The sequel, however, appears to have a very good shot at being actually good. Stephen Sommers is out of the directors chair and while replacement John Chu has no experience making action movies (and some would argue that neither did Sommers), his work on the Step Up sequels show he can choreograph the hell out of a scene.
Original writers Stuart Beattie, David Elliot & Paul Lovett are also long gone, which is no great loss as the only good film to their collective credit would be Beattie's Collateral. Stepping in to replace them are Rhett Reese & Paul Wernick who wrote Zombieland, a film with a lot of genre smarts without coming at the expense of character. That's reassuring.
Another positive sign, most of the cast are gone, too! Unfortunately we lose the redheaded loveliness of Rachel Nichols and the ham-tastic work of Joseph Gordon-Levitt but we also lose Marlon Wayans, which is always a good thing. The only surviving original cast members appear to be Channing Tatum and the Ninjas and as happy as I am to see Byung-hun Lee in any movie, I thought Storm Shadow died in the last Joe?
The new faces joining this film are surprisingly awesome. We have Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson (following Driven and Fast Five in his much-needed return to ass-kicking), Elodie Yung (District 13: Ultimatum), Adrianne Palicki (Friday Night Lights), RZA (Repo Men), Joseph Mazzello (The Social Network) and Ray Stevenson (Punisher: War Zone).
Now Variety reports that Walton Goggins, star of acclaimed crime dramas The Shield and Justified, joins the cast while Bruce Willis is supposedly in negotiations to play General Joe Colton, the original G.I. Joe, back when the toy line was basically just a masculine Barbie doll.
It would be silly to imagine a cast as large as this will get their dues on-screen, it's likely to be the Channing Tatum Show with a scene stealing assist from The Rock, and an actor as great as Goggins may only appear in one scene. However much screen time is divvied up among the ranks, the quality of the cast is unquestionably higher than the previous movie and the talent behind the scenes is reassuringly strong. I get the impression Paramount are serious about making a franchise out of Joe, now that Michael Bay is departing Transformers for the good of all mankind, and with names like these attached I am more than happy to give it a chance.
Hold the phone, we have another update by the intrepid A. Shaw...
And now you know even more about G.I. Joe 2 than before, and knowing is some percentage of the battle. Probably not enough to guarantee victory, though.