JOE COLTON v.1 (2013)
Allow me a minute to complain. In my Alley Valley review the other day I was telling you how excited I was about finally owning a copy of G.I. Joe: Retaliation on Blu-ray. There were multiple versions available: standard, 3D, Steel case, combo pack, yadda yadda yadda. I opted for the Best Buy exclusive extended cut. I was not only excited to see the extended version of the movie but also to listen to the commentary track so that I could hear all of Jon Chu’s insights on the film. I was hoping that maybe he’d point on background Joes that he intended to actually be “name” Joes and other such juicy secrets. For example, did you know that Clutch was in the film? And Grunt? And that Major Bludd was shown during the opening credits? Neat things like that is what I was stoked to hear about. When I picked up my copy from Best Buy I noticed that it didn’t mention a commentary on the package even though I was sure one had been recorded. Once I got home with it I realized that there was no commentary track on the Blu-ray. I was annoyed but I chalked it up to the fact that this was the extended cut so the commentary recorded for the theatrical cut wouldn’t match up. Luckily the Blu-ray came packaged with the theatrical version on DVD which surely had the commentary, right? Wrong. I find this very frustrating. It’s bad enough when studios release “special editions” of your favorite movies years after you already purchased a standard version, but releasing multiple copies of the same film on the initial release date which forces fans to buy multiple copies if they want all the bonus content is bullshit. Not impressed Paramount.
Now that I’ve gotten that out of my system let’s talk about a toy based on the movie. This here is a representation of Bruce Willis as General Joe Colton. Bruce really didn’t have a whole lot to do in the movie. He shows up at the mid-point, steers the Joes in the right direction, disappears for a while, and then shows up again at the end to help out in the final confrontation. Bruce had some cheesy lines and I didn’t really get the joke of him always calling Lady Jaye “Brenda”. Had any other actor been cast in the role, Colton had the potential to be a groan inducing character. Which would have been a shame because Joe Colton is a pretty important character in the Joe brand. For those of you not in the know, Colton is intended to be the original G.I. Joe, the doll from the 60s with the kung-fu grip and life-like hair. Apparently he wasn’t included in earlier drafts of the script so I’m glad that they found room for him, even if it was only a small role. I grew up on Bruce Willis and have enjoyed him since his days on Moonlighting. Die Hard is one of my all-time favorite movies, I’m also a big fan of The Fifth Element, Unbreakable, Pulp Fiction, Sin City, and several more of his flicks. I think casting him as Joe Colton was a great idea and despite the cheesy lines and lack of screen time I think he made Colton as cool as he could have and left movie goers wanting more.
With the first movie, Rise of Cobra, figures with the actors’ likenesses didn’t appeal to me. I only bough one version of most of the characters (Duke, Ripcord, Scarlett, Heavy Duty, Breaker, etc.) and I passed on Dennis Quaid’s Hawk and Brandon Fraser’s Sgt. Stone altogether. I’m not sure what changed this time around but I couldn’t wait to get film accurate versions of the Joes featured in Retaliation. Bruce Willis was the one I was most excited about. Sure Dwayne Johnson is cool too but there are already plenty of “Rock” figures out there. For a guy that’s been in as many action films as he has, there aren’t to many Bruce Willis figures available. Having Bruce Willis as a G.I. Joe seemed very appealing to me for some reason. So how does this little Willis stack up?
Pretty Good. Pretty, pretty, pretty good. I would say that it is immediately recognizable as Bruce Willis which is a plus. What I would consider an even bigger plus is the outfit they chose to put him in. The Hasbro designers could have easily went with a three-piece suit, as that’s one of the outfits he wears in the movie and just such a body is readily available; but who wants Bruce Willis in a suit? Instead they outfitted him in a white T-shirt a la John McClane. If you wanted to display this as a Die Hard figure (one of the later balder Die Hards) this would make a perfectly acceptable John McClane figure. The shoulder holster helps to make him look like his lovable New York cop persona. However he’s got just enough of a camo pattern in his pants to pass for military as well so he’s a perfectly adequate battle-ready General Colton figure too. The sculpt doesn’t have much in the way of flash but I’m fine with that. Everybody can’t be Iron Klaw. The likeness really is impressive but the eyes kind of creep me out. I really like how they painted his 5 o’clock shadow.
He came with quite a few accessories including a big ol’ missile launcher but I’m content to display with his pistol only. I’m quite happy with this figure and it’s nice to finally have a Joe Colton to display. I have the Joe Colton figure that the Collector’s Club put out a couple of years ago but he remains in his package and tacked to my wall and I was never really happy with the 2006 version. I recommend you seek this one out whether you’re a Joe fan or just a Willis fan. 9 out of 10.