ROADBLOCK v.23 (2013)
Sorry my Retaliation Week reviews kind of fizzled out over the last few days leading up to the film release but i have a good excuse. I was off seeing G.I. Joe Retaliation. Tuesday night I went to the premiere showing in 3D IMAX. On Wednesday night I saw it again on a normal screen in 2D. And then last night I was at a concert (unrelated to G.I. Joe : Retaliation but still great. Youtube Joel Plaskett if you’re not familiar with him). Now I have been anticipating this movie with bated breath since it was first announced like 3 years ago. Though in a sense you could say I’ve been waiting for this movie for 30 years. I’ve been collecting G.I. Joe figures for as long as I can remember and I would’ve loved to have seen a well-made live-action movie starring my favorite Joe characters when I was a kid. It took nearly 3 decades but I finally got my Joe movie in 2009, well, I got A G.I. Joe movie. The first movie was made by someone who didn’t grow up with G.I. Joe, at least not the Real American Hero version, and it showed. I don’t want to rag on Stephen Sommers too badly but he seemed to be less concerned with honoring the brand, and more concerned about making a big dumb popcorn movie. Forcing his ideas into the script, like the accelerator suits, didn’t help matters. The Snake Eyes/Storm Shadow origin was rushed and poorly executed. Important characters like Baroness and Cobra Commander were given ridiculous backstories. There were plenty of things for a Joe fan like myself to complain about. But Sommers is capable of making fun movies, and I think he accomplished that goal with Rise of Cobra. On some levels I quite enjoy it but as I said, it just wasn’t MY G.I. Joe movie.
Jon Chu, on the other hand, is about the same age as me. He grew up watching the same Joe cartoons and reading the same Joe comics as I did. I was worried about the choice of director when it was first announced because I wasn’t familiar with Chu and his only film credits were Step Up 3D and Justin Beiber: Never say Never. But as soon as I starting hearing him talk about the brand in interviews I felt that we were in good hands. Anyone who can casually namedrop Serpentor in a conversation is okay in my books. Now having seen it (twice), I can finally say that I’ve seen MY Joe movie. The one I’ve been directing in my head all these years. The movie wasn’t perfect but I thought it was pretty damn close. I came home and immediately began checking out film reviews online, I was all hopped up with excitement and I wanted to see if others were feeling the same. The first bunch of reviews I came across were pretty “blah” about it and I was genuinely surprised.
Granted, the average Joe (no pun intended) might not enjoy it as much as a G.I. Fanboy like myself but I don’t see how anyone could not enjoy the movie. It moves at a very quick pace, has some great action, awesome costumes and great characters. Sure the storyline isn’t revolutionary, Cobra wants to take over the world, seen it a million times. But that’s kind of the point. COBRA ALWAYS TRYS TO TAKE OVER THE WORLD! THATS WHAT THEY DO! The movie takes itself pretty seriously most of the time, some might say too much so, but there are a few great moments of levity and the overall film is oozing with fun. I won’t go into detail now because I’m sure there are lots of people out there who haven’t seen it yet. I give it my two enthusiastic thumbs up (trademarks be damned). Make sure you check it out.
So today I will review my last Retaliation figure for a while. I’m on a Joe high right now and want to keep writing about them but this blog is intended to focus on my entire toy collection so I’m gonna go back to He-Men and Transformers for a little while. I won’t stray from Joe for too long though as I’ve recently got a bunch of great new figures.
This figure here is another version of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson as Roadblock. I previously reviewed a “Rock Rock” in my Retaliation coverage last year. There have been 3 Retaliation Roadblock’s released to date and I have all of them. I quite liked the one I reviewed last time (version 21). I thought it was a good likeness and a good overall sculpt. I didn’t care much for version 22 but I was kind of forced to get him because he came in a 3-pack with other figures I wanted. When I first saw pics online of this latest Roadblock (version 23) I wasn’t impressed. If I had seen it in the store I actually think I would have passed on it. Version 21 was good enough for me. Well I could not find any of the Retaliation wave 2 figures in my local stores so I caved and ordered the compete 5-figure wave online from BigBadToyStore.
I opened up this Roadblock and still wasn’t impressed. There was just too much green or something, I’m not even sure what I didn’t like about it. In order to review this figure I had to spend some time looking at it more closely and after fiddling around with it I’ve been won over. I really like this Roadblock figure. If I were to recommend one movie Roadblock figure to you I would say get this one over version 21. The likeness to Dwayne Johnson is way better on this figure. It’s especially noticeable when they’re beside each other. The face on this figure is amazingly well done. The body has lots of great detailing. One of the most noticeable details is the veins sculpted in the forearms. The articulation on this figure is top notch and again far superior to that of version 21. He’s got articulated ankles, bendable wrists, and double jointed knees giving him a wide array of posing options.
This Roadblock has some pretty cool weapons as well. First off he comes with a standard heavy machine gun with tripod that you’d expect to find with a Roadblock figure. However he also comes with a bunch of little things that I initially ignored. After breaking them out for the review I realized how neat these little accessories are. He’s got two brass knuckle looking things and all of the other items attach to them allowing you to customize his arsenal. All of the attachments can be stored on his person which is pretty sweet. He’s got holsters and sheaths on his leg, chest, back, belt and hips. It’s kind of crazy how the designers found a spot for everything. A great figure and a great movie. 9 out of 10.