‘G.I. Joe: Retaliation’ stars Adrianne Palicki and D.J. Cotrona talk about growing up fans

As “G.I. Joe: Retaliation” kicks off what looks to be a fairly successful weekend, I thought I’d bring you two final interviews I did for the movie last weekend.

First, we’ve got the pairing of D.J. Cotrona and Adrianne Palicki, who play Flint and Lady Jaye in the film. I’m not a first generation “G.I. Joe” fan. I didn’t watch the cartoons or read the comics when I was a kid. I think I missed it all by a few years, and at the time it was huge, I was into things like Jim Jarmusch movies and live punk shows and bad behavior that drove my parents crazy. It’s strange interviewing cast and crew who made this film who were younger than me, the perfect age to be “Joe” fans, and see that they’ve managed to take that childhood enthusiasm and translate it into this second attempt at pulling off the series on film.

When we met D.J. Cotrona the first time on the set of the film in Louisiana, it was apparent right away that he was the most fervent “Joe” fan on the set, with the possible exception of director Jon Chu. When he talked about Flint, he wasn’t describing a character in the script that he’d read… he was describing an old friend, someone he’d known since childhood. It’s odd that in the finished film, he’s got the least defined role, because during production, I can’t imagine anyone was more committed to what they were doing than he was.

I take great pride in the fact that I got a blush out of Adrianne Palicki right at the start of the interview, and I’m sorry we didn’t evidently get it in the piece. I just asked her if she’s prepared to change the worlds of 13-year-old boys worldwide, and she went a lovely shade of crimson as she laughed. I’m not kidding, though. It’s not just the fact that she’s strikingly pretty that is going to make her the dream girl of these action-crazy kids. She is so appealing in the film, just the right combination of no-nonsense ass-kicking and wise-ass attitude, and when Jaye has to put on a red formal gown to sneak into an event, I predict you will actually hear puberty kick in for the young audience if you listen closely. I think it’s a bloody shame that David Kelly’s “Wonder Woman” didn’t work on the page, because they cast it right. Palicki is part of that “Friday Night Lights” cabal that is currently working to take over Hollywood, and I think once the right filmmaker figures out what to do with her, the sky is the limit. She’s funny, she’s stunning, and she genuinely looks like she could break you in the action scenes. What’s not to love?

If you’ve already seen the film, I’d love to hear your take on it, particularly if you grew up with the show. I can’t speak for the hardcore fans, but I suspect this is more of what they wanted from the first film.

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