After the first film in the series became a critical punching bag and was received rather less-than-warmly by the viewing public, I was somewhat surprised to hear that Paramount was going ahead with a "G.I. Joe" sequel. Clearly "Rise of Cobra" made money for the studio or else they wouldn't be doing it (it grossed over $300 million worldwide), but are they really expecting audiences to return after bearing witness to the underwhelming first installment?
 
Apparently so, and now the first official trailer for the sequel - subtitled "Retaliation" - has hit the web. The plot, as it turns out, concerns the Cobra Command-hijacked U.S. government killing off the majority of the Joes early in the film (including briefly-returning cast member Channing Tatum), leaving the remaining members (including Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Adrianne "Wonderwoman" Palicki and Bruce "John McClane" Willis) to exact their revenge and save America from the grip of the evil terrorist military group.
 
Perhaps I shouldn't be surprised given director Jon M. Chu's previous credits (he directed "Step Up" 2 and 3 as well as the Justin Bieber concert movie "Never Say Never" from earlier this year), but the trailer, perhaps unsurprisingly, is underwhelming at best. Sure, there are one or two relative highlights (the mountainside combat sequence looks like it could provide some halfway decent thrills), but based on the 2 1/2 minutes of footage shown here "Retaliation" comes off as a fairly generic, second-tier action film that may not even manage the minor feat of besting the Stephen Sommers-directed first entry.
 
My grade for the trailer: "C-". After watching it below, rate it for yourself at top left!

"G.I. Joe: Retaliation" is slated for release on June 29, 2012.