I'll be frank: I was hoping to duck G.I. Joe: Retaliation entirely. Yes, I'm Team Tatum. I'm with Sean on rooting for the Rock to save everything. And of course, I love me some Bruce Willis. But all I remember from the first movie was that (spoiler alert for G.I. Joe: Rise of the Cobra) Joseph Gordon Levitt becomes Cobra Commander, France gets devastated by Joe's in robo suits, and that I was equal parts bored and baffled watching it. So, when I attended an advance screening for G.I. Joe: Retaliation, my expectations were pretty low. Guys, I was in no way prepared for the insanity and awesomeness that played out before my very eyes over the next 110 minutes.

WARNING: spoilers below.

As someone who spent her childhood favoring Princess of Power She-Ra and the truly outrageous Jem over G.I. Joes, I worried my lack of familiarity with them could be a problem.

Things begin with a bang! Or to be more specific, an expertly executed G.I. Joe mission that introduces us to our heroes and director Jon M. Chu's high-energy action style. A quick but efficient intro tells me all I need to know to go on this ride. Game on.

Channing Tatum + The Rock = The perfect blend of machismo and self-mocking humor. If we could bottle the pair's dynamic chemistry, I'm confident we could power the entire country for at least five years.

To avoid spoilers, allow me to say just this: NOOOOOOOOOOO! I should have seen that coming. But still, guys, I'm hurting.

A jail so deep in the earth that it is in International Territory, plus a warden whose a douchebag in the vein of 1980s Gordon Gekko equals shit's about to get real. Let's do this!

To the filmmakers of G.I. Joe: Retaliation, that was all kinds of awesome. But I want to thank you in particular for the nonsensical but totally enjoyable shirt explosion Storm Shadow's ninja muscles cause. Everyone else: Byung-hun Lee deserves a Hollywood actioner of his own. Let's work on collectively willing that into existence.

Ray Stevenson as Firefly, you complete me. And let it be known, no one zings like Jonathan Price zings: "Firefly, it's good to know we're not running low on crazy."

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