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Total Oscar Bait: G.I. Joe: Retaliation Trailer

By Steven Lloyd Wilson | Trailers | April 24, 2012 |

By Steven Lloyd Wilson | Trailers | April 24, 2012 |

I always had a hodge podge of toys when I was a kid, never enough of any one particular brand to play just that. Transformers were probably the modal category, about a dozen of those. G.I. Joes probably half that, plus this tiger striped helicopter that ironically was just like a Cobra (the real name, not the G.I. Joe bad guys) except it was bright yellow. Playing meant creating stories with toys from ten different backgrounds, with inch tall characters integrated in with everything up to eight inch tall ones. I did not pretend they were the same size, I generated all manner of reasons to explain the differences within the play itself: mutants, shrink rays, gargantuan cyborgs. Play never involved the storylines that nominally came with the toys. That would have involved actually having seen half the series they were based on (I hadn’t) or being dull enough that one couldn’t make up far better stories on one’s own.

That fusing of piles of different toys into an anarchy of story telling is what the trailer for G.I. Joe Retaliation reminds me of. Not because it looks anything good, and let me tell you, the world missed out on some top notch literature by not recording my play sessions for posterity. Let me tell you, there was some fricking pathos and tragedy going down on Saturday afternoons in my room. That’s what you get with imagination, no neighborhood friends and no cable.

The president is a Cobra shapeshifter! The Joes are almost wiped out! Go find old dude Joe and form a secret team! Ninjas on a cliff!

This looks like a clusterfuck of cheesy stupidity. But it’s got Bruce Willis and the Rock, with but a glimpse or two of the Lieutenant Spud. Maybe I’m delusional this morning, but it almost hints at being halfway entertaining.

Steven Lloyd Wilson is the sci-fi and history editor. You can email him here or follow him on Twitter.

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