I stand before you, humbled, and tasked with explaining, in comprehensible terms, just what the heck 'G.I. Joe: Retaliation' is all about. Attaining comprehensibility, however, is a chore the filmmakers didn't wrestle with, doubling-down on pure adrenaline and big movie star charisma. It's a risky move and sometimes it works. Sadly, this is not one of those cases.
While there are chuckles to be had (I mean, that Cobra Commander helmet is just too incredible to dismiss) there isn't enough whiz-bang in this film to fully deflect the utter lack of a story or absence of intriguing characters. It is, surprisingly, the lesser of the two 'G.I. Joe' films, with Stephen Sommers' 2009 'The Rise of Cobra' featuring much more team spirit, pep and fun.
The McClanes are a weirdly demanding family. They refuse to love husband and father John until he saves each of their lives from vicious terrorists: first his wife Holly ('Die Hard' and 'Die Hard 2'), then his daughter Lucy ('Live Free or Die Hard') and now his son Jack in 'A Good Day to Die Hard,' the latest and exponentially worst film in the 'Die Hard' franchise. How many more bad guys does John McClane have to kill to get his family to see that he really does care? More, it seems; the answer is always more.
Action stars like Bruce Willis are experiencing a renaissance of sorts. While Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone debuted 'The Last Stand' and 'Bullet to the Head' this year, Willis is also introducing his greatness to a new generation of movie goers with 'A Good Day to Die Hard,' 'G.I. Joe: Retaliation' and, coming later this year, 'Red 2,' which has just debuted its latest poster reminding us all that these star will never throw in the towel.
'Die Hard 5' wants you get some action this Valentine's Day. While 'Beautiful Creatures' and 'Warm Bodies' want you to appreciate the beauty of young love, the new trailer for the Bruce Willis- and Jai Courtney-led 'A Good Day to Die Hard' is all about blowing things up, jumping through windows and killing scumbags. But we're sure you can find some themes about kittens and rainbows somewhere.