Tuesday, April 24, 2012

GI Joe: Retaliation trailers kill off one of 2012's biggest stars.

Say what you will about hindsight and what-not, but I imagine that Paramount is kicking itself in the ass right now for the decision to kill off Channing Tatum in the opening act (scene?) of this second G.I. Joe film.  No, he wasn't exactly the highlight of The Rise of Cobra, but in the last three years 'that guy from Step Up' has been hacking away at would-be stardom and seems to have hit the jackpot this year.  He's now arguably the king of the romantic drama and scored huzzahs and box office with 21 Jump Street.  Between 21 Jump Street and The Vow (plus Haywire which turned him into Stephen Soderbergh's best buddy), Tatum is easily the 'break-out star of 2012' four months in.  Had Paramount had the good sense to let him stick around, they'd have a film starring Tatum and Dwayne Johnson, whose Journey 2: The Mysterious Island is the second-highest grossing American film at the global box office with $322 million thus far.  Paramount could have had two of the biggest male movie stars around in the same film shooting guns and dodging explosives together, but they (or director Jon Chu) had to listen to fanboy whining.  I wouldn't be the least-bit surprised to see an end-credit cookie showing that Duke really survived after all.

Oh well, what IS on display is pretty impressive, even if (let's be honest) it doesn't look all that different from Stephen Summer's G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra ('Hey look, we blew up London this time instead of Paris!').  The two trailers are pretty identical, save for some added beats in the international trailer to emphasize the worldwide threat.  The color-scheme looks slightly darker and muted, the location work feels more realistic, but it's still the kind of crazy stunt work and reckless action beats that made me rather enjoy the unfairly maligned first picture.  Of course, since I liked the first film I'm glad they didn't make too much of an effort to fix what's broken.  Dwayne Johnson in hard-ass mode is always a treat, Bruce Willis hasn't been in a big action film like this since 2007's Live Free Or Die Hard, and the center-piece 'ninjas attack on a mountain top' sequence looks like (in the mind of my eight-year old self) the greatest thing ever!  And in a world of instant reboots, I'm glad Paramount and Chu had the guts to actually make a real sequel that acknowledged and respected the continuity of the first film (I'm glad they kept the eye-popping cliffhanger from the first film).  Anyway, pundits and fanboys will likely scream about how different this film is from the first.  From what we've seen I would disagree.  And for that I'm a little grateful.  G.I. Joe: Retaliation opens on June 29th (same day as Channing Tatum's Magic Mike, natch).  As always, we'll see.

Scott Mendelson


Liam_Ho said...

I really disliked the first film because what you enjoyed about the cartoony action within the first film I was just bored by. The shoddy CGI despite such a large budget kept pulling me out of the movie. However, I'm very excited for this movie because the execution seems far greater while still keeping the tone of the first film. Rather see this than Amazing Spider-Man surprisingly. Ninja action on top of the mountain is what I'm most looking forward to also and it looks real instead of some computer creation.

Also agree that Duke will probably revealed to be captured/coma/alive all along near the end of the film. They wanted to separate this so much from the first film that its not surprising he'll have a glorified cameo.

The DLA said...

I've seen the film at a test screening. They are definitely kicking themselves in the ass for losing Tatum. The Rock and Willis are the highlights of the film, followed by some very well done action sequences. (Some very silly looking CGI vehicles were thrown in; obviously meant to sell toys.) The rest of the actors in this film are either chewing scenery with abandon or can't act their way out of a wet paper sack. Spent the entire movie missing Tatum. Missing Channing freaking Tatum. I'll let that sink in for a minute.

Anonymous said...

The second film was ok. For killing tatum was dumb. The director of the first film should of made the second gi Joe. I hope the third film is far greater than the first two.


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