Production: Paramount Pictures.
Director: Robert Schwentke
Starring: Henry Golding, Samara Weaving, Andrew Koji, Haruka Abe & More...
Reviewed By: Dean Asquith
My Rating: 🏹🏹🏹
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 teach 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. Based on the iconic G.I. Joe character, Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins also stars Andrew Koji as Storm Shadow, Úrsula Corberó as Baroness, Samara Weaving as Scarlett, Haruka Abe as Akiko, Takehiro Hira as Kenta and Iko Uwais as Hard Master.
An action-filled spectacle that lacks any real heart.
Snake Eyes is an origin story of the infamous hero. Well it kind of is. The movie starts off with Snake as a child with his dad in the woods. Things immediately heat up and Snake’s father is murdered by a very generic looking bad guy with no real defining features. After these scenes we immediately flash forward to a fully grown Snake fighting in some underground UFC style arena. After being approached by a random stranger he takes up an offer to work for him in exchange for helping to find his fathers killer. We then flash forward again and Snake has clearly been working for this guy a while. Turns out he is Yakuza, and for some inexplicable reason, the boss singles out a member as having betrayed them. The boss asks Snake to kill him but Snake refuses and a big fight ensues. At some point it becomes apparent that Snake had learned how to fight like a complete bad-ass and dispatches a multitude of Yakuza with minimal effort. It’s a really cool fight scene with brilliant action but in these scenes, the tone of the whole movie is set.
The story continues with Snake Eyes and Tommy’s escape to Japan and the learning about the Arashikage clan and Cobra! No spoilers here but there's a few twists and turns to watch out for which alter the timeline multiple times. Snake Eyes learns the way of the Arashikage ninja and carries out a series of challenges in order to see if he is worthy of protecting the clan. Think of this as a fine tuning of the already gained martial arts expertise.
An origin movie that skips a whole lot of origin is what this is. For example we don’t know how Snake becomes so skilled as a warrior or so efficient as a swordsman. In an origin story, you’d expect to see all of this. There are amazing fight scenes and some cool stunts but in its essence, it fails as an origin story but packs a punch with action scenes. It’s an ok movie independently and definitely watchable but it's probably forgettable as a part of the wider G.I. Joe franchise.