HOLLYWOOD—I was a fan of the cartoon and action figures “G.I. Joe” growing up as a kid, hell I even enjoyed the first flick “G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra” back in 2009, however, the sequel “Retaliation” from 2013 not so much because it lost the punch that the first flick delivered. I do not understand why this “Snake Eyes” origin film was made. This movie hands down had to be one of the most boring flicks I’ve seen so far in 2021.
The film falls flat and I think for a variety of reasons. The issue with any origin tale is the fact that you have to go to the past to get to the present. So you run into this situation of attempting to sway the audience to take a journey with you in a narrative that may not be that enthralling or exciting to begin with. First and foremost, the opening of “Snake Eyes” is interesting.
We witness a young boy watch his father get murdered after rolling a pair of dice and getting ‘snake eyes’ hence the film’s title. The boy grows to become fighter Snake Eyes (Henry Goulding). Goulding is not as charismatic, charming or exciting to watch in this role. It is a far cry to the character he portrayed in his breakout role “Crazy Rich Asians.” The character is dull and uninteresting to watch on the screen.
We find this hooky narrative that follows Snake Eyes who is recruited by a Yakuza boss, Kenta (Takehiro Hira) who will help Snake Eyes locate his father’s killer if he works for him. Once involved in this secret organization, it becomes a convoluted plot point where Snake Eyes sides with Tommy (Andrew Koji), where the two journey to Japan to become part of a secret ninja organization.
At some point in the narrative, we meet “G.I. Joe” characters that fans of the cartoon and the popular series are well aware of, Cobra and Baroness which is where my interest came back into the movie. However, the introduction of those iconic characters is not enough to save the film. The only aspect of “Snake Eyes” that kept my interest was the fight sequences. They are indeed extravagant, exciting and well distinct. However, that action alone cannot sell a movie America. Action, rather its gunfire, hand-to-hand combat or swords clashing is indeed exciting in an action flick, but you still need a narrative that is somewhat plausible or at least fascinating to draw the spectator in.
If I’m not intrigued by the characters, I have no care for what happens to them and that is never a good sign in a movie. “Snake Eyes” attempts to draw the audience in, but it never puts its hand on the pulse that keeps you intrigued from start to finish and that is a bummer as I had high expectations for this flick.