If you recall, G.I. Joe: Retaliation was originally supposed to come out sometime during 2012 and was delayed due to the last minute 3-D conversion. If that was really the reason, then God help me, but Paramount really should have just gone with whatever it was and pushed it out last year. The 3-D is not worth it. I realize that I'm not a fan of it to begin with, but the way it was used here didn't add anything to Retaliation.
So Retaliation picks up sometime after the first film leaves off. Presumably, seeing the first film is probably helpful, but honestly, the plot of Retaliation is fairly straightforward, and the writers definitely kill you with redundancy. In case you missed it the first two times, we'll tell you another three. You know, just in case. And we'll use some of the most awkwardly written and stilted dialogue ever just to make it an even more enjoyable experience. Some of the most random jokes can be made with the dialogue, however, so thankfully not all is lost there. Character development is practically nonexistent, and what is there is so basic that it's laughable at best.
The film opens with Duke (Tatum) and Roadblock (Johnson) bromancing after a successful mission. After a betrayal from the disguised President decimates the Joes, they must regather to take down Cobra Commander and their usual other foes. There's a semi-side plot of Snake Eyes in Japan training and following up on his backstory about the murder of the Hard Master (worst name ever) that eventually ties into the overarching plot, but for a majority of the film, there are three distinct storylines that never transition smoothly. One minute you're in a desert in the Middle East, and then you're suddenly watching a sword fight on the side of a snowy mountain in Asia with no clue of how any of this will ever tie together. When it finally does, it's such a confusing mess that only makes sense in a Hollywood blockbuster.
Basically, this is a film with a giant budget that's going to be fun to sit on the couch and mock. It's rife with jokes to be made, but at least the action sequences are enjoyable so long as you suspend any knowledge of physics. Sure, there are some great one-liners here and there, but the plot is a mess, and the performances from the actors are lukewarm at best. Bruce Willis might as well have just phoned it in. Actually, I think he did. And Dwayne Johnson does his best, but he can't carry the movie singlehandedly.