I’m not that much of a G.I. Joe fan, but I respect it as one of the great 1980s toy properties. The first movie was terrible, but I’ve been watching the development of the second film with cautious optimism. Most fans dismissed it the second the director of the Justin Bieber movie was chosen, but that awoke some contrarian sense in me that suggested two wrongs just might make a right. More specifically, Jon M. Chu, as a novice director, might be more willing to respect the franchise’s history than try to create his own vision of the concept.
But I digress. When I found out the Rock would be in the G.I. Joe sequel as Roadblock, my optimism went up a bit more. I’ve never been a wrestling fan, but I love the Rock–mostly on the strength of his performance in The Rundown (one of my favorite movies), but also his general personality. He’s fun to watch.* And man, is he psyched to be in G.I. Joe.
The above pic was posted on Johnson’s Twitter account, showing him in full Roadblock costume. I have absolutely no legitimate reason to be optimistic about this film, and yet…there is a precedent. Star Trek: The Motion Picture turned off Star Trek fans with its incredibly slow pace, awkward dialogue, odd characterization of the main cast, and the forced addition of new characters. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan kicked ass by going back to what made the original show great–action, suspense, great dialogue and character interaction, and a focus on the main characters. It respected the franchise.
I think G.I. Joe: Retaliation just might pull off the same trick. But…I’ve been wrong before.
For more on the Rock’s importance to the new film, check out Poe Power Pal GeneralsJoes‘s post, G.I. Joe: Retaliation influenced by “The Rock’s” positive impact.
*At one point there was a plan to make a buddy cop flick called Blowback starring the Rock and Ryan Reynolds. I’m sad it never got made. Very sad.