What would have improved Super Bowl XLVII? ‘G.I. Joe: Retaliation’

Feb. 05, 2013 | 9:59 a.m.

Super Bowl Sunday has come and gone, but Super Bowl Sunday commercials? We’re going to dissect those things forever. Which brings us to the latest wave: Super Bowl commercials you didn’t see.

All things science-and-future site i09 has declared this trailer for “G.I. Joe: Retaliation” “the best Super Bowl commercial that didn’t air during the Super Bowl” — but should have.

We were going to argue, until we watched it.

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The first installment in the franchise, “G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra,” was “critic-proof,” as they say. A popcorn movie with lots of action, lots of explosions, all while not making an awful lot of sense.

It all added up to $302 million in worldwide box-office revenue, according to Box Office Mojo.

So it’s no surprise that Channing Tatum is back, with a new crew that includes the Rock and Bruce Willis. This installment is expected to provide that nostalgic link between fans of the 1960s toy line (in which G.I. Joe was a solo soldier) and the 1980s comics and animated series, in which the “G.I. Joes” were a team.

Johnson is Roadblock, a heavy-machine-gunner familiar to fans of the Hasbro action-figure line and Marvel comics on which the films are based, and Willis plays Joe Colton — as in the “Joe” that gives the series its name.

Although an earlier trailer for the movie plays out in a more traditional format, this one takes a few seconds to sink in. It unspools as a military recruitment piece, featuring seemingly benevolent soldiers who travel by air, sea and land: A flag is raised on the home front, and one man in uniform reaches down to scoop up a girl out of harm’s way.

A dramatic voice-over intones: “A new force is on the horizon. Do you have what it takes?”

It’s only at the end — when the rescued little girl lifts her hand off the soldier’s uniform to reveal the symbol of a red serpent, hood extended, poised to strike — that the viewer realizes: This is no military recruitment video.

“Be a Cobra!” A Cobra?!? Wait a sec. Aren’t they the bad guys?

Indeed.

“Bold move on Paramount’s part,” says Bleeding Cool.

What do you think of this stealthy trailer-with-a-twist and its decision to leave all the bold-faced names out? Would it have been a hit at your Super Bowl party? Will you see “G.I. Joe: Retribution” when it opens March 28?

For more images from the movie, check out the photo gallery below:

@renelynch

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gr 13237r What would have improved Super Bowl XLVII? G.I. Joe: Retaliation

Bruce Willis plays Joe Colton in "G.I. Joe: Retaliation." (Jaimie Trueblood / Paramount Pictures)

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Adrianne Palicki plays Lady Jaye in "G.I. Joe: Retaliation." (Jaimie Trueblood / Paramount Pictures)

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D.J. Cotrona plays Flint in "G.I. Joe: Retaliation." (Jaimie Trueblood / Paramount Pictures)

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Elodie Yung plays Jinx in "G.I. Joe: Retaliation." (Jaimie Trueblood / Paramount Pictures)

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Cobra Commander, center, in "G.I. Joe: Retaliation." (Jaimie Trueblood / Paramount Pictures)

gr 17069r What would have improved Super Bowl XLVII? G.I. Joe: Retaliation

Ray Park plays Snake Eyes in "G.I. Joe: Retaliation." (Jaimie Trueblood / Paramount Pictures)

gr 19760r What would have improved Super Bowl XLVII? G.I. Joe: Retaliation

Byung-Hun Lee plays Storm Shadow in "G.I. Joe: Retaliation." (Jaimie Trueblood / Paramount Pictures)

la ca 1212 gijoeretaliation 1343 What would have improved Super Bowl XLVII? G.I. Joe: Retaliation

Dwayne Johnson as Roadblock, left, and Channing Tatum as Duke in "G.I. Joe: Retaliation." (Paramount Pictures)

ca 0411 g i joe retaliation 074 What would have improved Super Bowl XLVII? G.I. Joe: Retaliation

Byung–Hun Lee plays Storm Shadow, left, and Ray Park plays Snake Eyes in "G.I. Joe: Retaliation." (Paramount Pictures)

ca 0411 g i joe retaliation 069 What would have improved Super Bowl XLVII? G.I. Joe: Retaliation

Dwayne Johnson as Roadblock, left, and Bruce Willis as Colton in "G.I. Joe: Retaliation." (Jaimie Trueblood / Paramount Pictures)

ca 0411 g i joe retaliation 068 What would have improved Super Bowl XLVII? G.I. Joe: Retaliation

Ray Park as Snake Eyes, left, and Elodie Yung as Jinx in "G.I. Joe: Retaliation." (Jaimie Trueblood / Paramount Pictures)

ca 0411 g i joe retaliation 070 What would have improved Super Bowl XLVII? G.I. Joe: Retaliation

Adrianne Palicki as Lady Jaye, left, and Bruce Willis as Colton in "G.I. Joe: Retaliation." (Jaimie Trueblood / Paramount Pictures)

film g i joe jpege280930b5db What would have improved Super Bowl XLVII? G.I. Joe: Retaliation

Channing Tatum as Captain Duke Hauser, left, and Dwayne Johnson as Roadblock in "G.I. Joe: Retaliation." (Jaimie Trueblood / Paramount Pictures)

ca 0411 g i joe retaliation 071 What would have improved Super Bowl XLVII? G.I. Joe: Retaliation

Adrianne Palicki as Lady Jaye in "G.I. Joe: Retaliation." (Jaimie Trueblood / Paramount Pictures)

ca 0411 g i joe retaliation 072 What would have improved Super Bowl XLVII? G.I. Joe: Retaliation

Ray Park as Snake Eyes, left, and Dwayne Johnson as Roadblock in "G.I. Joe: Retaliation." (Jaimie Trueblood / Paramount Pictures)

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