G.I. JOE: RETALIATION
To satisfy the cravings of the toy enthusiasts and action-genre fans,
the film is chock full of souped-up vehicles that the G.I. JOE brand is
known for and an elaborate cache of diverse weaponry sure to be fun for
fans. For Luke Freeborn, the vehicles art director, it brings
out the kid in everyone. "Creating these giant toys and
making them come to life is like being a kid all over again.
We were all giddy with anticipation to see them actually put to work,"
The film features a wide array of weapons and vehicles that included
two different kinds of tanks, three different helicopters, two
different kinds of planes, a souped-up motorcycle, swords, knives, sais
and other weapons. Said di Bonaventura, "Bringing these toys
to life makes you feel like a kid again and I think people are going to
be thrilled seeing something they've never seen before."
When first creating the vehicles, the team was very mindful to push the
envelope while still honoring the G.I. JOE legacy. "The
directive has always been to make the vehicles as real and formidable
as possible with dynamic silhouettes," says Freeborn. "We
strove to incorporate some of the toy language that we're familiar with
and hope to see."
One such toy incorporated into the film is the COBRA Air
Boat. This massive and ominous looking boat is loosely based
on the water moccasin toy with added elements that included twin
engines, counter-rotating blades and enough horsepower to push it
across dry land.
Inspired by another classic G.I. JOE/Hasbro toy and sure to excite fans
from every age group, the film features a new version of the iconic
COBRA HISS Tank. To create this massive vehicle the
production team started with a M548 base that took 12 weeks to build
before adding the outer shell and flourish of a cockpit and extra
weaponry. Vehicles art director Luke Freeborn explains that,
"our biggest challenge was figuring out exactly how all of it would go
together, how the base would work with the top and how it would be
shaped together. We thought about the aesthetics of it and how to make
it look scary and formidable. It was a true team effort to
then make sure that the guns, tracks and steering all work and perform
A significantly smaller but faster tank seen in the film is the Joe
Colton tank that Roadblock uses to mow down his enemies.
Although seemingly less formidable than the HISS Tank, the Joe Colton
tank's power comes in its speed and agility. Considered to go
as fast as a ZR1 Corvette in the grass, the Colton tank has 750 horse
power and can go up to 65 mph. In addition, the tank is
outfitted with rocket launchers as well as a 100 lbs. 50 cal mounted on
top that the Roadblock character utilizes in a show of his great
ingenuity and physical strength.
The production team made a great effort to design each character's
weapons to compliment their individual fighting styles and
strengths. Not one to shy away from hand-to-hand combat,
Roadblock was given special accessories that were incorporated into his
wardrobe. "Roadblock has specially designed brass knuckles attached to
the vest that could split your skull and have the ability to attach
onto different weapons. With the combination of the weaponry
and fighting style you're really able to see his raw brutality,"
explains Dwayne Johnson.
To differentiate the ninjas and their skills, each character was
outfitted with a specific sword and way in which they were incorporated
into their costumes. "The weapons of the ninjas were
especially fun because we tried to define how each of them is
different," explains Jon M. Chu. "Jinx has 2 swords on one
side, Storm Shadow has two swords on two sides and Snake Eyes has 1
sword which helped distinguish which ninja was who from the profile."
Even more challenging, however, may be creating an action figure that
lives up to the characters seen in the film. "I don't know if
they have enough plastic to fill out how cut the real Roadblock is,"
jokes Chu. "I'm not sure they'll be able to give it enough
action movements because Kung-Fu grip is not enough for this
one. They'll need to up the ante with the capability to body
slam as well as a neck breaker and sleeper hold."
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