Box Office: G.I. Joe – Retaliation
In general, I like to think I have a pretty good idea of what constitutes a good film. Obviously we all have different opinions, with one man’s “Pulp Fiction” being another man’s “Transformers 3.” But when it comes to this column I feel like I generally give a well-informed, unbiased opinion in telling you what is worth watching. Therefore, I have no explanation for why I am looking forward to watching “G.I. Joe: Retaliation.”
The sequel to 2009’s “G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra” sees our elite squad out on another mission saving the world. However, when this mission goes bad and our heroes are framed for a crime they didn’t commit, they are forced to go underground and find out what really happened so they can avenge the death of their last true ally and fight against the evil Zartan and the world leaders he has under his influence.
The original “G.I. Joe” was no classic and had several issues, the main one being some of the cast, which has been addressed in a brutal way. Marlon Wayans, Sienna Miller, Christopher Eccleston and Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje have all been dropped. In their place come Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Ray Stevenson, Arnold Vosloo and action movie heavyweight Bruce Willis.
The Rock and Willis in particular give an air of credibility to the film, with the latter being one of the biggest action stars of all time and The Rock no longer known as the wrestler from the WWF, but an action star in his own right.
One of the best things about the original “G.I. Joe” was the action scenes and I was particularly impressed with the epic sequence in downtown Paris. In the sequel, directed by Jon M. Chu of “Step Up: 2” fame, the action surprisingly looks bigger and better.
One scene of a full-on samurai fight on the side of a mountain the size of Everest looks particularly spectacular. Martial arts star Ray Park, best known for his role as Darth Maul in “Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace,” returns as Snake Eyes, as does Korea’s very own Lee Byung-hun as his brother in arms Storm Shadow.
The scenes between these two and their backstory was one of the highlights of the first film, so I’m hoping for a lot more screen time for both of them.
So, with the deadwood shifted, two action heavyweights recruited and a new young director capable of producing some amazing set pieces, it looks like “G.I. Joe: Retaliation” will continue the trend of awesome summer blockbusters kicked off by “The Avengers.” Well, I hope so, as it appears I’ve put my reputation on it. Did I mention it has The Rock?