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- G.I. Joe: Retaliation
Saturday, July 13, 2013
G.I. Joe: Retaliation is a 2013 American science fiction action film directed by Jon M. Chu, based on Hasbro's G.I. Joe toy, comic and media franchises. It is a sequel to 2009'sG.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra. The film was written by Zombieland writers Rhett Reeseand Paul Wernick. G.I. Joe: Retaliation features an ensemble cast, starring Bruce Willisand Dwayne Johnson, with Channing Tatum, Arnold Vosloo, Ray Park, Jonathan Pryce, and Byung-hun Lee reprising their roles from the first film.
The film was released in North America on March 28, 2013. It was a box office success, as was its 2009 predecessor, grossing over $371 million worldwide. However, the film received mostly negative reviews, scoring a 28% on Rotten Tomatoes.
The Joes are framed for stealing nuclear warheads from Pakistan by Zartan (Arnold Vosloo) who is impersonating the President of the United States (Jonathan Pryce). The entire team is eliminated in a military strike, with Duke (Channing Tatum) as one of the casualties. Roadblock (Dwayne Johnson), Flint (D.J. Cotrona) and Lady Jaye (Adrianne Palicki) are the only survivors.
Meanwhile, Storm Shadow (Byung-hun Lee) and ex-Joe Firefly (Ray Stevenson) rescueCobra Commander (Luke Bracey) from an underground maximum-security prison inGermany. Storm Shadow is injured during the escape, and retreats to a temple in theHimalayas to recover. Upon learning that he is alive, the Blind Master (RZA), leader of theArashikage Clan, sends Snake Eyes (Ray Park) and his apprentice Jinx (Elodie Yung), Storm Shadow's cousin, to capture Storm Shadow so he can answer for the murder of his uncle, the Hard Master.
Roadblock, Flint, and Lady Jaye return to the United States where they set up a base of operations in a rundown gym. After Zartan announces that Cobra will replace the Joes as America's main protective unit, Lady Jaye deduces that someone is impersonating the President, and Roadblock leads them to General Joseph Colton (Bruce Willis), who provides them with weapons and helps them infiltrate a fundraising event that the President will be attending. Lady Jaye steals a sample of the President's DNA and confirms that he is Zartan. They escape after a brief confrontation with Firefly and Zandar(Matt Gerald), the head of the Presidential Detail and a member of Cobra.
Snake Eyes and Jinx locate and capture Storm Shadow after a battle with ninjas and take him back to Japan, where Storm Shadow reveals that Zartan murdered the Hard Master and he joined Cobra to avenge his uncle. Storm Shadow then accompanies Snake Eyes and Jinx as they join the Joes' efforts to stop Cobra.
Zartan invites the world leaders to a summit, where he blackmails them into disabling their nuclear arsenals, and reveals that he has created Project Zeus: seven orbital kinetic bombardment weapons of mass destruction at his command. He destroys central London to prove his superiority, and threatens to destroy other capitals if the countries don't submit to Cobra. However, Storm Shadow betrays Cobra Commander and kills Zartan, revealing Cobra's deception to the world leaders. While Snake Eyes, Jinx, and Flint fight Cobra's soldiers, Cobra Commander activates the remaining six weapons and instructs Firefly to protect the launch device. Firefly is killed in combat by Roadblock, who deactivates and destroys the orbital weapons. Meanwhile, Colton and Lady Jaye rescue the President.
Cobra Commander escapes during the battle and Storm Shadow disappears after avenging his uncle. The real President addresses the nation at a ceremony where Roadblock, Lady Jaye, Flint, Jinx, and Snake Eyes are commemorated as heroes. Colton salutes each of them, and presents Roadblock with a M1911 pistol belonging to General George S. Patton, to use when he finally finds Cobra Commander. Roadblock proudly raises the weapon and lets out a single shot in honor of his fallen comrades.
- Dwayne Johnson as Roadblock / Marvin F. Hinton
- Bruce Willis as General Joseph Colton
- Channing Tatum as Duke / Conrad S. Hauser
- Jonathan Pryce as the President of the United States
- Byung-hun Lee as Storm Shadow / Thomas Arashikage
- Ray Park as Snake Eyes
- Adrianne Palicki as Lady Jaye / Jaye Burnett
- Elodie Yung as Jinx / Kim Arashikage
- Ray Stevenson as Firefly
- D.J. Cotrona as Flint /Dashiell R. Faireborn
- Luke Bracey as Cobra Commander / Rexford "Rex" Lewis
- Robert Baker as the voice of Cobra Commander
- Walton Goggins as Warden Nigel James
- Arnold Vosloo as Zartan
- Joseph Mazzello as Mouse
- RZA as Blind Master
- Matt Gerald as Zandar
- Joe Chrest as the Chief of Staff
- James Carville as Himself
- Ryan Hansen as Grunt
- DeRay Davis as Stoop
- Ilia Volok as Russian President
- Dikran Tulaine as U.K. Prime Minister
- Robert Catrini as Israeli President
- Marcelo Tubert as French President
- James Lew as Chinese Leader
- Ajay Mehta as Indian Prime Minister
- Augustus Cho as North Korean Leader
- Jim Palmer as Clutch
After the successful release of The Rise of Cobra, Rob Moore, the studio vice chairman of Paramount Pictures, stated in 2009 that a sequel would be developed. In January 2011, Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, the writers of Zombieland, were hired to write the script for the sequel. The movie was originally thought to be titled G.I. Joe: Cobra Strikes, which was later denied by Reese.Stephen Sommers was originally going to return as director of the sequel, but Paramount Pictures announced in February 2011 that Jon Chu would direct the sequel. In July 2011, the sequel's name was revealed to be G.I. Joe: Retaliation.
In January 2011, it was confirmed that Byung-hun Lee would reprise his role as Storm Shadow in the sequel. Channing Tatumand Ray Park also returned, as Duke and Snake Eyes, respectively. Rachel Nichols, the actress who played Scarlett in the first film, stated that most cast members would not be returning, except for the three aforementioned actors. In March 2011, Sienna Millerstated that she would not be returning for a sequel. Joseph Gordon-Levitt also confirmed that he would not be returning as Cobra Commander in the sequel.
In June 2011, Dwayne Johnson was cast as Roadblock, D.J. Cotrona and RZA were cast as Flint and Blind Master respectively,while Elodie Yung was in talks for the role of Jinx. In July 2011, Adrianne Palicki was confirmed for the lead female role of Lady Jaye, and Ray Stevenson was confirmed to portray the villain Firefly. Arnold Vosloo also confirmed that he would reprise his role of Zartan, although in the final film Vosloo appears only in a couple of non-dialogue scenes, with Jonathan Pryce playing Zartan in most scenes. Joseph Mazzello was confirmed to play Mouse. In August 2011, Walton Goggins was added as Warden Nigel James, and it was confirmed that Bruce Willis was cast to star in the film as the original G.I. Joe.
In September, a casting call sheet leaked to the Internet revealed that Cobra Commander would appear in the sequel, though it was unknown who would play the character. Chu said that fans would get a glimpse of Destro in the film, but Christopher Ecclestonwould not reprise his role in the sequel. On May 1, 2012, it was confirmed by Jon Chu that G.I. Joe: Retaliation's Cobra Commander is Rex Lewis, the same character that Joseph Gordon-Levitt played in The Rise of Cobra. Actor Robert Baker confirmed that he is the voice of Cobra Commander in the sequel.
Principal photography began in August 2011 in Louisiana. On November 22, 2011, a crew member died in an accident at a New Orleans warehouse that was serving as a soundstage for the production. The incident happened while crew members were changing out a set.
Previously slated for release on June 29, 2012, Paramount announced in May 2012 that they were delaying the film's release until March 29, 2013 (but was later moved to March 28, 2013), in order to convert the movie to 3D and boost interest in international markets.
The delay "gobsmacked" the film industry, according to Deadline.com, because Paramount had already implemented a substantial advertising campaign beginning with a Super Bowl commercial, because "warehouses full of" toys were waiting for the film's launch, and because it was one of only three Paramount-produced films scheduled for Summer 2012 (along with The Dictator and Katy Perry: Part of Me). The studio also wanted to avoid competing with Tatum's Magic Mike, also scheduled for June 29, Deadline reported.
Ban in Pakistan
The film was banned by the Central Board of Film Censors of Pakistan due to initial scenes at the beginning of the movie which depict the country negatively, according to film censor board officials. This was confirmed by a Karachi-based cinema which stated on its Facebook page that the movie, which depicted Pakistan as an unstable state and also fictionally portrayed a "foreign invasion of Pakistan’s nuclear installations" had caught the ire of film censor authorities and restrictions had consequently been imposed on screening the movie countrywide. According to an official at the censor board, the film portrayed Pakistan negatively not only on the issue of the War on Terror but also on the international standing of the country: "There is a scene which shows the assassination of the Pakistani president and the imposition of martial law, which is not a fair representation of the country." Another cinema official explained "There were obviously several objectionable things which would never have passed the censors, but these things are also relevant to the content of the film."
On December 12, 2011, the premiere trailer for the film was released on YouTube exclusively from Machinima.com. The trailer itself features a remix of the White Stripes' song "Seven Nation Army" by The Glitch Mob. Following the release of the trailer, Interviewmagazine featured G.I. Joe: Retaliation in "Thursday video Face-Off" against the indie film Alter Egos on January 12, 2012. A shorter teaser trailer for the film aired during Super Bowl XLVI, containing music by Jay-Z. A Japanese trailer focusing on actor Byung-hun Lee was released in April 2012. The second full trailer made its debut on April 24, 2012, containing a viral marketing initiative inviting viewers to interact with a website and Facebook application for the film. On December 13, 2012, a third trailer was released featuring more footage of London's destruction. In January 2013, a four-minute clip of the film featuring a ninja battle between Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow was attached with the screening of Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters. A soundtrack of the score by composer Henry Jackman was released in April 2013.
A toy line for the film was confirmed by Hasbro in February 2012. Despite the movie's release being moved from June 2012 to March 2013, the initial assortments of figures, vehicles, and role-play items were shipped to retailers, and appeared on store shelves in May 2012. A Variety article was published stating that the already released figures had been pulled from the shelves and recalled by Hasbro, although the company's official statement indicated that existing product would be sold through. New product shipments were halted by Hasbro, but existing Retaliation figures were available in Target, Wal-Mart, and Toys R Us as late as December 2012.The toyline was re-released in the United States in February 2013.
G.I. Joe: Retaliation will be released on DVD, Blu-ray and Blu-ray 3D on July 30, 2013
Reviews of the film have been generally negative. As of April 2013, it sits at 28% on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 150 reviews with the consensus: "Though arguably superior to its predecessor, G.I. Joe: Retaliation is overwhelmed by its nonstop action and is too nonsensical and vapid to leave a lasting impression." At Metacritic, which assigns a weighted average rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the film has received an average score of 41%, considered to be "mixed or average reviews", based on 31 critics.
Alan Scherstuhl of The Village Voice wrote in a positive review that "this [movie] pushes right past competent into mostly legitimately enjoyable" but added that "the movie is still dumb as catbutt. It's an honest and accomplished dumbness, however, where the stupidest stuff seems to be there because the movie would be less fun without it." The Hollywood Reporter's Todd McCarthy was critical about the film's use of 3D and accurate reflection of the franchise's comic book and cartoon origins, but predicted it would still earn better than its predecessor, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra. Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly gave the film a grade of "B-", calling it "well-executed technocratic action fluff" and commented: "In its dehumanized and trivial way, it's a triumph of razor-sharp, hyper-violent style over formulaic substance ... Hollywood has now evolved to the point that it can deliver these kinds of thrills with maximum brute force and keep the impact so light that the result can still be regarded as a 'harmless' diversion for 14-year-olds." Glen Heath Jr. ofSlant Magazine gave it two out of four stars, criticizing the film's "cut-happy style" and plot, but lauding the action sequences and Chu's direction as "poetry in high-speed motion." Writing for Indiewire's The Playlist Blog, Todd Gilchrist gave the film a "B-" and wrote: "As one might expect, there are more than a handful of loose ends once justice has been served, but there’s something to be said for a film which aims to please in a sincere and straightforward way, without attempting to be the biggest ever. 'Retaliation' is no masterpiece, but it’s a movie whose fun doesn’t feel like a four-letter word"
In a negative review, Betsey Sharkey of the Los Angeles Times panned the "overwhelmingly complicated, globe-hopping, enemies within, enemies without story line" and 3-D but noted that "the humor, when it works, offers 'Retaliation' some redemption." She ended with: "It's convoluted. Frankly no one should have to think that hard to keep up with the Joes." Another negative review came fromVariety Magazine's Justin Chang, who ridiculed the movie's large-scale destruction of foreign cities, writing: "Audiences who thrilled to the sight of Paris under biochemical attack in Cobra will be pleased to watch London endure an even more horrific fate here, although the sequence is tossed off in quick, almost ho-hum fashion, with no time to dwell on anything so exquisitely crass as the spectacle of the Eiffel Tower collapsing." He summarized the movie as "a more straight-faced brand of idiocy than its cheerfully dumb 2009 predecessor."
Writing for Empire magazine, Olly Richards gave the movie 2 stars out of 5 and compared it unfavorably with its predecessor, writing: "The first film you could at least laugh at. This takes all its silly ingredients and smushes them down flat. 'Retaliation' over-promises and under-delivers." Richard Roeper of Chicago Sun Times gave the movie 1.5 stars out of a possible four, branding it a "ridiculous and overblown debacle" that contained "nothing but well-packaged garbage" and further adding: "To say 'G.I. Joe: Retaliation' is a video game for the big screen is to insult a number of video games that are far more creative, challenging and better-looking." Despite the negative reception, CinemaScore reported that the average grade audiences gave the film was an A-.
G.I. Joe: Retaliation as of July 11, 2013, has grossed $122,494,241 in North America and $249,400,000 internationally for a worldwide total of $371,894,241.
In North America, the film grossed $10.5 million on its opening day at the top of the box office. The film retained the No. 1 spot over the three day weekend and grossed $40.5 million, which is the second-highest Easter debut ever behind Clash of the Titans.However, this was lower than its predecessor's opening weekend of $54.7 million.
On April 1, 2013, reports surfaced that there will be a third G.I. Joe film, and it will likely be in 3D. However, Paramount has yet to officially confirm this. Johnson is interested in returning as Roadblock for the sequel. The writers of the second film are also thinking about bringing back the Baroness in the sequel. The studio announced that Chu will return to direct the third film.  Park has talked about a possible return as Snake-Eyes and also including Timber. Producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura has stated he is open to doing a G.I. Joe/Transformers crossover