Easter weekend serves up idiotic action and a sci-fi romance.
"G.I. Joe: Retaliation" brings back the Hasbro-inspired action franchise, this time taken over by Dwayne Johnson as the aptly named Roadblock, who has to lead the remaining Joes when an ambush decimates their ranks (and kills of Channing Tatum, the star of the last "G.I. Joe"). Betrayed and framed, the Joes figure out that the President (Jonathan Pryce) is actually an imposter working for the evil Cobra Commander, who has devised an evil plot to conquer the world. The action is frequent and chaotic, but presented without the over-the-top silliness that would make all the shooting and fighting any fun.
"The Host" is a sleek sci-fi romance, in which director-writer Andrew Niccol ("Gattaca," "In Time") puts a smart, glossy spin on "Twilight" author Stephenie Meyer's alien-invasion tale. Meyer's story is set in a near future when aliens have taken over the Earth and cleaned up all of our problems by inhabiting the bodies of humans. Melanie (Saoirse Ronan) is one of the few remaining humans, until she's caught and infected by an alien "soul." But Melanie stays tough, fighting her alien usurper from within. There's a silly teen romance (this is Stephenie Meyer, after all) but the sci-fi elements and the strong cast make for a better movie than you'd expect. (Read this interview with Meyer, which discusses how "Twilight" fans might react to Meyer's other work.)