Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins and all the images you see in this review are owned by Paramount Pictures
Directed by Robert Schwentke
How many people have seriously sat down and watched that GI Joe movie in the last few years? Heck, I’m pretty sure Obama was barely into his second term the last time this franchise was the least bit relevant! GI Joe is just not a franchise I ever had any affection for even if the more ludicrous aspects of it seem right up my alley, and roping a guy like Henry Golding into the franchise when even The Rock couldn’t salvage it seemed like a lot of wasted time and effort. Still, it was a movie that Paramount had enough faith in to move out of its original October timeslot to wait until crowds can enjoy it on the big screen which is either true confidence in a unique vision or panicked desperation to try and turn a profit on a hundred million dollar ninja movie. Does this manage to elevate the franchise and generate enough good will to get a few more sequels out, or (much like the movie’s namesake) this was a really bad bet to go all in on? Let’s find out!!
A lone drifter known only by his fighting name Snake Eyes (Henry Golding) is searching for his father’s killer but hasn’t had much luck of it and spends most of his time punching things and being alone. He’s eventually recruited by the Yakuza with promises of finding the man he’s been hunting, but it doesn’t take long for that to go sideways as the boss Kenta (Takehiro Hira) wants him to prove his loyalty by killing a traitor. Now Snake Eyes is a lot of things, most notably a guy with a silly name, but he is not a killer so he and the supposed traitor fight their way out and escape; only for Snake Eyes to learn that he hit the motherlode as the traitor Tommy (Andrew Koji) is actually the heir to the most powerful ninja family in Japan and is offering Snake Eyes a place among them. This decision doesn’t sit well with everyone in Tommy’s clan, especially their head of security Akiko (Haruka Abe), but with the bad blood between Tommy and Kenta as well as the ever rising tide of terrorism and weapons in Japan (no doubt provided by an organization that likes to brand everything with snakes), Snake Eyes may just be the man they need to save the clan from the ever encroaching threats that wish to bring them to their knees. Is Snake Eyes really willing to dedicate himself to such a cause; especially with his father’s murderer still out there? What does Tommy see in this guy that has convinced him to make such a bold move, and is this a decision he will end up regretting once all the dice have been rolled? Is it just me or is this WAY more interesting than it has any right to be?Continue reading “Cinema Dispatch: Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins”