Preview 1: G.I. Joe 2:Retaliation

With as many as fourteen comic book films due out this year I’ve decided to do a series of previews. Each one of these previews will be entirely devoted to one of these releases. With each article I hope to convey what I think could be the gasp-inducing highs as well as the cringe-inducing lows of each film.

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By Racker - 1/18/2013
Preview 1: G.I. Joe 2: Retaliation

With as many as fourteen comic book films due out this year I’ve decided to do a series of previews. Each one of these previews will be entirely devoted to one of these releases. With each article I hope to convey what I think could be the gasp-inducing highs as well as the cringe-inducing lows of each film. In the first instalment in a series of previews for upcoming comic book movies, I’ll be looking at G.I. Joe 2: Retaliation which is due out this March.

The first thing that needs to be mentioned when talking about G.I. Joe 2: Retaliation is obviously G.I. Joe 1: The Rise of Cobra. To say I was bitterly disappointed with this film would be an understatement. The only thing worse than the camp and cartoonish feel to the movie was the title. The muscle-enhancing suits were over the top and badly done, the back story for Cobra Commander was shallow, lightweight and badly thought out. In fact the entire story smacked of something that was written by an under pressure studio executive eager to have something to release that year. In short, I didn’t like it! But in saying that I do still hold out hope that lessons can be learned and the studio can push forward and deliver at least a mildly entertaining film.

The reason for my optimism is simple, with not-so-flattering reviews and mediocre box office success comes a few lessons learned (we hope), and the powers-that-be have decided to bring in the on- man franchise-revival machine that is Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. I’m huge fan of “The Rock” or Dwayne as I like to call him when he’s not listening. I genuinely believe he is the closest actor out there to the city destroying heroes of the 80’s. As a child of the 80’s I miss the needless neck breaking, the elaborate deaths, and the complete waste of so much ammunition. I grew up with these films and these heroes and in “The Rock” (he’s listening now, I know it) there is an heir to the throne, someone who can take over from Stallone, Schwarzenegger, Willis and Van Damme. While his film outings to date have been mixed, I do think he offers value for money and a potential franchise such as G.I. Joe is made for him in every way. We’re not looking for him to put in an Oscar worthy performance, we’re looking for him to needlessly break necks, to create new and interestingly elaborate deaths and of course to cause the viewer to scream at the screen “what a complete waste of so much ammunition”. If there is any reason in this cynical world to believe that G.I. Joe 2 might be even slightly entertaining, it’s “The Rock”.

The main detail I noticed when watching the trailer for the first time was the exclusion of the exoskeleton suits that plagued the first film. I had already decided if I saw these suits in the trailer then I wouldn’t be wasting my very valuable time watching this film, but thankfully they have been left behind in favour of more grounded and more human action scenes, we see the heroes thrown around and beaten up which is how they should be. At their very core The Joe’s are soldiers and combatants, they should be shown to fight like soldiers and combatants instead of a bunch of mechanically enhanced, computer game characters running across a city at ridiculous speeds. Leaving these suits out was the best thing director John Chu could have done, it allows for a grittier, more palpable type of action that ultimately could lead to a sequel that is vastly superior to its predecessor.

The fact of the matter is nobody is expecting G.I. Joe 2: Retaliation to be a world-beater, this year it’s coming up against some of the true heavyweights of the industry and by the end of 2013 it won’t really be remembered as anything more than a leave-your-brain at the door action film. But personally speaking I’d take that. Right here, right now I’d take an action film that I can sit quietly and enjoy with a bag of popcorn by my side. If nothing else, that would make it a massive triumph compared with its predecessor.

Racker

Preview 2: Ironman 3
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avengers72 - 1/19/2013, 7:59 AM
I agree with everything. Nice article! Looking forward to IM3!
EdgyOutsider - 1/21/2013, 1:32 AM
I never grew up with G.I Joe. That being said, I really enjoyed "The Rise of Cobra". It's not a movie that should make you think. It's a fun action film. You had good acting, the special effects were good and an overall decent but very cliche plot. Here's my problem with Retaliation. It's more less a reboot and they've implied in the trailers that Duke dies. We want to see Duke vs Cobra Commander. Not, The Rock vs Cobra Commander. It's more grounded in reality, that's a trend I am hating on in the industry right now. I want to go to the movies without having to use my brain, let alone be watching something that could truly happen. Especially in an action film.
WaltWoodpeckerWay - 2/20/2013, 4:44 PM
I'm still concerned about this movie being pushed back from 2012 to 2013...

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