G.I. Joe: Retaliation

June 29, 2012

With only half its G.I. Joes left from the last time they took them out of the toybox and smashed them together, the producers of G.I. Joe: Retaliation do what any normal kids with pyromaniac tendencies and their indulgent parents’ money would do: They blow them up, then ask for new ones. So what if they don’t have Rise Of Cobra figures like Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Dennis Quaid, and Sienna Miller anymore? Now they’ve got the Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson with pithy one-liner action (“The world ain’t saving itself!”), and a fully articulated Adrianne Palicki with sassy eye-roll movement. They’ve even got a vintage Bruce Willis—an addition that’s sort of like when you tried to incorporate one of your dad’s moldy old 12-inch Joes from the 1960s, and he couldn’t fit in the hovercraft and he sort of smelled weird, but he nevertheless lent your playtime a veneer of authenticity.

In fact, with all these new Joes to play with, they may not even need Channing Tatum anymore, whose marginalization in this trailer suggests that either his character doesn’t survive that early Cobra-inflicted carnage, or the Paramount marketing team didn’t want cross-pollination between this and Steven Soderbergh’s Tatum-starring male-stripper movie Magic Mike, opening the same day. No matter: Director Jon Chu has channeled the kinetic choreography and self-actualization lessons of his past efforts Step Up 3-D and Justin Bieber: Never Say Never, and come up with a film about making do with whatever toys you’ve got laying around, whether that means staging a cliffside ninja fight, or spraying machine-gun fire from the back of an El Camino.

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