Box art for G.I. Joe: Retaliation

  G.I. Joe: Retaliation

action & adventure, sci-fi & fantasy, thrillers

The greatest American Heroes are back and they've been set up to take the fall for a heinous crime they didn't commit.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
  • Audience Score

common sense

ON for kids age 13
4 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
0 out of 5
2 out of 5
Positive messages
2 out of 5
Positive role models
2 out of 5
2 out of 5
4 out of 5

Teens may like violent sequel, but it's too much for kids.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that G.I. Joe: Retaliation is the sequel to the much-maligned but financially successful G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, though it has many different characters (and, frankly, is far more entertaining, in a guilty-pleasure way). Like the first movie, Retaliation was inspired by the '80s cartoon/toy line and has constant (albeit minimally bloody/gory) action violence. Kids will likely want to see it because they're the ones who play with the toys, but there's a ton of fighting, punching, chasing, and explosions. And the city of London is systematically destroyed in one sequence, with apparently no consequences. A sexy female member of the team twice dresses in revealing clothing to distract men and get necessary information. She also undresses while a member of her team tries not to look. Language is limited to "hell" and "ass," though there are also two middle-finger gestures and one interrupted "mother-." While revenge is a running theme/motive, there are also messages about teamwork and characters learning to better themselves. Ultimately, because this sequel takes itself less seriously than the first movie did, it has a bit less edge and is a better fit for teens.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about G.I. Joe: Retaliation's violence. Do bloodless deaths have less impact than gorier ones?
  • It's also worth talking about the consumerism side of things. What do kids make of the fact that this is a movie based on a line of toys? Is the movie's goal to sell more toys? If not, what is it?
  • How does teamwork play into the movie? How well do these characters work together? How do their strengths and weaknesses mesh?
  • When Jaye uses her sex appeal to get information, what message does that send? How is using her body in this way different from using your body in a fight or a battle?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

Top Critic Reviews

Rotten: To borrow from Jack in the Box, "G. I. Joe: Retaliation" is one hot mess.

- Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times, Thursday, March 28, 2013

Rotten: Ever played a video game with a friend and had to sit there while he hogged it, leaving you to do nothing but watch for what seemed like hours?

- Bill Goodykoontz, Arizona Republic, Thursday, March 28, 2013

Rotten: That's not to say that this G.I. Joe is good, aside from a couple of dazzling action set pieces, but at least it's efficient in its muscular mindlessness.

- Christy Lemire, Associated Press, Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Audience Reviews

2 stars

Retaliation's a confusing one; it's a sequel AND a reboot. I don't see the need for a reboot; the first one was, albeit, a forgettable flick, but it wasn't such a stinkball. Regardless, "G.I. Joe: Retaliation" dropped into theaters and it delivered exactly what it intended to do: mind-numbing, over-the-top action. Yet, it was so unfulfilling. I think action directors need to understand something here. Though many old-school action flicks may not have the production value, over-the-top spectacle, or the creativity within its action scenes, audiences still left theaters thoroughly pleased. They resonated with the film and there was, for the most part, positive feedback. But why is it nowadays when we see even grander, more epic, and larger-than-life looking explosions and set-pieces that we leave extremely disappointed even when the exact purpose of watching that particular flick was for mindless action? I think it's the lack of magnetic characters and the director's lack of understanding the art of shooting not only engaging but memorable action set-pieces. Retaliation misses it's mark exactly for those two reasons. Hey, I'll be the first to admit: its predecessor had a horrible story, but there ain't much to draw up from its source material, and that's completely fine. In fact, the first live-action outing of G.I. Joe was perhaps more faithful to the show than Retaliation ever was, tonally that is. Right from the start, the film decides to throw in a screwball into the narrative, which admittedly surprised me, but right afterwards, the story lacks any sort of an engaging plot, heart, and the cartoon-y tone. Let's just put it like this: you just don't care what happens. Alright, so let's just brush that aside and admit that Retaliation's story sucks -- how's the action? It's bigger, it's shot with precision, but even more forgettable than "G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra". Don't get me wrong: from the moment you set your eyes on action-packed galore, it fills your senses. You're enamored and almost hypnotized by the endless explosion flurry. The second it ends, the second it leaves your mind. Retaliation's just another big budget, mindless action movie. Nothing new here. Just another forgettable, testosterone-packed flick thrown on top of an entire decade bloated with movies just as forgettable. The ninja cliffhanger-esque scene was pretty badass though.

- fb1463751009, Saturday, June 1, 2013

2 stars

A forgettable movie with forgettable acting. Not even this action packed drival will keep you entertained!

- FiLmCrAzY, Monday, May 13, 2013

4 stars

One spectacular Roller Coaster of pure action. While this movie suffers from an overly complicated script, it makes up for it in every way with Ninja scenes beyond those seen in a very long time, and great acting from the likes of Dwayne Johnson and Ray Park (Who plays Snake Eyes spectacularly without muttering a word). If you go to see this movie expecting an oscar contender you will be very disappointed, but if you just want an explosive, non-stop action movie, you've come to the right place.

- fb674646753, Friday, April 5, 2013