Despite a less-than-glowing critical reception, 2009’s whizz-bang action extravaganza G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra raked in a whopping $300 million plus at the worldwide Box Office. Like the film itself, some might have said (and probably did), a sequel was pretty much a no-brainer.
Starburst was fortunate enough to get the chance to see the new extended trailer for the soon-come sequel G.I. Joe: Retaliation as well as nine minutes of additional, unfinished footage from the feature, introduced on video by producer Lorenzo Di Bonaventura, at a special Press preview in London. We’re happy - and mildly excited - to report that this is looking more like the sort of G.I. Joe picture fans might have been expecting last time around. You’ll remember that Stephen Somers’ original effort was pretty much a gadget-fetishist’s wet dream but Retaliation, directed by Jon Chu, whilst looking equally hi-tech, seems to be a tougher, grittier and more mature piece. The vibe here is very much Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol - no bad thing - as we see the G.I. Joe Corps pretty much wiped out whilst an evil Cobra duplicate of the President of the USA (Jonathan Pryce) is preparing to hold the world to ransom with a death-wielding super-weapon in orbit around the Earth. London, it seems, gets it.
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is on board to keep the spirit of G.I. Joe alive along with the man who was there right at the very beginning, the original G.I. Joe Colton (Bruce Willis). Whilst not exactly a guarantee of quality, the presence of both Johnson (resurgent after the success of Fast 5 and Journey 2: The Mysterious Island) and Bruce Willis (always worth a look) suggests a movie casting a greedy eye at an older demographic than just teenagers who love to watch stuff blow up.
There’s plenty going on for action fans, with some energised, fast cut martial arts fight sequences featuring Byung Hung lee as Storm Shadow, nifty exploding robot fireflies, a rocket-launching motorcycle and what promises to be a dazzling and balletic mountaintop ninja showdown.
Bigger, bolder, brasher but more confident than it’s noisy predecessor, G.I. Joe: Retaliation looks like a much more sophisticated entry into the series and, when all the Batman/Spider-Man summer hoohah dies down, could well be the big surprise sleeper hit of the season. Looking good. But don’t blame me if it isn’t.
G.I. Joe: Retaliation is due to be released in the USA on June 29th and in the UK on 3rd August.
Watch the latest G.I. Joe: Retaliation trailer here.