Sometimes it's good to just enjoy the magic of cinema and not think about it all too hard.
From that perspective, Retaliation was a roaring success.
Dwayne Johnson's Roadblock steals the show, but the moment where Stormshadow realizes Snake-Eyes is in his presence and the ensuing fight between them and all of the ninjas was something I've been waiting 30 years to see on the big screen. It did not disappoint.
By the way Byung-Hun Lee is amazing and I need to seek out more of his work.
And the Zeus super-weapon is a truly devastating way to negotiate with world's leaders.
There are some interesting tidbits that I assume will be the focus of a third film, if this one succeeds, and COBRA really upped the ante this time. Something I will say is that Cobra Commander managed to capture some of the menace that Darth Vader displayed in the Star Wars saga. I actually wanted to see more of him. And it was great to see Firefly (a favorite figure of mine) get some spotlight.
I can't say that it's a great film, but my inner 10 year old is pleased. If you liked the first one, you'll like the second one even more. I think this is a better movie, overall.
My biggest disappointment was not getting to see the previous film's Ripcord get wiped out. Who's hires a Wayans brother for a movie anyway?