Film Review: Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins (2021)

Also known as: Snake Eyes (informal title)
Release Date: July 21st, 2021 (Indonesia, Iceland, Italy)
Directed by: Robert Schwentke
Written by: Evan Spiliotopoulos, Joe Shrapnel, Anna Waterhouse
Based on: Snake Eyes by Larry Hama; G.I. Joe by Hasbro
Music by: Martin Todsharow
Cast: Henry Golding, Andrew Koji, Úrsula Corberó, Samara Weaving, Haruka Abe, Takehiro Hira, Iko Uwais, Peter Mensah

Skydance Media, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Paramount Pictures, 121 Minutes

Review:

“[deciding to run away from the battle] Oh, fuck this!” – The Baroness

Lens flares are back, baby! And I guess they’re getting really fancy and artistic with them now. So much so, that they’ve become more important than the action and you find yourself looking for them, as opposed to focusing on the fights, that are already obscured by this effect, as well as choppy editing, sloppy choreography and what’s apparently the director not giving a fuck about anything.

Anyway, this was the third attempt at a live-action G.I. Joe movie and it’s also a huge step backwards from Retaliation, which had its problems but was also leaning hard into the right direction. With Retaliation, a follow up never came because Hasbro doesn’t know what the fuck they’re doing with their own properties, anymore. Plus, Paramount has been creatively bankrupt with Hasbro’s properties since they originally acquired them in the mid-’00s.

At least the horrendous G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra kind of resembled G.I. JoeSnake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins, on the other hand, is notG.I. Joe movie and the title character is not Snake Eyes.

To start, Snake Eyes is a masked, silent ninja. Emphasis on “silent” and “masked”. He’s also a white, blonde American that got disfigured from an accident while trying to save his brothers-in-arms during an actual war.

In this film, he’s Asian, he never wears a mask and he rarely, if ever, doesn’t shut the fuck up. He also doesn’t go to war. Additionally, they didn’t really cast an action guy and Henry Golding, despite his best efforts and I don’t blame him, completely lacked the energy and charisma needed for the role. And this left me wondering how Ray Park, behind a mask and without any dialogue, was able to bring a character like Snake Eyes to life so greatly in the previous two G.I. Joe movies?

The story was the biggest problem with the film and it’s just a very generic ninja movie that just sprinkles in G.I. Joe references because Hasbro is dumb and Paramount is dumber. In my opinion, the best Snake Eyes (and G.I. Joe) movie is 1985’s American Ninja, which isn’t even related to the franchise at all.

Now the acting was pretty shit, for the most part. The Baroness was especially awful and it kind of pisses me off, as she is one of my favorite characters in the franchise. In fact, I like her more than any of the franchise’s characters that were featured in this film. Also, she never looked like the Baroness. Honestly, she looked like an assistant manager at Wet Seal circa 1998.

I don’t know, man. This movie sucked and it was pretty fucking disappointing when the studio had a movie more than half right, eight years ago, and they never followed it up. Plus, they had Dwayne Johnson and Bruce Willis for fuck’s sake and an impressive and perfect looking Cobra Commander.

Instead, we got some generic ass ninja television pilot for a CW show that no one wanted.

Rating: 4/10