Last week the good people of Paramount Pictures Australia invited a selection of journalists and bloggers from the entertainment media to watch exclusive footage from the upcoming action film G.I. Joe: Retaliation.
Directed by Jon M. Chu (Step up 2: The Streets) and written by Zombieland scribes Rheet Reese and Paul Wernick, G.I. Joe: Retaliation promises to improve upon the Stephen Sommers' G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra which many fans of the G.I. Joe cartoon series (and even those new to the G.I. Joe universe) found lacking.
Opening with a five minute montage, we first see Cobra bad guy Firefly (played by the always solid Ray Stevenson) breakout ninja assassin Storm Shadow (Byung-hu Lee) from a high security prison with plenty of gadgets, explosions and (mild) shaky cam all a part of the action.
What follows plot wise is the same as the trailer: after an attack on the Joes leaves lone survivors Roadblock (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson), Lady Jayne (Adrianne Pilicki), Flint (D.J. Cotrona) and Snake Eyes (Ray Park) off the grid and itching for payback with the original Joe, General Joseph Cotton (Bruce Willis) lending a hand.
But it won’t be easy with Cobra Command infiltrating the White House and keeping the world at bay with weapons of mass destruction pointing to various populaces.
In both style and tone …Retaliation looks set to better the efforts of ...Rise of Cobra. That campy vibe seems to have been removed, action scenes (including a duel between rival ninjas Storm Shadow and Snake Eyes, and a mountain side battle between the Joes and an army of ninjas) feel much more refined, and the addition of charming action stars The Rock and Willis gives the franchise that testosterone shot it needed.
The latter is particularly interesting. With The Rock securing himself as an A-list action star after his ass whopping, scene stealing antics in Fast Five, he deserves his own franchise and is sure to be passed the action hero torch by John McClaine himself in this film.
Then again with …Retaliation months from release, maybe this won’t happen. While the footage presented was a tasty morsel of action candy, let’s not forget that the first time G.I. Joe suited up for the big screen it did not set the world on fire.
So it is with cautious optimism that we await G.I. Joe: Retaliation when it is released in Australian cinemas on August 2 through Paramount Pictures.
(Many thanks to Jayne and Anthony from Way to Blue for setting this up).