G.I. Joe: Retaliation ★★★

Decent follow-up to the more-entertaining 2009 original, "Retaliation" could have used another 9 month delay to add even more Channing Tatum. Seriously, for all that he was one of the many weak links of the predecessor, his scenes at the start here were laugh-out-loud funny and some of the best parts of the movie. He's come a long way in the last few years, and his chemistry here with the Rock had a strong "21 Jump Street" vibe.

"Retaliation" is as barren on character development and logical plot as you would expect, but we both know you're here for the action. There's an absolute standout ninja-mountain set piece you've seen snippets of in the trailer; the whole thing is completely awesome and the highlight of the movie. Unfortunately the other action scenes are less memorable, consisting mainly of gun fights in bland industrial factories or underground bunkers. There are cooler set pieces in the '09 entry, and close-up shaky cam for the melee fights makes many unwelcome appearances here. Bruce Willis was also completely wasted: I would gladly have traded every second of his screen time for more Tatum-Rock shenanigans.

Overall, a passable action flick that could have benefited from even more retooling to make it a standout popcorn action entry.