| Adventure | Action |
Director: Robert Schwentke
Producer: Brian Goldner, Erik Howsam, Lorenzo di Bonaventura
Writer: Evan Spiliotopoulos, Anna Waterhouse, Joe Shrapnel
Release Date (Theaters): Jul 23, 2021, Wide
Runtime: 2h 1m
Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins stars Henry Golding as Snake Eyes, a tenacious loner who is welcomed into an ancient Japanese clan called the Arashikage after saving the life of their heir apparent. Upon arrival in Japan, the Arashikage teaches Snake Eyes the ways of the ninja warrior while also providing something he’s been longing for: a home. But, when secrets from his past are revealed, Snake Eyes’ honor and allegiance will be tested — even if that means losing the trust of those closest to him.
Poorly filmed action sequences, a storyline that’s either predictable or nonsensical, and mixed messages all contribute to a movie that, sadly, can’t capture the coolness of its title character. The “three challenges” that Snake Eyes faces in this third G.I. Joe movie — which are designed to erase ego, fear, and anger — might have made for some interesting touches. But as soon as they’re finished, the characters hack and slice their way through fight scene after fight scene, nothing but ego and anger. Moreover, Snake Eyes’ vengeance is his central driving force, and the way the movie tries to reconcile that during the climax is awkward and unsatisfying. In short, the filmmakers didn’t seem to know what their movie was actually supposed to be about.
Director Robert Schwentke delivers many action scenes in Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins — all bloodless, and with many characters apparently killed. He films everything with lurching shaky-cam and plunges everything into deep shadows. He also dresses all of his characters in black — sometimes wearing motorcycle helmets, too — so that it’s nearly impossible to tell who’s who or what’s going on. Mostly, though, Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins is just dumb, with characters who are supposed to be wise constantly making poor choices. (In another silly scene, when the characters arrive in Tokyo, they drive past all the famous tourist locations before heading to the Arashikage family compound.) Perhaps most disappointing is the first appearance of the iconic Snake Eyes suit: It’s as anti-climactic as if he’d simply ordered it from Amazon.