is so cool that I saw it in the theater twice, and I don't regret the extra money I spent. Ultimately, G.I. Joe: Retaliation is fast, furious, fun, exciting, humorous, and engaging, one of the better movies of the year.
What other families should know
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism