Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Trailer: GI Joe: Retaliation teases subversive global fantasy of the world's worst fears concerning American military might.

It will be amusing and interesting to see how Paramount was able to rejigger the story in order to put previously DOA 'Duke' (Channing Tatum) back into the movie after he was un-killed following his banner 2012 theatrical year.  But more interesting than that, I'd argue, is the film's weirdly subversive plotline.  Wisely continuing from G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra's terrific cliffhanger, the Jon Chu-helmed sequel runs with the idea of the president of the United States being a literal world-wrecking super-villain.  We've had plenty of stories which toyed with the idea of an absolute monster attaining the highest office in the land, but they are usually defeated prior to election (or, in the case of the fifth season of 24, most of Gregory Yitzin's comparably tempered evildoing was committed prior to his exposure as the season's big bad).  Of course, with the president replaced by Arnold Vosloo's Zartan, the world must deal with an America that the world has arguably always feared.  Here we have a US president who basically uses America's stockpile to rain utter carnage on the world over.  I have to wonder if this plot thread is some kind of way to appeal to foreign markets, just as the film's conversion to 3D was more for overseas grosses than domestic ones (let's just say if you asked foreign audiences back in 2002 about The Two Towers, they probably said it was an Iraq-invasion parable very different from the one stateside audiences presumed).  Yes, the G.I. Joes are basically American, working to save their country from an internal threat.  But the idea of a US President gone mad with genocidal powers is something I don't think we've seen before, so for that reason alone G.I. Joe: Retaliation may end up being more than just a pointless sequel.  We'll know soon enough when it opens on March 29, 2013.   

Scott Mendelson

1 comment:

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