Reel Critics: 'G.I. Joe' not for older Janes

"G.I. Joe: Retaliation" provides the expected heavy dose of testosterone-fueled action. Dwayne Johnson, Bruce Willis and Channing Tatum play the hard-charging hunks with comic book style. They are joined by hot babes Adrianne Palicki and Elodie Yung, who play their female G.I. Jane comrades.

Together, they all strive to save the planet from an evil genius bent on the total destruction of civilized life. The plot is absurd. Political reality is tossed out the window. The silly costumes and ninja pretensions are beyond ridiculous.

The special effects are first-rate. But they come at a constant, mind-numbing fever pitch. The King Kong-sized action is frenzied, relentless and overwhelming on every level. Needless to say, teenage male video gamers will love this movie. But the creepy gun worship on display will be disturbing to more mature viewers.

Skip party with this 'Host'

Zillions of dollars have been made on Stephenie Meyer's "Twilight" books and movies about vapid humans and non-humans in love. Now, with "The Host," we have vapid humans and aliens in love.

Planet Earth has been taken over by peaceful aliens called Souls. They insert themselves into the humans, or Hosts, and become placid, trusting and compliant. It's a world sans war, pollution and apparently sex.

Not surprisingly, some humans are resistant to this. One of them is Melanie (Saoirse Ronan), who becomes a Host, renamed Wanderer, while retaining her pretty human form. Melanie's mind is still intact, however, and she wants Wanderer to take them back to find her boyfriend and brother.

There's a lot of annoying internal dialogue. It gets even sillier when Wanderer falls for a hunky human, while Melanie still wants her guy. Is this a love triangle, a rectangle? A parallelogram?

Whatever, this bizarro world would put you to sleep were it not for Seeker (Diane Kruger), a fabulously chic Host whose job is to find and convert all humans while zipping around spectacular scenery in ultra-cool wheels.

Ronin, a gifted young Irish actress and Oscar nominee for "Atonement," does the best she can here with the stilted dialogue.

This slow-moving sci-fi made me feel like I'd been implanted with some narcoleptic alien. But alas, no fashion makeover or shiny sports car for me.

JOHN DEPKO is a retired senior investigator for the Orange County public defender's office. He lives in Costa Mesa and works as a licensed private investigator. SUSANNE PEREZ lives in Costa Mesa and is an executive assistant for a company in Irvine.

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