IMO, this movie was more like the Hama comics while the first movie was more like the Sunbow cartoons. I never cared for the comics.
You're right about this movie being more like the comics, but I totally disagree with your sentiment. I think Paramount should have gone to Larry Hama and let him write both movies. The comics were fantastic. Instead of taking the toys and turning them into silliness like the cartoon and first movie, he took the toys and used them to write engaging stories with realistic combat scenes, actual mortal losses and common sense.
As for Retaliation
-I still have some of the same gripes I had with the first movie, even though I liked this one better. The only vehicle I liked was the one Snake-Eyes and Jinx drove up the mountain, because it was the only one that half looked like something from ARAH (The A.W.E. Striker). Everything else, including the HISS tanks, just looked like "Let's throw shit together and make it look cool."
-Firefly is a saboteur and a demolitions expert. He's not
a microrobotics expert, and he sure as hell ain't Batman
. The mechanical fireflies and the explodoballs and the explodobike were asinine.
-I miss having the Baroness in it. She was the only thing I liked from the first movie.
-The Rock did better as Roadblock than I expected. Of course, his trademark M2 50 cal. got downgraded to a thirty, but it was still impressive.
-Everybody in America should have a house like General Colton's. Anti-gun activists be damned...
-At the awards ceremony, "Captain Jaye Burnett" was wearing an Army dress uniform...with a Marine Corps lapel pin. If you don't want it to be totally realistic, fine, but how 'bout a little basic research to get the frigging costumes right?
(sigh) Maybe they'll let Larry Hama write the next one...