This summer we are privy to a new edition in the overblown Hasbro franchise bandwagon with a new G.I. Joe movie. Unlike the other entries in this franchise it seems the producers behind this film have decided to change up the tone of the film and with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson behind the wheel, what can we expect? Here are six thoughts that come to mind.New Cast, Better Film
With a change of director and incorporating new characters, this could be the move to a better and less corny film. With Stephen Sommers’ over the top CGI spectacle and probably some of the worst writer of dialogue working in Hollywood today, we might be in for something a little edgier and more attuned to the current trend of realism we expect in our hundred million dollar productions. Cast members from the first film are returning but we are presented with only the ones we want to see. And possible spoiler alert but it looks like Channing Tatum isn’t in the movie for too too long. After 21 Jump Street I don’t know if I would like to see him go so soon. That leaves ‘The Rock’ and his charismatic weight. Though he has had hits and misses as far as being the lead in a movie, this past summer he showed us how he could hold his own in a franchise. Fast Five proved to many to be the best in the series and Johnson was a hulking weight that really held that film centered and satisfying.
Judging by trailers alone we can already see that with someone like Dwayne Johnson’s physicality we will be treated to an array of weaponry of ginormous proportions. Many production stills present Johnson as a hulk-figure. Someone physically intimidating and slightly removed from the cleaner and more polished, if not silly approach the first film had.
Humor or Heft
Johnson has done films that were both serious in tone and humorous but which way will Retaliation go? Will we get a comic-filled action romp or a “this means business” tone? The posters and trailers for the film seem to be pushing towards the latter but with possible laughable moments as Ninja’s flying along mountain sides and the sight of a newly refurbished Cobra Commander, what will be audiences initial reaction to the matter? I suppose that is a combination of what Johnson, the cast, and director Jon M. Chu can provide.
‘The Rock’ has uniformly been grouped into the new era of “Beekcake Cinema”. Started in the eighties with Schwarzenegger, Stallone, Van Damme and Segal, this was the kind of cinema that relied on big burly men duking it out against insurmountable odds. Johnson, being apart of the Fast and Furious franchise now, has become a sort of resurrected icon of that kind of cinema. While before we had the very slim and slick Channing Tatum and Marlon Wayans, we now have the kind of person who matched Vin Diesel’s sheer brute force. Those two were like a couple of Alpha-Gorillas fighting it out in the jungle. One only wonders if that kind of sheer brute force will be brought to the new G.I. Joe film?
Is it fair to say that Dwayne Johnson has more clout that the cast of the previous film? Given that Tatum looks to be absent for much of the movie, are we to believe that Johnson is the worthy predecessor to Marlon Wayans and Channing Tatum? General audience consensus is probably one that leans more “no, The Rock isn’t anymore distinguished than the previous cast”. Though ‘The Rock’ is good fun and can always be relied on to bring the goods as far as action-entertainment, I wouldn’t say that he is the better ‘actor’, not since someone like Tatum has proven himself a little more recently. What it does is prove legitimacy to the genre. Rock seems to be perfectly at home at this more hyper-kinetic and rougher G.I. Joe film and within the world of action, he does indeed lend legitimacy of sorts.
‘The Rock’ in 3D
News broke that G.I. Joe Retaliation would be pushed back from it’s June 29th, 2012 release to March 29th of next year. With additional 3D re-shoots on a film that was shot in the traditional format, what can we expect from this delay? Paramount had success with pushing Scorsese’s Shutter Island back a few months, will the same be said for this film or will it simply sink? This will be the second time we get ‘The Rock’ in 3D and though we never think of the excitement of seeing movie stars in 3D movies as much as we do the spectacle, one has to think if it will be an added entertainment improvement. Will ‘The Rock’ help break the three-dimensional barrier and come into our auditorium with furious action? We’ll have to wait until March 29th now to find out