Given how truly awful ‘G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra’ was, it’s something of a surprise that anyone would consider a sequel to be a good idea. There can’t have been many people writing letters to Paramount, demanding to know what Channing Tatum et al did next; certainly fewer than the number of people writing to Paramount, demanding two hours of their life back. And yet here we are, barely weeks away from a return to the franchise that promised so little and delivered less.
Consequently, it was with some measure of trepidation that I traipsed along to a preview screening of some footage from the film. It is, of course, impossible to tell what a movie will be like from just ten minutes of it, and I’ve seen enough out of context footage in my time to know that something that looks positive won’t necessarily turn out to be (John Carter anyone?), but there’s one thing I can be fairly certain about – it can’t be much worse than the original.
With the dead-weight trimmed from the last film (including the director and most of the supporting cast), G.I. Joe: Retaliation looks like a much leaner beast. In place of the succession of dull, faceless, human action figures we have Bruce Willis and The Rock. Obviously Tatum is still in, but If nothing else, the pair should imbue the film with a small amount of charm. Hopefully they’re also a sign that the silly pseudo-science of the last one is gone. If not, it will at least sound utterly hilarious delivered by either of them.
The footage we were shown didn’t convey a great deal of story detail beyond a basic – COBRA do nefarious stuff, G.I. Joe are wiped out, The last remaining ‘JOEs’ must find Bruce Willis (the original ‘Joe’) to help them fight. That said, that’s still more of a plot than the first film had, and if director, Jon M Chu manages to convey it for the duration of the film without tripping over himself, he’ll be doing better than Stephen Sommers did.
As for the action – it looks like action. And that’s actually a compliment. It looks like a well shot action film, where the fight sequences make sense. If something happens, we see why, as well as the result. When bullets are fired, we see what they hit. It’s possible to tell what;s going on. It may seem a bit silly to laud this, but it’s potentially G.I. Joe: Retaliation’s strongest selling point. It’s (probably) not filled with shakey cam footage. For that at least, I’m grateful.
So it’s still unclear whether G.I. Joe: Retaliation will be a good movie, but it’s probably worth getting the sense of anticipation up just a little. It’s certainly worth checking out the new trailer that we posted this morning.