Okay, full disclosure. When I saw this story posted, I jumped at it because I’m one of the few schmoes to thoroughly love Tomax and Xamot. When I was a boy collecting G.I. Joes, I had a really clear idea of right and wrong. And I was a wrestling fan, so the concept of good vs. bad was strong thanks Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair. But I’ve got to admit it, whenever the twins fought the Joes during my play periods, I let the twins win. I’m not proud of it, and that approach may have easily tainted my views a bit in growing up. So, here’s the deal – when I read that the next Joe film might bring in the Crimson Guard, I was secretly hoping that the movie would end in a Joe loss. I know…I’m horrible. (more…)
When Jon M. Chu (Step Up 2: The Streets, Step Up 3D, Justin Bieber: Never Say Never) landed the directors chair for G.I. Joe: Retaliation a couple of years ago, many fans were skeptical he could pull off a decent military based movie. Although the film has its issues, it’s leagues ahead of the first in the franchise and has raked in $365 million worldwide.
The production team still has to hire a writer and get a script cranked out. Early word is that producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura wants the next G.I.Joe installment to focus on the Ninja side. G.I. Joe 4 concept work and early production should keep chugging along even though Chu also has the new Masters of the Universe reboot on his directorial plate.
Will Roadblock (Dwayne Johnson), Colton (Bruce Willis), and the others be back? It’s still a little early to tell on that one, but it wouldn’t surprise me if they at least made a cameo appearance.
What do you want to see in another G.I. Joe movie? I want more Cobra, bigger secret volcano bases and crazy world killing weapons.
The one persistent thought that went through my mind while watching G.I. Joe: Retaliation was that the childhood adventures I puppeteered with my G.I. Joe figures where much more creative and fun than anything cooked up by the filmmakers in charge of this franchise. Of course, I would throw Transformers, Star Wars guys, He-Man and other toys into the mix, an impractical possibility on a corporate and imaginative level, but it was infinitely more satisfying than what they’ve put up on screen. Twice. And in spire of all the different players I threw in during my playtime, infinitely more logical too.
But if there’s a single improvement that G.I. Joe: Retaliation makes over it’s predecessor, The Rise of Cobra, it’s that it feels like someone put two minutes of research into military tactics and structure, not to mention two minutes of research into the actual franchise it’s based on. Basically, it looks like how a G.I. Joe movie should look, at least until Ray Stevenson as Cobra merc Firefly unleashes a flurry of mechanical a fireflies with exploding butts while riding a motorcycle that separates into several independent rocket propelled grenades. But I digress.
This sequel is set several of years after the original, and the “Nanomite Wars” have come and gone. Duke (Channing Tatum) now leads G.I. Joe, and the President (Jonathan Pryce) is still Zartan (Arnold Vosloo) in disguise. But now’s the time that Cobra is putting their master plan into motion. Framing the Joes for the theft of a nuclear weapon from Pakistan, Zartan takes the chance to use his executive privilege to eliminate them, and then calls for the worldwide disarmament of all nuclear weapons. But before you can say “peacenik,” three Joes survived the Cobra blitz, and Roadblock (Dwayne Johnson) leads Flint (D.J. Cotrona) and Lady Jaye (Adrianna Palicki) come back to America to, well, retaliate.
First off all, while I appreciate the effort to make this grounded and suggest that this takes place in something resembling the real world, the idea of the Joes saving defectors from North Korea and securing loose nukes in Pakistan seems rather a far cry from the old storylines involving Cobra’s weather control machine and stealing the DNA of the world’s greatest tyrants to create a super Cobra-leading tyrant. It’s just jarring is all, like suddenly seeing Stephen Colbert host the CBS Evening News.
But that would be bad enough if they hadn’t of kept a lot of that silliness from the first movie. There’s a rather elongated scene where Roadblock and Duke play Call of Duty and suck, and at one point Cobra Commander tells Destro that he’s “out of the band.” Justified’s Walton Goggins also appears as the warden of Cobra Commander’s prison, and it seems like for a minute that he’s in an entirely different movie all together. In fact, I would say that G.I. Joe: Retaliation is actually made up of about three or four different movies making it a Russian nesting doll of a blockbuster. There’s the war movie, the fugitive movie, the kung-fu movie, and something resembling a combination platter or RED, The Rock, Die Another Day, Battleship, Olympus Has Fallen, Red Dawn and xXx: State of the Union. Basically, the screenwriters have Netflix and proved it.
I give kudos to Dwayne Johnson through because Retaliation‘s many faults he’s still a reliable and magnetic leading man. Poor Channing Tatum gets the shaft (again) despite the fact that some of the rumors of Retaliation’s delay revolved around capitalizing on the actor’s rising stardom, Duke’s total screentime doesn’t mount to a hill of beans. But if you can say anything for Tatum it’s that his limited presence makes more of an impression than D.J. Cotrona, and he has more of a character than Bruce Willis’ General Colton, who basically comes across as Bruce Willis with a rank. (I’m genuinely surprised he didn’t get a “Yippee Ki-yay!” at any point.) The film does make good use of Adrianna Palicki’s assets, but probably not in the way that she, or any other even marginally feminist viewer of G.I. Joe might like. One wonders if the term “irony” passed through the minds of director Jon M. Chu when he followed up a scene of Lady Jaye bristling at Gen Colton’s characterization of her as a secretary, with a scene of Jaye in sweats using her sex appeal to lure the President’s chief of staff into a kidnapping.
Speaking of Chu, I wonder if he was in over his head. His past experience capturing poppin’ fresh dance moves in the Step-Up series of films and the Justin Bieber documentary doesn’t exactly prepare one for making a big Hollywood action movie. But the action in Retaliation, I have to say, is fine. Where the film is lacking is tight editing, pacing and direction. Logic would have also been nice, but I don’t expect miracles from these things. Really though, when the doomsday plan seems horribly stupid and the machine by which you’ll achieve it has a super lame function, is saving the world really such a big deal. And by the way, ninja’s are cool because they’re mysterious, so going into the lengthy backstory of the ancient Snake Eyes/Storm Shadow rivalry is as counterproductive as it is lame.
But did the film do anything right? As I said, Johnson was solid, and I liked the tangible parts of this world, like how all the vehicles used looked real. And by the way, thanks for actually giving us a Cobra Commander we can recognize, although I still miss Chris Latta‘s patented screeching voice ordering Cobra’s retreat. But if there is to be a G.I. Joe 3, and there’s no reason to expect that there won’t be, maybe we can try something serious, something that seems less jokey all the time. And we need to reaffirm the proper definition of terrorist. A terrorist group, like Cobra’s supposed to be, isn’t going to squander time putting a puppet President in place, so that the fake President can organize a world conference to get rid of nuclear weapons. If they can get to the President, they’re going to kill him on live TV for the shock value and damn the consequences. (Although the White House draped in Cobra flags is till a cool visual.)
So let’s consider how a G.I. Joe movie should really look. Below is a clip of the opening to the animated 1987 G.I. Joe The Movie. Now forgetting all the insane snake people, Nemesis Enforcer and Cobra-La bull$#!% that follows in the next 77 minutes, this three minute intro has everything a G.I. Joe movie should: big action, a simple, understandable plot and some damn satisfying patriotic imagery. “Yo Joe!” indeed.
The long, long, wait is almost over for director Jon Chu‘s G.I.Joe: Retaliation. With just over a month to go there’s a new international trailer and television spot hitting the internet. There is plenty of action in these two pieces, and the more I’ve seen so far has wiped away any initial fears I had about Chu and his Step Up movie background.
Who didn’t have some serious doubts when that directors choice news first broke? That nagging voice in the back of my head only got stronger at the announcement of the year-long delay to convert the movie to 3D, or add more Channing Tatum if the Internet rumors were to be believed. Throw in Chu’s background in hip hop dance movies (Step Up 3D, Step Up 2, Justin Bieber:Never Say Never) and this G.I.Joe fan-boy was pretty damn nervous.
Then the trailers and clips started hitting the Internet and I slowly started to got excited; opening day at the movies kind of excited. This movie has a great cast, (Love me some Ray parks and Ray Stevenson – 13!!!! – Rome fans will know what I’m talking about.) Throw in The Rock, some Bruce Willis and some sexy ninja ladies and you’ve got some real movie magic happening.
What do you think, will this movie crush it at the box office? Those toys have been sitting on store shelves for a long time. Can this movie rekindle that toy selling spark?
G.I.Joe: Retaliation blasts its way onto theater screens March 27th and stars Dwayne Johnson, Channing Tatum, Bruce Willis, Adrianne Palicki, Walton Goggins, Ray Park, Byung-hun Lee, Elodie Yung, RZA, Ray Stevenson, and D.J. Cotrona.
The International TV spot:
A follow-up to the 2009 release of G.I. JOE: THE RISE OF COBRA, which grossed over $300M worldwide, Paramount Pictures, MGM and Skydance Productions, in association with HASBRO and di Bonaventura Pictures, commences production on G.I. JOE: RETALIATION. In this sequel, the G.I. Joes are not only fighting their mortal enemy Cobra; they are forced to contend with threats from within the government that jeopardize their very existence. The film stars D.J. Cotrona, Byung-hun Lee, Ray Park, Adrianne Palicki, Jonathan Pryce, RZA, Ray Stevenson, Channing Tatum with Bruce Willis and Dwayne Johnson. Directed by Jon M. Chu, and produced by Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Brian Goldner, from a screenplay by Rhett Reese & Paul Wernick based on Hasbro’s G.I. Joe(R) characters, the film is scheduled to be released on March 27, 2012.
Each and every week we scour the Internet for nothing but the best in nerdy art. We leave no digital stone unturned, we poke and prod every nook and cranny of the Interwebz. Why? Because we love you, and we love to bring you weekly feed of nerd art.
On with the dump!
ABOVE: Nintendo would be wise to “borrow” from the HeavyMetalHanzo and this sweet Skyrim/Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword mash-up he’s put together. Link has been screaming at everything for years, just thinking about hearing “FUS RO DAH!” squeaked out like a tiny little mouse and you’ve got an instant console smash hit.[Geek Tyrant]
Hit the jump for the Oscars, Ryan Gosling as The Rocketeer and Bill f-ing Murray!
The first full trailer for G.I.Joe: Retaliation has hit the net and it looks . . .
All the bells and whistles that belong in a good G.I.Joe story are there:
Snake Eyes – Check!
RoadBlock – Check!
Scarlet – Check!
Jinx – Check!
Duke – Check!
Explosions, Guns, Ninjas – Check!
Cobra doing the nasty stuff – Check!
That is the WHITE HOUSE flying COBRA flags up there. The Rock playing Roadblock is genius. He knows how to deliver the action one liners that we’ll all howl with laughter at. Not to mention that Bruce Willis, the high king of the snarky action hero is the man G.I.Joe turns to when the going gets tough. When I saw the 20 second cut of this trailer the other day I was not impressed. This trailer will put my ass in the theater seat June 29th, 2012.
Let your fellow NerdBastards know what you think about this trailer and the G.I. Joe movie franchise as it stands now.
So it’s pretty much agreed the 80’s had killer toys, far better than the crap today. OK… the detail of today is far superior but, damn, 80’s toys were much more awesome because, well, reasons. This trip down nostalgia lane reflects not of the action figures themselves but rather their play-sets. Specifically the most rockin’, most wanted, and most expense play-sets of the time. Some had one, some had all, and to some had none
So on with it then. Here are the 10 Most Desired Action Figure Play-sets of The 80’s