G.I. Joe: Retaliation – 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review

G.I. Joe: Retaliation

Rarely, a sequel is actually better than its predecessor, but it should come easy with G.I. Joe: Retaliation. The follow-up sticks close to the source material, which is not what the profoundly stupid G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra did. The film also amps up on the grounded action that the whole toy line is based on. It’s the sort of action film that’s mindless, straightforward, and muy macho. If that’s your jam, then this is a G.I. Joe film that’s going to please you quite a bit.

At the time, Jon M. Chu didn’t fit the bill as someone who would a massive action movie like this, but surprisingly, he knows his stuff and has a healthy respect for the source material. G.I. Joe: Retaliation has a reverence for the source material that should delight those familiar with the G.I. Joe toy line.

Unfortunately, the story is still relatively stupid. Yes, I realize that this is a movie based on a cartoon based on a comic book designed to sell toys to kids. Nevertheless, the story is still all over the place and full of glaring plot holes. Not to mention, they kill off Duke early on in the film, which is a shame because the chemistry between Channing Tatum and Dwayne Johnson is incredible. 

Speaking of Johnson, his charm and physique are definitely used to good effect in Retaliation. Adrianne Palicki’s Lady Jaye is less tomboyish than her original toy counterpart, but Palicki still pulls it off beautifully. Sadly, Bruce Willis is barely in the film and provides an “I’m just here to get paid” performance.

As a whole, G.I. Joe: Retaliation is a vast improvement over the godawful Rise of Cobra. Sure, it’s not a particularly high bar, but at least they tried this time. Regardless, the film is still not particularly good. However, if you’re looking for a mindless action movie to watch, then you’ve come to the right place.

Movie Rating: 3/5 atoms

G.I. Joe: Retaliation - Channing Tatum and Dwayne Johnson


G.I. Joe: Retaliation hits Ultra HD Blu-ray with an HDR transfer and a 2.40:1 aspect ratio. Natural-looking contrast leads to excellent brightness and deep blacks with no shadow loss. The UHD release also leads to some bold rich colors — especially the red from the explosion fire and the overall warm temperature of the picture. Not to mention, the green, such as the grass and trees, has various shades that go nicely with the nice-looking blue skies. There are also super clear details throughout. The pores, hair, wounds, scars, practical makeup effects, and sweat are all crisp. You can see some medium-sized film grain in the film too. Overall, this is a pretty good video transfer.

Video Rating: 4.5/5 atoms

G.I. Joe: Retaliation - Elodie Yung


G.I. Joe: Retaliation hits Ultra HD Blu-ray with a 7.1 Dolby TrueHD Master Audio track. As you can probably tell, this particular audio mix was ported over from the Blu-ray release. Regardless, it has a distinct and entertaining use of sound effects in this mix. For example, when explosions occur, sound effects of debris fly across the soundstage. Also, the soundstage comes alive when Firefly’s fireflies fly across all channels. There’s a delightful arrangement of atmospheric effects that blend together well with the rest of the mix. Not to mention, Henry Jackman’s score fills up the soundstage. With everything that’s going on in the mix, the dialogue remains crisp and audible throughout. Overall, this is a good mix despite not being an Atmos mix.

Audio Rating: 4.5/5 atoms

G.I. Joe: Retaliation - Adrianne Palicki

Special Features

G.I. Joe: Retaliation‘s Ultra HD Blu-ray disc doesn’t have any special features on it. However, you can find the following special features on the 1080p Blu-ray disc:

  • Commentary by Director Jon M. Chu and Producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura
  • G.I. Joe Declassified
    • Mission Briefing
    • Deployment
    • Two Ninjas
    • The Desert Attack
    • Cobra Strikes
    • The Lone Soldiers
    • The Monastery
    • Fort Sumter
  • Deleted Scenes
    • Pakistani President Assassinated
    • Interns
    • Arlington

In the audio commentary, director John M. Chu and producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura deliver a satisfying, balanced track where they cover a wide array of topics. The track doesn’t reinvent the wheel, but it does offer people a solid insight into the making of the film.

This production documentary is segmented into eight parts that can be played without stopping or individually. “Declassified” hits most of the typical talking points that you’d expect to see in a making-of featurette: casting, stunts, wardrobe, production design, visual effects, etc. So expect to see a lot of the good parts behind the production, but don’t expect to see any of the numerous production troubles. The deleted scenes included don’t add much to the overall film.

Special Features Rating: 3/5 atoms

Overall, G.I. Joe: Retaliation is a massive upgrade over the original film, but that’s not saying much. The film is entertaining, but it’s still ridiculously dumb and full of flaws. Both the video and audio are satisfactory, and the bonus features are good despite being all legacy features.

Overall Rating: 4/5 atoms

G.I. Joe: Retaliation is now available in stores on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray.

This Blu-ray was reviewed using a retail/advance copy/unit provided by Paramount Home Entertainment.

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