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'Joe creator Larry Hama says G.I. Joe Retaliation is "a vast improvement over the first one"

03.21.2013

With just a week before it's release, the anticipation for G.I. JOE: RETALIATAION continues to build, much of it due to fans wanting to know if the film will finally be able to capture the essence of the original '80's cartoon and comics.  One of the chief engineers of the G.I. Joe brand, Larry Hama, who wrote all 155 issues of the comic for Marvel (and continues to do so with IDW) and helped create the majority of the characters, writing their filecards and providing the template for who the 'Joes are.  In short, there's no one with a bigger influence on G.I. Joe than Mr. Hama.

Hama recently spoke to Zaki's Corner and revealed that he's seen the sequel, which he says is a "vast improvement" over the original, saying:

I really liked it. This is actually the first screening in New York. It was a small screening, but it was packed, and the reaction seemed pretty good. I thought it was a vast improvement over the first one.

Hama also addressed the issues he had with the first one and why he thinks G.I. JOE: RETALIATION is a better film:

I don't want to give any spoilers, but I think they concentrated on a smaller number of characters.  The character development was really good. And the action sequences were just great. They were about physical action. My big problem with the first movie was that the big finale, y'know, was sort of like a James Bond finale.

Y'know, this ice fortress didn't really make a lot of…it was just vehicles moving, and objects exploding. There's no…it's hard to get audience involvement about things blowing up. I think the second one is a much smarter script in that it's more about the people. The characters.

He also addressed the continuity from the first film to the second, as well as the use of CGI:

What I really like about the second movie is that they didn't say that the events of the first movie didn't happen. They kept the concept of that continuity but they somehow improved on where it went, which I think is kind of brilliant that they can do that.

And, they keep some of the threads going, but also slightly retcon some of that continuity. The Snake Eyes-Storm Shadow thread is much more upfront and got a lot of screen time, so that's great. And the ninja fight on the mountain fortress is just amazing. They showed a huge amount of it in the previews, but there's a lot more of it. And it's pretty amazing.

Lots of times you see these action things with lots of CG and lots of green screen, and it's like you're just following a video game. But in this case it's so well cut together with the live actors who are visibly acting and advancing the plot. I think that's a big difference.

So, overall, some good thoughts from the "Godfather" of G.I. Joe himself.  Growing up, my first introduction to comic books was through Hama's G.I. Joe comics and it forever changed my life.  His interpretation of the many characters we've come to know and love from G.I. Joe lore has stood the test of time and my fiingers are crossed for G.I. JOE: RETALITATION to deliver the goods.

G.I. JOE: RETALIATION, starring Dwayne Johnson, Bruce Willis, Adrianne Palicki, DJ Catrona, Arnold Vosloo, Jonathan Pryce, Ray Stevenson, Ray Park, and Byung-hun Lee opens in 3D on March 29, 2013.

Extra Tidbit: The G.I. Joe character "Tunnel Rat" is based off of Hama's likeness.
Source: Zaki's Corner

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