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FILM FANS: New 'G.I. Joe' crushes childhood memories

EDITOR'S NOTE: Film Fans features local resident reviewing the movie of the week: "G.I. Joe: Retaliation." Want to be a film fan? Email features@gwinnettdailypost.com.

1 and 1/2 stars out of 4

OK, I'll admit it here and now: I played with G.I. Joe when I was a kid. Nothing wrong with that. He was cool, and I collected an assortment of Joes and their various weapons. And they were "action figures," NOT dolls, I'll have you know ...

Having missed 2009's "G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra," I volunteered to review "G.I. Joe: Retaliation" with reasonably high hopes. The term "G.I. Joe" now refers to an elite military unit consisting of Roadblock (Dwayne Johnson), Duke (Channing Tatum), Flint (D.J. Cotrona) and others. The Joes are framed for crimes against the U.S. and mostly annihilated by an impostor U.S. president (Jonathan Pryce) who is in cahoots with Cobra Commander and his baddies seeking World Domination. The final smack down between the Joes and the Cobra forces happens at Fort Sumter, S.C., with the Joes aided by Gen. Colton (Bruce Willis) and his team of veteran soldiers.

Boy, what a glorious mess this movie turned out to be -- bullets and bombs galore, sparring ninjas and mayhem everywhere. The plot? It appeared to get blown to bits by the first 15 minutes. Acting? Yeah, right. At least there were some good quips and asides in the dialogue that saved this "G.I. Joe" from going totally AWOL.

-- Tim Weekley, Suwanee

2 stars out of 4

The movie started out good, but then they killed off Duke (Channing Tatum) and I think I was so disappointed, I couldn't enjoy the rest of the movie. I didn't understand the reason behind killing him off, for the chemistry between him and Roadblock (Dwayne Johnson) was so great at the beginning. The movie is action packed but disappointing on the overall storyline. I think it would have been a flop if it didn't have The Rock in it as a main character and they should have had more scenes with Bruce Willis. The fight scene on the side of the mountain was pretty intense and different, made me hold my breath, but if you are thinking of seeing this flick, I would say save your money and rent it.

-- Kelly Cain, Lawrenceville

2 stars out of 4

"G.I. Joe: Retaliation" was a simple-minded action movie that was so bland that I passed out a few times until my significant other elbowed me. This is in comparison with "Olympus Has Fallen," which I saw last week which keep me mostly awake.

Why would a grown man watch "G.I. Joe," knowing that the first installment of this franchise stunk? The trailers, of course, and the long ago forgotten role that actual G.I. Joe's are fondly remembered from his childhood. The guns, advanced tanks, the kung fu/ninja oriental fight action made my inner child smile, but the one dimensional characters made me want to reminisce about my war games prior to the video age. Thus, not withstanding Bruce Willis, Channing Tatum and Adrianne Palicki acting or lack of it, the movie was just an OK diversion this past Easter weekend.

And yes, just wait for it to show up in your local DVD rental kiosk to watch it.

-- Alfred Richner, Duluth