There’s not much to remember about 2009’s G.I. Joe: The Rise Of Cobra. It was a film rushed out to follow the trend of turning every action figure you had as a kid into a big-budget action movie. It had worked with Transformers. Actually, by that point, it had worked twice for Transformers and it would work for a third time in the near future. But, alas, G.I. Joe: The Rise Of Cobra was never meant to be a hit. It was a stinker at the box office and in the minds of critics and audiences everywhere, it was even more so. Now, I’m not one who completely despises everything director Stephen Sommers did with the classic Hasbro toy’s first live-action venture on the big screen, but I do recognize it as a lackluster summer blockbuster when compared to others.
Thus, when a sequel was announced, I have to admit, I was highly skeptical at how they would pull off something that critics and audiences alike would want to see after such a disaster of a first movie. Then, news started pouring in by the truckload about the sequel, titled G.I. Joe: Retaliation. It was going to be darker, it was going to be more realistic, they booted out almost all of the original cast and brought in Dwayne Johnson and Bruce Willis. Finally, we got our first trailer, awesomely set to a remix of The White Stripes’ “Seven Nation Army” and after that, I was… actually sold. All the marketing they had done for this new film actually did make it look different. It looked like they were really trying to take this in a new, exciting direction completely different from the first film. I, and I assume I wasn’t the only one, was actually looking forward to the day I could sit in a theater with a bucket of popcorn and watch G.I. Joe: Retaliation. Sure, it faltered in comparison to my excitement for films such as Prometheus or The Dark Knight Rises, but still, it was a film that I’d be happy to go see on its June 29 release date. That is, until a few days ago.
It was a bit of weird news that didn’t exactly seem real in the moment. It wasn’t devastating or anything, it was just… weird. It had been done before, but not so soon before the release date. G.I. Joe: Retaliation had been pushed back to allow for a 3-D conversion. This was not what made this bit of news out of the ordinary. Pushing back a release date is done all the time, its even done quite often for 3-D conversions (like 2009’s Clash Of The Titans, pushed back a week or so to allow for a 3-D release). It makes sense that the new film would want the 3-D push, just look at The Avengers and you’ve got a solid argument for doing it right there. Actually, I’m surprised this wasn’t always the plan for the new G.I. Joe film. What did surprise me, however, was how far they were pushing the film back. We won’t see G.I. Joe: Retaliation until March 29, 2013. At first I thought the announcement was a fake, and when a realized this was the real deal, the wheels in my mind started turning furiously, trying to figure out what the hell was up with this film. We’d seen trailers, good trailers, to be exact. We’d seen posters. The marketing was no longer in flight for this film, it was already in the landing mode. What happened? Then it hit me.
Now, to preface this thought, I must say that I have not seen this film so what I’m about to say is not a fully-formed opinion, it’s just a prediction: G.I. Joe: Retaliation must suck. I mean, it must really, really, really suck. And as more news about this release date change started pouring in, it seems my prediction is getting more and more correct by the moment. News came that reshoots were going underway and even the rumors started flying that the film was god-awful. Hasbro then went into a mad dash to grab all their licensed toys off the shelves so they can have something to put out for March 2013, making it even more obvious that this decision was not very well-planned or thought out.
However, for film buffs, there’s a light at the end of this convoluted tunnel: Seth MacFarlane’s comedy about a pot-smoking, foul-mouthed teddy bear Ted has been moved from it’s original July 13 release to G.I. Joe: Retaliation’s original late June release date. In the end, I can’t say I’m disappointed that this film is not one I’m going to see anytime soon. Sure, it would’ve been nice, but then again, from the looks of it, it could be a dreadful two hours in the theater. I guess we’re just going to have to wait until March 2013 to find out.
What do you think about G.I. Joe’s release date push? Are you disappointed, or do you simply not care? Sound off in the comments below.