The backlog of G.I. Joe Retaliation figures gets a bit smaller with the Ultimate Flint review!
In the film, Flint was portrayed as a brash, cocky, and headstrong member of the team who found himself tested when Cobra Commander’s brutal plan was put into action. Some fans felt this didn’t jive with his portrayals in various media over the past 30 years while others found it to be spot-on with his early appearances in Larry Hama’s Marvel Comics run. Regardless, wave 3.5 of the Retaliation line brought fans “Ultimate Flint”– a figure sporting a more movie-accurate deco and enough accessories to outfit a platoon. Is this figure worth a purchase considering there was a Flint figure released just one wave earlier?
To borrow a phrase from one of the recent Star Trek series “It’s been a long road, getting from there to here.” Two years since Rise of Cobra and then an unexpected nine month delay before G.I. Joe fans were treated to a second attempt at a big screen franchise of their favorite Real American Heroes. Nearly three years since G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra tore apart the G.I. Joe fandom and tarnished the image of the once-dominant brand as a kitschy modern day remake of Mega-Force. This time, however, things appeared to be different. Director Jon M. Chu, better known for his Justin Bieber documentary, set to direct a script from the talented duo that brought us Zombieland. Admittedly, all were fans of the incredible comic run by the “godfather of G.I. Joe” Larry Hama and promised a film that was more true to its comic roots than RoC. However, I’d heard that song and dance before but tonight felt different. The lights dimmed and I sat with friends in a surprise early birthday celebration organized by my wonderful girlfriend Amanda. Was this a film to redeem the brand, the fandom, and reignite the enthusiasm of many disheartened fans?
In the next week there will be a lot of critics who turn their eye toward G.I. Joe Retaliation and offer their thoughts on the film’s merits. Some will be familiar with the property and others will not– and therefore these reviews have the potential to be a bit of a mixed bag. Sure, the critic for the Springfield Herald might have enjoyed the film but he might not have any idea of who the charaters are, etc.
Yesterday, Larry Hama, the fan-dubbed “godfather of G.I. Joe” was treated to a screening of the film. The author of the majority of the file cards and comics from the A Real American Hero as well as the current ARAH comic from IDW, no single individual has contributed more to the characters of G.I. Joe than Larry. He posted his spoiler-free thoughts on the film last night on Facebook:
I liked RETALIATION a lot. Vast improvement over ROC. Snake-Eyes and Storm Shadow are much more up front, and the whole thing is a lot more character-driven. Not only is there no sinking ice, but the big finale involves physical action with people rather than choreography of CGI vehicles. The Rock is perfect as Roadblock, and Bruce Willis’s take on Joe Colton is brill (he has some of the best lines.) There’s no sign of Scarlett, but the actress who plays Lady Jaye is quite good. Jinx is amazing. Flint is kind of meh. Overall, the direction is terrific and crisp. I can tell what is going on all the time, and everything LOOKS great. Ninja fight sequence in the mountains is amazing, in that you never lose track of what is happening, and there’s a ton of fast visual input. Is there stuff I didn’t like? That would be quibbling. The positive outweighs the negative here. And I walked out feeling that the characters had been treated with respect.
Larry’s background not only time in the US Army and extensive martial arts training but even work as a guild-sanctioned actor. To hear that he felt the characters were treated well and that the film’s direction is solid may help reassure a lot of fans who were still on the fence about a live action sequel in the wake of G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra.
Up until now the press for G.I. Joe Retaliation has been limited mostly to videos released through Paramount Pictures and interviews conducted with some of the cast and crew. Last year a number of websites were treated to set visits although the details of those excursions were held back when the film’s release date was pushed back.
Well, now the flood gates have opened! Check out the following links for a plethora of great information!