G.I. Joe: Retaliation
G.I. Joe Retaliation

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Jon M. Chu
Produced by Lorenzo di Bonaventura
Brian Goldner
Written by Rhett Reese
Paul Wernick
Based on G.I. Joe
by Hasbro
Starring D.J. Cotrona
Byung-hun Lee
Adrianne Palicki
Ray Park
Jonathan Pryce
Ray Stevenson
Channing Tatum
Bruce Willis
Dwayne Johnson
Music by Henry Jackman
Cinematography Stephen F. Windon
Editied by Roger Barton
Jim May
Production company Di Bonaventura Pictures
Hasbro Studios
Skydance Productions
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures
Release date February 21, 2013 (France)
February 22, 2013 (United States)
Running time 110 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $155 million
Box office $975.7 million

G.I. Joe: Retaliation is a 2013 American military science fiction action film directed by Jon M. Chu and written by Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, based on Hasbro's G.I. Joe toy, comic, and media franchise. It is a sequel to 2009's G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, while also serving as a soft reboot of the franchise and the twelveth film in the Hasbro Cinematic UniverseRetaliation features an ensemble cast with Byung-hun LeeRay ParkJonathan PryceArnold Vosloo, and Channing Tatum reprising their roles from the first film. Luke Bracey and Robert Baker take over the role of Cobra Commander, replacing Joseph Gordon-LevittDwayne JohnsonD. J. CotronaAdrianne PalickiRay Stevenson, and Bruce Willis round out the principal cast.

In the film, with Cobra operative Zartan still impersonating the President of the United States, the terrorist organization is able to frame the Joes as traitors, and have them nearly annihilated in an airstrike. Cobra Commander places the world leaders under Cobra's control, and gains access to their advanced warheads. Outnumbered and outgunned, the surviving Joes form a plan with the original G.I. Joe, General Joseph Colton, to overthrow the Cobra Commander and his allies.

The film was released in North America on February 22, 2013 and received generally negative reviews, but was a box office success, grossing over $975 million worldwide.


Following the events of First StrikeDuke (Channing Tatum) has become the leader of the G.I. Joe unit, which is framed for stealing nuclear warheads from Pakistan by Zartan (Arnold Vosloo), who is impersonating the President of the United States (Jonathan Pryce). The unit is subsequently eliminated in a military air strike with Duke as one of the casualties. The only survivors are Roadblock (Dwayne Johnson), Flint (D.J. Cotrona), and Lady Jaye (Adrianne Palicki).

Meanwhile, Storm Shadow (Byung-hun Lee) and Firefly (Ray Stevenson) rescue Cobra Commander (Luke Bracey) from an underground maximum-security prison in Germany, leaving Destro behind. Storm Shadow is injured during the escape and retreats to a temple in the Himalayas to recover. Upon learning that he is alive, the Blind Master (RZA), leader of the Arashikage Clan, sends Snake Eyes (Ray Park) and his apprentice Jinx (Élodie Yung), Storm Shadow's cousin, to capture Storm Shadow so he can answer for the murder of his uncle, the Hard Master.

Roadblock, Flint, and Lady Jaye return to the United States where they set up a base of operations in a rundown gym. After Zartan announces that Cobra will replace the Joes as the premier U.S. special forces unit, Lady Jaye deduces that someone is impersonating the President, and Roadblock leads them to General Joseph Colton (Bruce Willis), who provides them with weapons, and helps them infiltrate a fundraising event that the President will be attending. Lady Jaye steals a sample of the President's DNA and confirms that he is Zartan. They escape after a confrontation with Firefly and Zandar (Matt Gerald), the head of the U.S. Secret Service's Presidential Detail and a member of Cobra.

Snake Eyes and Jinx locate and capture Storm Shadow after a battle with ninjas and take him to Japan, where Storm Shadow reveals that Zartan murdered the Hard Master, and that he joined Cobra to avenge his uncle. Storm Shadow then accompanies Snake Eyes and Jinx as they join the Joes' efforts to stop Cobra.

Zartan invites the world leaders to a summit at historic Fort Sumter, where he blackmails them into disabling their nuclear arsenals, and reveals that he has created Project Zeus: seven orbital kinetic bombardment weapons of mass destruction at his command. He destroys Central London to prove his superiority, and threatens to destroy other capitals if the countries don't submit to Cobra. Storm Shadow betrays Cobra Commander and kills Zartan, revealing Cobra's deception to the world leaders. While Snake Eyes, Jinx, and Flint fight Cobra's soldiers, Cobra Commander activates the remaining six weapons and instructs Firefly to protect the launch device. Firefly is killed in combat by Roadblock, who deactivates and destroys the orbital weapons. Meanwhile, Colton and Lady Jaye rescue the President.

Cobra Commander escapes during the battle and Storm Shadow disappears after avenging his uncle. The real President addresses the nation at a White House ceremony where Roadblock, Lady Jaye, Flint, Jinx, and Snake Eyes are commemorated as heroes. Colton presents Roadblock with an M1911 pistol that belonged to General George S. Patton, to use when he finally finds Cobra Commander and to avenge Duke and the other Joes. Roadblock proudly raises the weapon and fires a single shot in honor of his fallen comrades.


G.I. JoeEdit


Other charactersEdit



After the financially successful release of The Rise of Cobra, Rob Moore, the studio vice chairman of Paramount Pictures, stated in 2009 that a sequel would be developed. In January 2011, Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, the writers of Zombieland, were hired to write the script for the sequel.[1][2] The movie was originally thought to be titled G.I. Joe: Cobra Strikes,[3] which was later denied by Reese.[4] Stephen Sommers was originally going to return as director of the sequel, but Paramount Pictures announced in February 2011 that Jon Chu would direct the sequel.[5][6] In July 2011, the sequel's name was revealed to be G.I. Joe: Retaliation.[7][8] Chu would later declare that Paramount wanted a reboot that also served as a sequel to The Rise of Cobra since "a lot of people saw the first movie so we don't want to alienate that and redo the whole thing."[9]


In January 2011, it was confirmed that Byung-hun Lee would reprise his role as Storm Shadow in the sequel.[10][11] Channing Tatum and Ray Park also returned, as Duke and Snake Eyes, respectively. Rachel Nichols, the actress who played Scarlett in the first film, stated that most cast members would not be returning, except for the three aforementioned actors.[12] In March 2011, Sienna Miller stated that she would not be returning for a sequel.[13] Joseph Gordon-Levitt also confirmed that he would not be returning as Cobra Commander in the sequel.[14]

In June 2011, Dwayne Johnson was cast as Roadblock,[15] D.J. Cotrona and RZA were cast as Flint and Blind Master respectively,[16] while Élodie Yung was in talks for the role of Jinx.[17] In July 2011, Adrianne Palicki was confirmed for the lead female role of Lady Jaye,[18][19] and Ray Stevenson was confirmed to portray the villain Firefly.[20][21] Arnold Vosloo also confirmed that he would reprise his role of Zartan,[22] although in the final film Vosloo appears only in a couple of non-dialogue scenes, with Jonathan Pryce playing Zartan in most scenes. Joseph Mazzello was confirmed to play Mouse.[23] In August 2011, Walton Goggins was added as Warden Nigel James,[24] and it was confirmed that Bruce Willis was cast to star in the film as the original G.I. Joe.[25][26] The character of Joe Colton was a replacement for fan-favorite Joe character Sgt. Slaughter. Sgt. Slaughter stated that he "was originally supposed to be the part of Bruce Willis' [as] Sgt. Slaughter but because we had a conflict in toy companies, Hasbro and Mattel, I wasn't able to do it. It's one of those things, Rock (Dwayne Johnson) doesn't have a contract so he can do what he wants to do and he's been very successful".Template:Citation needed

In September, a casting call sheet leaked to the Internet revealed that Cobra Commander would appear in the sequel, though it was unknown who would play the character.[27] Chu said that fans would get a glimpse of Destro in the film, but Christopher Eccleston would not reprise his role in the sequel.[28] On May 1, 2012, it was confirmed by Jon Chu that G.I. Joe: Retaliation's Cobra Commander is Rex Lewis, the same character that Joseph Gordon-Levitt played in The Rise of Cobra.[29] Actor Robert Baker confirmed that he is the voice of Cobra Commander in the sequel.[30]


Principal photography began in August 2011 in Louisiana.[7][31] On November 22, 2011, a crew member died in an accident at a New Orleans warehouse that was serving as a soundstage for the production. The incident happened while crew members were changing out a set.[32] The battle on the Himalayas was shot in a New Orleans warehouse previously used to build NASA rockets, that had been fitted with a green screen wall at a very steep angle with a lot of rigging above to swing the stunt people through.[33]

Fort Pike in Louisiana stands in for Fort Sumter in South Carolina as the site of the climactic summit meeting of the leaders of nuclear-armed countries.

Visual effectsEdit

Retaliation had 700 visual effects shots,[34] which were mostly handled by three effects companies.[33] Visual effects supervisor Zachary Kinnery declared that while the visuals aimed for the "big and bold" typical of the franchise, Retaliation would be the first to attempt "a bit more of that gritty realism."[35] The major part of the effects was given to Digital Domain, which for 227 effects created digital vehicles and aircraft that had to "look fantastic but which are also plausible", given they had to match practical models, the Zeus satellite and a sequence where Zartan shows his nanomite-related disguise to the president - done with the same head replacement software developed for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and Tron: Legacy. Industrial Light & Magic made the London destruction, a digital White House, and the mountain sword fight, which had computer-generated backgrounds and digital augmentation of the stunt people's performance. Method Studios was responsible for the desert attack, Firefly's explosive bugs, and the malfunction on the underground prison.[33][34][36] Saints LA handled minor effects such as compositing and news graphics.[37]


The film's score was composed by Henry Jackman. A soundtrack of the score was released in April 2013.


The film was released in 3D and IMAX 3D on February 22, 2013.

Ban in PakistanEdit

The film was banned by the Central Board of Film Censors of Pakistan due to initial scenes at the beginning of the movie which depict the country negatively, according to film censor board officials. A Karachi-based cinema posted on its Facebook page that the film would not be screened due to restrictions by the censor board. The censorship was due to the film's depiction of Pakistan as an unstable state and the fictional portrayal of a "foreign invasion of Pakistan’s nuclear installations", which caught the ire of film censor authorities. Consequently, restrictions were imposed on screening the movie countrywide. According to an official at the censor board, the film portrayed Pakistan negatively not only on the issue of the War on Terror but also on the international standing of the country: "There is a scene which shows the assassination of the Pakistani president and the imposition of martial law, which is not a fair representation of the country." Another cinema official explained "There were obviously several objectionable things which would never have passed the censors, but these things are also relevant to the content of the film."


On December 12, 2011, the premiere trailer for the film was released on YouTube exclusively from The trailer itself features a remix of the White Stripes' song "Seven Nation Army" by The Glitch Mob. Following the release of the trailer, Interview magazine featured G.I. Joe: Retaliation in "Thursday video Face-Off" against the indie film Alter Egos on January 12, 2012. A shorter teaser trailer for the film aired during Super Bowl XLVI, containing music by Jay-Z. A Japanese trailer focusing on actor Byung-hun Lee was released in April 2012. The second full trailer made its debut on April 24, 2012, containing a viral marketing initiative inviting viewers to interact with a website and Facebook application for the film. On December 13, 2012, a third trailer was released featuring more footage of London's destruction.

A toyline for the film was confirmed by Hasbro in February 2012. The initial assortments of figures, vehicles, and role-play items were shipped to retailers, and appeared on store shelves in May 2012. A Variety article was published stating that the already released figures had been pulled from the shelves and recalled by Hasbro, although the company's official statement indicated that existing product would be sold through. New product shipments were halted by Hasbro, but existing Retaliation figures were available in Target, Wal-Mart, and Toys R Us as late as December 2012. The toyline was re-released in the United States in February 2013. A four-part limited series comic book titled G.I. Joe: Retaliation Movie Prequel was published by IDW Publishing from February 2012 to April 2012. Written by John Barber, it acted as a prequel to the 2013 movie.

Home media Edit

G.I. Joe: Retaliation was released on DVD, Blu-ray and Blu-ray 3D on June 30, 2013.[38] A Blu-ray "Extended Action Cut" added 12 minutes of footage and uncensored violence was also available, with the United States version being a Best Buy exclusive.[39]

The film topped No. 1 on both the Blu-ray and DVD sales charts with at least 54% of both Blu-ray and DVD units sold.[40] The film also topped weekend rentals as well.[41]


Box officeEdit

Critical response Edit

The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported a 28% approval rating with an average rating of 4.5/10 based on 161 reviews. The website's consensus reads, "Though arguably superior to its predecessor, G.I. Joe: Retaliation is overwhelmed by its nonstop action and too nonsensical and vapid to leave a lasting impression." At Metacritic, which assigns a weighted average rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the film has received an average score of 41%, indicating "mixed or average reviews", based on 31 critics, which was higher than the first film's 32% average score.

Alan Scherstuhl of The Village Voice wrote in a positive review that "this [movie] pushes right past competent into mostly legitimately enjoyable" but added that "the movie is still dumb as catbutt. It's an honest and accomplished dumbness, however, where the stupidest stuff seems to be there because the movie would be less fun without it." The Hollywood Reporter's Todd McCarthy was critical about the film's use of 3D and accurate reflection of the franchise's comic book and cartoon origins, but predicted it would still earn better than its predecessor, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra. Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly gave the film a grade of "B-", calling it "well-executed technocratic action fluff" and commented: "In its dehumanized and trivial way, it's a triumph of razor-sharp, hyper-violent style over formulaic substance ... Hollywood has now evolved to the point that it can deliver these kinds of thrills with maximum brute force and keep the impact so light that the result can still be regarded as a 'harmless' diversion for 14-year-olds." Glen Heath Jr. of Slant Magazine gave it two out of four stars, criticizing the film's "cut-happy style" and plot, but lauding the action sequences and Chu's direction as "poetry in high-speed motion." Writing for Indiewire's The Playlist Blog, Todd Gilchrist gave the film a "B-" and wrote: "As one might expect, there are more than a handful of loose ends once justice has been served, but there’s something to be said for a film which aims to please in a sincere and straightforward way, without attempting to be the biggest ever. 'Retaliation' is no masterpiece, but it’s a movie whose fun doesn’t feel like a four-letter word"

In a negative review, Betsey Sharkey of the Los Angeles Times panned the "overwhelmingly complicated, globe-hopping, enemies within, enemies without story line" and 3D but noted that "the humor, when it works, offers 'Retaliation' some redemption." She ended with: "It's convoluted. Frankly no one should have to think that hard to keep up with the Joes." Another negative review came from Variety Magazine's Justin Chang, who ridiculed the movie's large-scale destruction of foreign cities, writing: "Audiences who thrilled to the sight of Paris under biochemical attack in Cobra will be pleased to watch London endure an even more horrific fate here, although the sequence is tossed off in quick, almost ho-hum fashion, with no time to dwell on anything so exquisitely crass as the spectacle of the Eiffel Tower collapsing." He summarized the movie as "a more straight-faced brand of idiocy than its cheerfully dumb 2009 predecessor."

PopMatters journalist J.C. Maçek III wrote "For fans who bought the toys, watched the cartoon and read the comics during the ‘80s and now have like-aged children of their own (all of which I did and do), might I suggest proceeding to watch this fun film with your kids, but compromise so that you can leave the commentary track on. The film will remain a treat for the eyes, but you can more easily gloss over those parts that will make you apologize to your brain."

Writing for Empire magazine, Olly Richards gave the movie 2 stars out of 5 and compared it unfavorably with its predecessor, writing: "The first film you could at least laugh at. This takes all its silly ingredients and smushes them down flat. 'Retaliation' over-promises and under-delivers." Richard Roeper of Chicago Sun Times gave the movie 1.5 stars out of a possible four, branding it a "ridiculous and overblown debacle" that contained "nothing but well-packaged garbage" and further adding: "To say 'G.I. Joe: Retaliation' is a video game for the big screen is to insult a number of video games that are far more creative, challenging and better-looking."

Despite the negative critical response, audiences responded favorably. CinemaScore polls found that audiences gave the film an average grade of A-minus.


Year Award Category Nominee Result Ref
2012 Golden Trailer Awards 2012 Best Action Teaser Paramount Pictures and The AV Squad Nominated
2013 Golden Trailer Awards 2013 Best Action Trailer Paramount Pictures & Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Nominated
IGN Summer Movie Awards Best Action Movie G.I. Joe: Retaliation Nominated
2013 Teen Choice Awards Choice Movie: Action G.I. Joe: Retaliation Nominated
Choice Movie Actor: Action Dwayne Johnson Nominated
Choice Movie Actress: Action Adrianne Palicki Nominated
Choice Movie: Scene Stealer Channing Tatum Nominated
2014 Acapulco Black Film Festival Hollywood Award Artist of the Year Dwayne Johnson (for Furious 6, Pain & Gain, and Snitch) Nominated
ASCAP Film and Television Music Awards Top Box Office Films Henry Jackman Won
2014 Kids' Choice Awards Favorite Male Butt Kicker Dwayne Johnson Nominated
2014 World Stunt Awards Best Stunt Rigging Kurt D. Lott for the Himalayan Mountain Sequence Nominated

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