When you go into a film like Snake Eyes: G.I. JOE ORIGINS, you should have an idea of what you’re getting into. Now I must admit I wasn’t a big fan of the first two G.I. Joe films. However, after seeing the trailer for Snake Eyes a couple months ago I thought this franchise might’ve finally turned a corner.
Spoilers Ahead For Snake Eyes
First thing’s first, this film had so much potential. On paper you have a pretty great cast that includes: Henry Golding, Samara Weaving as Scarlett, Úrsula Corberó as The Baroness, Andrew Koji as Storm Shadow, Iko Uwais as Hard Master, Peter Mensah as Blind Master, and more. But after watching this film I would’ve preferred a Scarlett or even a Storm Shadow film to start this franchise again with a bang. There are many other routes this film could have gone. Instead we get the same old” son sees his father get murdered, son wants revenge, son turns into a underground fighter 20 years later”. Yes that’s how this film starts and it’s lackluster. The lackluster script by Evan Spiliotopoulos tampers any charisma and bravado that Golding has.
The Yakuza comes calling after another shaky cam fight scene. A man named Kenta (Takehiro Hira) promises him that he can deliver the man who murdered his father. After an order to kill a man that wronged Kenta, Snake Eyes balks and decides to save him. In comes Tommy (Andrew Koji) who steals every scene he’s part of. After a flury of enegmatic fight sequences, Tommy takes Snake Eyes to Japan and tells him he’s the heir apparent leader to the Arashikage clan. He will be trained to become his right hand man and become a ninja.
Let the Origin Begin
Once Snake arrives in Japan he’s told he must pass three tests to prove himself and join the clan, and if he fails he will die. Pretty cut and dry right? Not with this script. This whole act of the film felt so tiresome and familiar, that even when the fight sequences go on it still feels pretty eh. One great thing that I appreciated with this film was how subtle they threw in Cobra. You don’t see a Cobra logo till half way thru the film and that’s when we finally meet the Baroness.
Even with the brief introduction of the Baroness and Scarlett, nothing will prepare you for possibly the worst sequence of the film. For his final test to become an Arashikage ninja, he must descend into a pit in the middle of the forest and face not one, not two but THREE giant Anacondas. The CGI is so bad that it makes the Anaconda from the Jennifer Lopez epic Anaconda look real. From here we get a double cross, more Cobra, and some of the best action sequences I’ve seen since The Raid. Throughout all this the one standout was hands down Andrew Koji’s Tommy. We seem him turn into what we grow to know is Storm Shadow. But at Two Hours and one minute not even Storm Shadow, Cobra, Baroness, Scarlett, Heavy Duty, Shipwrecked or even Duke could save this mess.
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