With plans for a fourth Transformers venture being lined up and the April release of Battleship fast approaching, Hasbro have an increasing number of franchise plates spinning. By spinning plates, I mean hoovering money into a company that has made it company practice of late to sell off their products to the highest studio bidder.
Based on the action figure, comics and media franchise of the same name, GI Joe: The Rise of the Cobra was the first filmic adaptation for the all-American hero. Directed by Stephen Sommers (The Mummy, Van Helsing), it was generally critically panned for its lack of character depth and the general mediocrity of the action set-pieces.
Now, Channing Tatum is reprising his role as Duke in Jon Chu’s sequel, GI Joe: Retaliation. With cast additions that include Dwayne Johnson and Bruce Willis, along with a returning Ray Park, there are indications that Chu is determined to make this second outing an actioner of much greater quality.
The trailer (below) sets up the action with the conspiracy to end all conspiracies – as the GI Joe unit is betrayed by a corrupt government under the influence of the evil Zartan (Arnold Vosloo) and almosted wiped out in an explosive assault. Johnson and Willis get their money shots (see mini-gun, pick-up truck) as the team race to save the world from the treacherous Cobra organisation, all set to a rehashed version of Seven Nation Army (as made famous by The White Stripes).