The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

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The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

SMU professor Susanne Scholz in the West Bank in 2018.
SMU professor to return to campus after being trapped in Gaza for 12 years
Sara Hummadi, Video Editor • May 18, 2024

‘G.I. Joe: Retaliation’ director talks power of ‘G.I. Joe’ franchise

G.I. Joe is back, and this time he’s bigger than ever.

The sequel to 2009’s “G.I. Joe: The Rise of the Cobra,” “G.I. Joe: Retaliation,” hit theaters nationwide on March 28.

The film features Dwayne Johnson, D.J. Cotrona and Channing Tatum in the starring roles.

Before working on the action-packed “G.I” film, the film’s director, Jon Chu, was known for his work directing a different type of movie.

Before “G.I. Joe,” Chu directed”Step Up 2: The Streets,” “Step Up 3D” and “Justin Beiber: Never Say Never.”

“G.I. Joe” is his fourth film, and is quite different from his musical background.

In a nationwide college conference call, Chu spoke about his experience directing his first action film.

“This is my fourth film. So it was a Step Up 2, 3, Bieber, and then Joe. And it was definitely a jump. I mean…when you jump into a big movie like this; there are a lot of different pressures,” Chu said.

Among these pressures were the multiple studios that controlled the film and the actors having a large say in the film.

“We had multiple studios… And then you include The Rock, who has a say in things. So it is a balancing out. But I think that ultimately, they really trusted me. They gave me a lot of freedom to do what I needed to do to make the tone work.” Chu said.

While it was Chu’s first action movie, there were plenty of other people on set with action experience.

“When you’re working on your first action movie, it was really helpful to have (Lorenzo) our producer, and you have Duane (Johnson) and Bruce (Willis), who are masters of action movies,” Chu said.

The film features characters who do not necessarily fit into the traditional good guy or bad guy mold featured in many action films.

Chu responds that the certain characters who could be on either side adds to the fun of the “G.I. Joe” films.

The mix of good and evil characters is balanced out by G.I. Joe.

“I think that ultimately, though, Joe, G.I. Joe, the name, even – just the Average Joe can be the hero. Is sort of the center of our – of the tone and theme of our movie, that it’s actually not about the laser guns, it’s not about the hovercraft of the spacecraft that you have.”

In the film, Bruce Willis plays General Joe Colton, the inspirational hero.

“He (Bruce Willis) is the only one who can look at Duane Johnson in the face and say, ‘You’re not man enough yet’. You’ve got to let go of all those other things, and dig deep. Because when your back’s against the wall and you have no equipment – you have none of that stuff – the only thing that matters is who you are as a person. And that’s what makes a hero,” Chu said.

Chu believes that G.I. Joe’s heroic role in the film is what partly has allowed the “G.I. Joe” franchise to last for so many generations.

Regardless of the manner the story is told, ultimately, “it is a human story about stepping into being a leader.”

The universality of the story appeals to different generations and allows the G.I. Joe character to continue to be reinvented.

“G.I. Joe: Retaliation” is now in theaters.   

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