Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Retaliatory Response To New G.I. Joe Trailer

The summer movie season is set to begin a week from Friday with the launch of Marvel's Avengers, which I'll have plenty to say about once it's here, and it looks to be rat-a-tat-tat almost every week thereafter, with some new blockbuster or other hitting screens. Oddly enough, one of movies I'm most -- and most surprisingly -- looking forward to, thanks to a very impressive first trailer is Paramount/Habro's G.I. Joe: Retaliation, which arrives in late June. I was on the other side of the fence with this film for the longest time, but thanks to a very impressive first trailer (as well as the Super Bowl spot last February), and consistent good buzz from those in the know, I've begun to come around.

Those positive vibes continue with the second full trailer, just released last night, which makes clear that while the Jon Chu-directed follow-up to 2009's lamentable G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra is a thematic sequel, it's a stylistic reboot. Retaliation appears to eschew the overt fantasy trappings of its predecessor and swap them out instead for a heightened reality feel that's more in line with the spirit of the property. That's manifested in little things, such as the use of actual machine guns instead of lasers, and Ray Park's Snake Eyes losing the skintight rubber suit from before in favor of more practical, segmented armor a la The Dark Knight.

Also helping for mainstream auds is clarification of Bruce Willis' role as General Joe Colton, the original G.I. Joe (though I kinda wish they'd given him a beard). Indeed, between Willis, Dwayne Johnson as Roadblock, and Ray Stevenson as Cobra saboteur Firefly, they've roped in a pretty impressive cast for the follow-on to a movie not that many people liked. With a cast like that, I guess it's no surprise why the trailer doesn't bother hiding the fact that Channing Tatum's Duke, the lead in the last movie, sure doesn't look like he makes it very far in this one.

Also of note is this very wide-ranging interview The Hollywood Reporter conducted with the director about his take on Joe, the decision to effectively reboot the franchise, and how they went about recruiting Johnson and Willis. I have to say, the more I hear from Chu, the more I feel like an ass for being so harsh in my initial comments when I heard he'd signed on to helm it with nothing but a couple of dance flicks and a Justin Bieber bio under his belt. Read the interview here, check out the new trailer below, and you tell me if I'm crazy to be getting my hopes up.

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