Snake Eyes is Paramount and Hasbro’s attempt at reinvigorating the G.I. Joe franchise. Besides some limited interesting scenes, the movie itself needs some reinvigorating.
Great acting can’t save a lackluster script. And that has been a consistent issue for the G.I. Joe franchise. Starring Henry Golding, Snake Eyes, the movie, takes some liberties with the source material. The movie swaps out the blonde, blue-eyed Caucasian ninja from the comics for Golding. In previous iterations of the franchise, Snake Eyes was also mute.
Part of the allure of the character was his ambiguous backstory. Sadly, this backstory is mishandled in the origins movie. Leaning heavily on witchcraft (for now apparent reason or effect), Snake Eyes origin story is muddy.
Yes, Golding’s character gets into the underworld of Japan after his father is killed and he needs to leave LA. Thing is, the reason for him leaving LA doesn’t really make sense to his character arc. It feels like a bad excuse to loop in Tommy, another G.I. Joe character.
Yes, Tommy is a villain, and we see his progression from trying to help Golding’s character to running away, but the whole thing felt forced.
The movie does a great job when it comes to action scenes. Those scenes are the highlight of the film as far as I’m concerned and they’re probably the only reason you should be interested in watching it.
Another thing that helps the movie not to be a complete disaster is the visuals. Japan is great! And the production team successfully communicates that. From the edgy colors of the city of Tokyo, to the country side gardens, the art direction shines (most of the times) in Japan, not so much for other locations.
Should you watch it?
If you’re looking for a great G.I. Joe movie, don’t. Snake Eyes shines when it comes to art direction and action scenes and fails everywhere else. The burden relies heavily on a bad script and off-paced direction.
Where can I watch it?
Snake Eyes is now streaming on Paramount+.