On the scale of toylines that get turned into movies, 2009’s GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra fell somewhere between Michael Bay’s first two Transformers movies. It was slightly more of an incoherent mess with no regard for the source material than Transformers, but at least managed to not be an offensive and racist mess like Revenge of the Fallen. Mostly, it just made me sleepy. I actually fell asleep on my first two attempts to watch it, not getting all the way to the end until the third try. Like how you hear about mental techniques designed to help people withstand torture, I think my body has just been conditioned to shut down during Stephen Sommers movies. Even with a new director I was wary about a sequel, but the fact remains that way back at the tender age of 19, my very first tattoo was a Cobra insignia. I’m immensely fond of the original cartoon and the surprisingly well-written 80’s comic book series, and truly believe that somewhere in there lies the potential for a great series of films. When it comes to fulfilling that potential, GI Joe: Retaliation doesn’t quite get there, but it’s definitely aimed in the right direction.