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Dwayne Johnson adds more action to ‘G.I. Joe: Retaliation’

Ray Park plays Snake Eyes Dwayne Johnsplays Roadblock 'G.I. Joe: Retaliation.'

Ray Park plays Snake Eyes and Dwayne Johnson plays Roadblock in "G.I. Joe: Retaliation."

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Updated: April 2, 2013 3:54PM

Dwayne Johnson is the first one to admit that 2009’s “G.I. Joe: Rise of the Cobra” movie lacked a little something.

“The first movie was very successful, but we all knew that there was room for improvement,” Johnson said. “We wanted to grab that opportunity by the throat.”

He also wanted to punch it, kick it and even give it that steely Rock gaze.

“This is a grittier ‘Joe,’ ” Johnson said. “It pays homage to our military in a real way, which was key to me. I wanted to honor our heroes.”

The sequel, “G.I. Joe: Retaliation,” opened as the weekend’s No. 1 movie despite bad reviews.

“I trained my butt off for this film because it is a big franchise. You can’t coast,” Johnson said. “It’s a big title and fans are passionate about it, so I had to take it up a notch with the training. ”

Later this month, Johnson will star in “Pain & Gain” with his pal Mark Wahlberg. They play a pair of bodyguards in Florida who find themselves mixed up in an extortion ring that involves kidnapping.

“It’s actually an absurd story that really happened,” Johnson says. “It’s also a brutal story, which makes it interesting.”

Cindy Pearlman, Big Picture News Inc.

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