Victor S. K. P.’s review published on Letterboxd:
Note: I haven't seen the original film. Or the cartoon. Or anything G. I. Joe related Hell, I didn't even know what a G. I. Joe was...
Roadblock: In the immortal words of Jay-Z: "Whatever deity may guide my life, Dear Lord don't let me die tonight!"
Honestly, this film was disappointing. I expected action from start to finish, with epic one liners, and preferably some wit throughout the entire film. What I got was one great, but short, action sequence in the middle, a tiny one at the start, and one mild one in the end. All were short. And that sums up my problem with this film,. Whereas it was campy in some places, it wanted a serious tone, too, and that took a lot of the fun out of it...
I wanted to see The Rock ram into his enemies, smash them to a pulp. The other guy from the G. I. Joe squad, being the smartass that he was clearly, at some point, intended to be. I wanted to see Bruce Willis add some Bruce Willisism to the film from start, to finish.
And what did I get?
Well, admittedly, I partly got what I wanted, but in minimum quantity. Meaning The Rock did beat up a few people, but that's the problem -- a few people. Bruce Willis did get one cool moment, but it was spoiled entirely in the trailer. And the guy who was clearly designed to be a sentimental smartass, was neither.
Now, the film is never actually boring, but that is simply the cast's achievement, since they're perfect in their roles. The rest just feels like filler. The film was all over the place, with a lot of "Get from point A, to point B, and punch two guys in the face in the process. No, no. Not more than two guys. We're running out of stuntmen. How? Well, The Rock hits them too damn hard, and we can't afford any more, especially with the injuries."
And sure, this film definitely has its moments, but they're few, and far in between. They should have filled the entire film with either cheesy dialogue, or over the top action sequences, with a minimum amount of filler. And I suppose some character development would be nice, too, since these are pretty cool characters.
But, hey. That's what sequels are for. Am I right?
★★½: Though it may have some good elements, they're counterbalanced by negatives.