In Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins, Hasbro takes the coolest and most popular character in the G.I. Joe series, Snake Eyes and gives him a back story and a voice (Snake Eyes, is usually mute). Some explosive action sequences and lots of Ninjas harken back to the 80s action movies of Sho Kusugi and the now late great Sonny Chiba.
An ancient Japanese clan called the Arashikage welcomes tenacious loner Snake Eyes after he saves the life of their heir apparent. Upon arrival in Japan, the Arashikage teach him the ways of the ninja warrior while also providing him something he’s been longing for: a home. However, when secrets from Snake Eyes’ past are revealed, his honor and allegiance get tested — even if that means losing the trust of those closest to him.
Snake Eyes is a solid return for the silent ninja and the G.I.Joe franchise. Much like Bumblebee was to Transformers, Snake is to the Joe’s. So why not kick start interest again in the franchise after it worked so well wit Bumblebee? Well, first and foremost, Transformers despite the diabolical sequels, is far, far more popular globally than G.I. Joe, and all the jingoistic baggage it entails.
However, amidst the aggressive whispering, superhero landings aplenty and Iko Uwais is a great little action flick waiting to escape. Bound by its 12a constraints, despite the violence there’s no blood and limbs being hacked off is kept to a off screen minimum. However what action there is, is done very well. Henry Golding is outstanding as the vengeful, but brooding Snake Eyes (even though he will eventually morph into Ray Park), Andrew Koji as Tommy/Storm Shadow is also a highlight. But the waste of Samara Weaving and Ursula Corberó in the brief scenes they appear is almost unforgivable.
Snake Eyes also teases a sequel that is yet to be seen, and despite it’s best efforts, this will be another misfire in the series, despite being actually quite enjoyable despite it’s weighty 121 minute run time.