November 06, 2021
A franchise constructed around action figures, and it shows. There's a kind of emptiness that surrounds these films, more so than with other big franchise titles. There are no recognizable leads, no charismatic bad guys, no deep lore, even though Retaliation tries its best to fake all these things.
The bad guys have found a way to impersonate the American president. His first action is to get rid of the Joe forces, an elite task force that is considered to be one of the best in the world. Only a few of them survive the attack. They go undercover, hoping to find out who targeted them and what their plan is.
It's a good thing the film doesn't seem to be taking itself too serious. Johnson and Tatum are pretty silly, the rest of the cast tries to follow their lead (with varying success). There are some decent action scenes, but it's not really enough to save the film. It's borderline okayish as a basic blockbuster, just don't expect anything more.