As you may or may not recall, this movie was supposed to come out about six months ago until Paramount pushed the release date till next March at the last minute...in fact, it was so last minute that I saw stores selling Retaliation Halloween costumes this year that had clearly been produced in advance of the film's delay. The studio claimed that it was all simply for 3D post-conversion, claims upon which the world immediately called bullshit; that kind of work does not take nine months.
This new trailer confirms what everyone assumed, that some significant re-shoots have excised the early death of Channing Tatum's Duke and given him a bigger role in the rest of the film. Amazingly enough, this actually feels like a smart move. For years I regarded Channing Tatum as a black hole of charisma, a literal walking void of personality. He is easily one of the biggest weaknesses of the first G.I. Joe film and at first blush I was psyched at the notion that the sequel would begin by executing the worst part of its predecessor.
Then 21 Jump Street happened. And Haywire. And Magic Mike.
Even I can't argue with that list.
John Chu's debut as an action director has always looked like a step up from the original, but I'd hardly call it a sure thing. Right now Paramount's biggest hurdle is to disabuse people of the notion that G.I. Joe Retaliation came out a long time ago and they just missed it.