G.I. Joe: Retaliation: This is a sequel to the totally lousy initial attempt at mounting a G.I. Joe franchise from way back in 2009. Troubled productions that scrape their way to break-even status at the box office aren’t usually locks for sequels, and especially don’t tend to inspire sequels released almost four years later, the kind of gap Star Trek or Batman can get away with; maybe not so much Hasbro. But Paramount really, really wanted to make G.I. Joe 2 happen, so they did what all franchises must do in order to guarantee success: they called The Rock (starring in the second of four last-weekend-of-the-month features in a row). They also called Bruce Willis, apparently in a bid to turn every franchise into The Expendables. They also added 3D, which is the stated reason this movie got bumped from its summer 2012 release date into this spring. They also probably (spoiler alert? It seems clear from the trailers) killed off the Channing Tatum character as a vestige of the previous, not particularly well-loved movie, and then watched as Tatum became a much bigger star with The Vow, 21 Jump Street, and Magic Mike (which shared Joe 2‘s original release date! Oh the double features that might have been!); it seems likely that they used the extra time to put some extra Tatum in the movie—either via existing footage or reshoots. Basically, two entries in, this film series has gone through so much tinkering, you’d think NBC was in charge of it. But director Jon Chu did a pretty nice job on the better Step Up movies (his best work, Step Up 2 the Streets, also featured Channing Tatum appearing basically just to peace out of the series); maybe Chu plus the Rock plus ninjas will equal stupid fun instead of just stupid.