Larry Hama’s ringing endorsement of G.I. Joe: Retaliation

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.

10 thoughts on “Larry Hama’s ringing endorsement of G.I. Joe: Retaliation

  1. I’m glad to hear someone that helped build the GI Joe this is based on approves of the film. I for one have been looking forward to this film since 2009, but we didn’t get it then. So we finally got it now. Yo Joe

  2. It’s too bad that Flint looks a little weak in the movie. He has always been a strong leader in the Joeverse and one of my favorite characters. I still don’t think that we have gotten a definitive Flint figure either.

  3. Sorry, but after Hama’s enthusiastic endorsement of Rise of Crap, his opinion as far as GIJoe films go means absolutely nothing to me.

  4. Since Larry Hama’s return to G.I. Joe in 2010 with IDW, his storylines have been up and down but “up” for the most part. Not as good during the Marvel days but far better than during the Image and Devil’s Due days. Let me just say that I’m not expecting perfection from him and the artist with every issue, page and panel.

    But the guy doesn’t seem to know what a good film is… and that’s pretty damn sad especially when it comes to his own characters that have been turned into nothing but a bad joke. There are far deeper storylines and character development and growth going on in one issue of G.I. Joe (Marvel-IDW) from him to the point that makes them look like the Great America Novel when compared to the film.

  5. Very good news, with the only exception being the bit about Flint. I was hoping the movie would surprise me, since all indications pointed toward his portrayal being “meh,” but looks like ’tis not to be. Shame, since Flint is the type of character that would translate so well to Hollywood. All that machismo and arrogance couple with a sweet side (when LJ is concerned).

  6. At least people like Peter Chung, who creator and director the animation Æon Flux shorts, knew what a terrible adaptation was

    He ultimately described it as “a travesty,” adding: “I was unhappy when I read the script four years ago; seeing it projected larger than life in a crowded theatre made me feel helpless, humiliated, and sad. …[The movie’s creators] claim to love the original version; yet they do not extend that faith to their audience. No, they will soften it for the public, which isn’t hip enough to appreciate the raw, pure, unadulterated source like they do.” Chung has described his primary objection to the film as being its portrayal of the Æon and Trevor characters and their re-imagined history and relationship. He has gone so far as to state, “Ms. Flux does not actually appear in the movie.”

    Only easily amused action junkies will like this

  7. Man, how did some of you get to see this movie so early? You must have to be able to objectively condemn it like you are.

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