There are few people who’s opinions I would respect more on the subject of G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero than Larry Hama. As the architect of the entire run of vintage Marvel Comics, and a healthy share of the action figure filecards, Mr. Hama has had his fingers in the G.I. Joe realm for more years than many people have been alive. He’s often said that he based all of these characters off of real people and as such they are like friends and family to him, and he takes their representations pretty seriously.
Larry had a chance to see G.I. Joe: Retaliation tonight, and he has posted his opinion on his Facebook page.
By and large, it sounds like Larry really enjoyed the film. He kindly refrained from posting spoilers, but he spoke about the characters, the plot, and how he felt the cast and crew did taking what were pretty much his personalities and personas and putting them to film. He approved of the actors for the most part, and applauded the “physical action with people” rather than an over-abundance of CGI. It seemed like a very honest, thoughtful, and real perspective on the film.
There will be folks out there who say he’s probably “shilling” for Paramount, but I’ve known Larry for many years. I consider him a friend. That’s really not what he is. He’s very much a “tell it as he feels it” kind of guy, and if this is what he put out there, this is how he feels, and I think many G.I. Joe fans will sleep better over the next 9 days considering the words he put down.
For folks who aren’t on Facebook, or who aren’t Friends with Larry, I’ve pasted the full text of the review after the “Read the Rest of the Story” link below. I think folks should check it out.
Larry Hama’s Facebook Post on G.I. Joe: Retaliation
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.