Bruce Willis in 'G.I. Joe: Retaliation': Looks like a fun summer movie (+trailer)

Bruce Willis, Dwayne Johnson and others team up to stop the Cobra forces in the summer sequel.

Charles Sykes/AP/File
Bruce Willis appears onstage at the “The Comedy Awards” presented by Comedy Central in New York in this file photo.

Despite the influx of G.I. Joe: Retaliation posters and images over the past few weeks, fans have grown increasingly (and audibly) restless about the wait for a new trailer. Just in the nick of time, another theatrical promo has been released for the second Joe live-action movie (see above), offering a succinct outline of the story featured in the (semi-)rebooting sequel, an extended look at the film’s renovated cast in motion – and a better idea of what director Jon M. Chu meant when he said that Retaliation does not “discount” the events in Rise of Cobra.

Here’s the million dollar question, though: will seeing this additional footage from Retaliation ultimately get the fanbase more excited – or diminish anticipation for the film?

As you’ve undoubtedly picked up on by now, Retaliation “wipes the slate clean” by having most of the G.I. Joe squad slaughtered during a surprise attack ordered by Cobra spy Zartan (Arnold Vosloo), impersonating the U.S. president. Judging by the latest trailer, Channing Tatum as Duke – who was essentially “the lead” in Rise of Cobra, could even be among the casualties.

However, the few survivors (including, Dwayne Johnson as Roadblock) band together in order to stop the diabolical Cobra Commander and his forces from reigning destruction down upon the world. Joining the Joe crew on their new dangerous, globe-spanning mission is organization “founder,” Joe Colton (Bruce Willis).

The latest footage seems to indicate that Chu hasn’t completely abandoned the cartoony sci-fi elements (see: insect nanobots) or over-the-top CGI sequences (see: the destruction of London) that director Stephen Sommers favored in Rise of Cobra. Similarly, the Retaliation screenplay penned by Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick (Zombieland) isn’t above saddling its heroes and villains alike with some noticeably (but intentional) cheesy dialogue.

Working in Retaliation‘s favor is that the sillier elements carried over from Rise of Cobra appear to be played down, enough so that they help keep the proceedings light-weight and fun, while also not clashing too much with the film’s overall grittier tone and feel. It also helps that charismatic action heavyweights like Willis and Johnson are the ones running the show – and delivering most of the tongue-in-cheek one-liners.

So, all in all, G.I. Joe: Retaliation looks like an enjoyable helping of summer popcorn entertainment. Heck, if nothing else, the movie seems worth checking out just for that massive ninja brawl on the mountains alone.

Sandy Schaefer blogs at Screen Rant.

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