The early award for "most improved franchise" of the summer blockbuster season goes to G.I. Joe: Retaliation, a sequel/reboot of the G.I. Joe film franchise, which suffered something of blow with the disappointing first installment, The Rise of Cobra. Things only look better in the two new Retaliation international trailers we have for you today.
G.I. Joe 2 - which has traded Mummy director Stephen Sommers for... er, Step Up 2 director Jon M. Chu - has already gotten right what the first film got wrong, including a more badass Joe team (headlined by Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Bruce Willis and Ray Park returning as Snake Eyes), a darker storyline (G.I. Joe facing extinction), grittier action, and even improved costumes for iconic characters like Cobra Commander and Snake Eyes.
The first second international trailer (labeled as "D") focuses on the new action set pieces that the film will offer - including many, many, gun battles, signature Joe vehicles, that old rivalry between Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow (Byung-hun Lee) - and then, a crazy ninja showdown on the side of a cliff between Snake Eyes, his protege Jinx (Elodie Young) and several dozen Cobra ninjas.
International trailer "G," (up top) on the other hand, actually takes its time to detail what the story is about in a way that previous G.I. Joe 2 trailers have not. It basically boils down to Cobra's master of disguise, Zartan, using his stolen identity as the U.S. President (seen in the first film) to eliminate the Joe team, before taking control of a weapon system that essentially makes the governments of the world hostages of Cobra. The surviving Joe members must use a combination of subterfuge and fearlessness to rise up and stop the worldly threat.
As stated, the impression at this point is that Retaliation is a much improved G.I. Joe film; but whether those improvements will make it a good film in general remains to be seen. Along with some cool action and better characters, the inclusion of hit-or-miss one-liners (see: Bruce Willis' girl scouts joke) and questionable direction (see: some lackluster CGI during that cliff sequence) hint that this film is still far from perfect.
We'll find out if G.I. Joe: Retaliation is indeed a good time at the movies on June 29, 2012.