Somehow, 'G.I. Joe: Retaliation' has managed to stop being something people roll their eyes at (the director of 'Justin Bieber: Never Say Never' is doing a 'G.I. Joe' movie!?) and has become one of the more anticipated releases in a summer already bursting with anticipated releases. We posted the new trailer yesterday, but don't you think it's time for a closer look?
Just in case you missed it, here's that trailer again. Go on. Give it a rewatch.We won't judge you.
Although we haven't seen the film, we are going to go through this trailer with a fine toothed comb. Everything said below is purely speculation, but take this as your friendly neighborhood SPOILER! warning.
In a trailer filled with all kinds of nifty military hardware (and the destruction of said nifty military hardware), it's appropriate that the trailer opens with a Cobra-branded motorcycle, complete with attached machine guns. Any film that is entirely unashamed of its wacky, awesomely implausible Vehicles of Death deserves a closer look.
Here's more Cobra hardware: tiny flying observation robots, unleashed by the rider of the motorcycle seen above. How high are the chances that these guys have the ability to suddenly and unexpectedly explode? Based on the explosion saturation of this trailer, very high.
Ah, here are two of our heroes: Channing Tatum's Duke, returning from the first film, and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson's Roadblock, appearing for the first time and looking right at home because...well, because he's The Rock. In this slightly unfortunate screenshot, Tatum looks a little baffled and confused while The Rock looks ready to kick all of the asses. Considering Tatum's near non-presence in the rest of the trailer, what are the chances he kicks the bucket in this opening attack?
There's something just so right about seeing The Rock firing an assault rifle at a helicopter while everything around him goes up in flames. It's like he's finally come home after too many years riding CGI bumblebees with Michael Caine and playing the Tooth Fairy for Disney paychecks. He has a rare mix of qualities: the physique and stony attitude that made people like Stallone and Schwarzenegger stars, but enough charisma and humor to make him relatable. You just want to hang out with The Rock after he's done beating you up, you know?
Ah, yes. The old "hide-in-the-well-to-escape-certain-death" trick. Well played, Joes. Well played.
Although it did solid business, a lot of people didn't like the first 'G.I. Joe,' which put the prospects of a sequel into question. The ultimate decision is an interesting one: 'G.I. Joe: Retaliation' is a direct sequel to the first film, but it also functions as a near-reboot, wiping out most of the cast from the last movie in what appears to be the first ten minutes and bringing a cast of new characters to the spotlight. Does this mean we get to see Marlon Wayans' Ripcord die an unpleasant death? That would be worth the price of admission, honestly.
Told you this trailer was full cool military hardware! It's not a question of whether or not Cobra is going to blow Washington DC to smithereens, but rather a question of how badly it's going to get blown to smithereens.
Is this our first look at Ray Stevenson as Cobra saboteur/mercenary Firefly? His get-up can best be described as Biker Ninja, but surely an actor as cool as Stevenson can pull it off. What's that? You doubt Stevenson's coolness? Well, obviously someone hasn't seen the underrated gem that is 'Punisher: War Zone.'
Jonathan Pryce has had a long and healthy career as a working actor. He fought James Bond. He was Elizabeth Swan's father. He played the lead in Terry Gilliam's 'Brazil.' Still, surely his greatest acting triumph will be in 'G.I. Joe: Retaliation,' where he plays the president of the United States and the Cobra villain impersonating him.
Under the Jonathan Pryce visage, an Arnold Vosloo lurks! Vosloo played Zartan, Cobra's master of disguise, in the first film, but is mysteriously absent from the trailer. Hmm...
Here's the shot the practically defined the first trailer and has become one of the predominant images from the marketing campaign: Cobra pretty much seizes control of the entire country, starting with the White House. Not a good thing if you're a patriotic American and/or a G.I. Joe.
Roadblock, the tough military mastermind. Snake Eyes, the masterful ninja warrior. Lady Jaye. Flint...
It what can only be described as an incredible casting coup, Bruce Willis joins the team as Joe Colton, the retired general whose years of service were impressive enough that an elite military agency was named after him. That shot, known as "The Bruce Willis Shot," is contractually required to be in every Bruce Willis film.
Nipples on Batman. Flames on Optimus. Lips on Snake Eyes. The triumvirate of nerd blasphemies! Well, at least one of the them has been corrected. Ray Park's Snake Eyes returns, this time looking far more like his cartoon/action figure counterpart and less like some kind of weird fetish costume.
Where there's a Snake Eyes, there's also a Storm Shadow! But wait! Didn't Byung-hun Lee's evil ninja perish in the previous film? What's he doing alive and kicking? Literally! Because, you know, he's a ninja. And they kick people.
In the shot above, Storm Shadow is underwater. In this shot, he appears to be escaping from a room filled with tubes containing bodies (and the dead bodies of guards who got in his way, apparently). Was he being kept alive in some kind of stasis tube for nefarious reasons by Cobra? By the government?
This gadget wouldn't look out of place in a 'Mission: Impossible' film. Why waste your time with wire cutters when you can break through a fence with ultra-hot glove gizmos? How much do you want to bet that The Rock will give a few Cobra henchmen the handshake of their lives with those things?
Yes, that is Snake Eyes flying through the air on a motorcycle that collapses into several pieces which then transform into missiles that blow up a building. Remember how this film is apparently "unashamed of its wacky, awesomely implausible Vehicles of Death"? Case in point.
Although we'll miss Joseph Gordon-Levitt hamming it up as Cobra Commander, fans will surely rejoice at the thought of a Big Bad who actually looks like the character they grew up with. The Cobra Commander design is classic for a reason: it's clean and simple (the direct opposite of the more ragtag Joes) and it has just enough Nazi overtones to let you know that this guy is eeevil.
Here's everyone out of uniform, taking advantage of some downtime to make plans in the comfort of t-shirts and jeans. Except for Snake Eyes. Ninjas don't do t-shirts and jeans.
Bruce Willis may be getting on in years, but those years have only made him look more ready to drive your head through a wall. Few actors have ever looked as at home behind the barrel of an automatic weapon. In fact, Willis looks so tough that we can almost forgive the glaringly bad green screen in this shot. Almost. Hopefully, this shot is being fixed as we speak and it'll look great when the film is in theaters.
The first film devastated Paris, so the sequel takes it upon itself to devastate London. The trailer doesn't go into the exact details of Cobra's master plan but it looks like they'll be using the power of the American government to cause all kinds of nasty destruction around the world.
How exactly does the trailer top an exploding motorcycle and an exploding London? How about an epic ninja battle on the side of a cliff. This scene got tongues wagging when glimpses of it appeared in the first trailer and the extended look here is even more impressive. We could go into details, discussing how clean the choreography looks and how unique the the actual battle logistics appear to be, but a simple OMG NINJAS really should suffice, shouldn't it?
OMG MOAR NINJAS.
OMG EVEN MORE NINJAS.
Seriously, guys: does 'The Avengers' have an epic ninja battle? No. No it doesn't.
In the final moments of the trailer, The Rock commandeers this tank-thing, assures Bruce Willis that he won't be driving in neutral and blows up a lot of things (as he is apparently wont to do). What else could you ask for?
'G.I. Joe: Retaliation' will hit theaters on June 29. Share your own speculations below!