Snake Eyes: Film Review

Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins

Paramount Pictures

I have been a huge fan of Henry Golding work’s so far thanks to films like Crazy Rich Asians, Monsoon and Last Christmas, so I was excited when he landed his first lead action role – but sadly, he deserves better than the extremely average Snake Eyes.

As its full title – Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins – would suggest, this movie serves as an origins story for the character, showing who he was before he became the masked G.I. Joe agent played by Ray Park in 2009’s G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra and 2013’s G.I. Joe: Retaliation. It follows Snake Eyes (Golding) as he is hired by Yakuza boss Kenta (Takehiro Hira) to befriend his cousin Tommy (Andrew Koji) and infiltrate the Arashikage clan. In exchange, Kenta promises to give Snake Eyes information about the man who murdered his father when he was a young boy.

This movie is designed to be a reboot of the G.I. Joe franchise and it certainly hasn’t got off to the strongest of starts. It feels very generic and exactly like a superhero origin story you would get in the ’90s or early 2000s. Superhero movies have come a long way since the days of the earlier G.I. Joe film series so this needed to do more to stand out in a crowded genre. It wasn’t awful by any means but the story never managed to excite me. There are some cool action sequences but some others felt lifeless and by the book.

The biggest problem was the writing – the screenplay was very poor and that has a negative impact on the acting. The dialogue is stale and obvious and offers very little depth to the characters. They were a couple of characters – namely Ursula Corbero as Baroness and Samara Weaving as Scarlett – that were given the briefest of introductions before they were thrown into the mix with the action and I kept wondering who they were and what the point of their presence was. It might be clearer if you’re a big fan of the previous G.I. Joe movies. It felt like Weaving was literally just there to provide a bridge to another potential movie, she didn’t have much to do in this at all!

I like Golding in other movies and I think he’s charismatic and charming but I found him quite bland here and thought his American accent was rather uneven. Koji was lumbered with pretty bad dialogue and the set-up for them becoming enemies didn’t feel particularly earned. They both just wear angry or brooding faces for the majority of the film. One of my favourites was actually Haruka Abe as Akiko, she was badass but also compassionate and I liked her fighting style.

Golding deserves better than Snake Eyes which has moments of excitement but overall feels very dull and average.

In cinemas from Wednesday 18th August

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

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