Watch: Dwayne Johnson on why ‘Retaliation’ bests the first ‘G.I. Joe’

“I was a big fan of G.I. Joe, sure. When I was a kid I was playing with G.I. Joe, and Star Wars and they were all intermingling, and G.I. Joe was dating Princess Leia, and a lot of inappropriate things were going on.”

That’s a quote from the man himself, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, when I sat down with the star in Las Vegas recently to interview him about “G.I. Joe: Retaliation”, a sequel to 2009’s “The Rise of Cobra”, in which he stars as tough-as-nails machine-gunner Roadblock. But don’t worry, that’s as far as we went with talk of his youthful action-figure sexual liaisons.

More important for the star at this juncture is to sell “G.I. Joe” fans on this new live-action installment, particularly given the negative impression many came away with after seeing the first film (which nevertheless proved to be a financial success when factoring in those increasingly-lucrative international ticket sales). Indeed, should they even bother with “Retaliation” having already been burned once before? Johnson’s unsurprising advice is, of course, to put aside your reservations and go – and by the way, he didn’t think “The Rise of Cobra” was any great shakes either.

“[‘Retaliation’ was] a second crack at something,” he volunteered at one point, referring to the fans’ underwhelming reception to the first movie. “I think it elevates [the series] on a couple of levels.”

To find out exactly how, according to Johnson, check out the full interview above. In addition, you can hear him talk about what it was like working with the iconic Bruce Willis, one of his action-hero predecessors, as well as the concept of loving your own action figure just a little too much.

“G.I. Joe: Retaliation” hits theaters on June 29. Directed by Jon M. Chu (“Step Up 2 and 3”), it also stars Adrianne Palicki (“Legion”), Channing Tatum and Bruce Willis.

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