Despite getting off to a bumpy start with 2009's G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, the live-action Joe franchise looks to take a big step in the right direction with this summer's installment, G.I. Joe: Retaliation. Director Jon Chu's decision to include more fan-favorite Joe characters - and abandon Rise of Cobra helmer Stephen Sommers' cheesy approach to the series, in favor of a down n' dirty, hard-hitting angle - has a lot to do with that.
We've rounded up the latest Retaliation character posters from around the 'Net, as can be viewed in the gallery above. You can also read on for further analysis of the film - including, a breakdown of the personnel recruited to realize Chu's new vision of the Joe universe - and for larger versions of each individual one-sheet.
Retaliation maintains narrative continuity with Rise of Cobra, in so far as the plot involves Cobra Commander's spy Zartan (Arnold Vosloo) - having successfully infiltrated the higher echelons of the U.S. government - sending out an order for the Joe organization to be disbanded (and all its members killed). Those who survive the surprise attack band together to (what else) retaliate against Cobra's forces, with help of the original "Real American Hero" himself: Joe Colton (Bruce Willis).
In addition to the Die Hard franchise icon, Retaliation features a verifiable cinematic badass in Dwayne Johnson (Fast Five) as Roadblock, Rise of Cobra stars Ray Park and Byung-hun Lee, returning as improved versions of Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow, respectively - alongside up-and-coming action starlets like Elodie Yung (District 13: Ultimatum) and Adrianne Palicki (the [almost] new Wonder Woman), playing Jinx and Lady Jaye - and Channing Tatum back as Duke... though, possibly, not for long.
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Judging by the Retaliation trailers and TV spots, Zombieland screenwriters Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick's script for the G.I. Joe sequel paved the way for Chu to produce some pretty exhilarating and cleverly-constructed action set pieces - be it a cliffside battle with swinging ninjas or visceral shootout/combat sequences set everywhere from the unsettled regions of Pakistan to government facilities around Washington, D.C.
When all that is combined with the steelier tone and upgraded cast, early signs point towards Retaliation being a potentially rip-roaring summer blockbuster that unfolds like a feature-length treatment of the 1980s G.I. Joe Saturday morning cartoon (the right way, this time around).
G.I. Joe: Retaliation strikes theaters around the U.S. on June 29th, 2012.