It’s pretty awesome that Snake Eyes has been kicking butt since appearing in the G.I. Joe comic books back in 1982, but most fans like me saw him on the famed mid-80s cartoon series. After being the best thing in the failed G.I. Joes live-action films, it was only a matter of time before this beloved hero would get his own movie, which leads us to Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins. Fans won’t care for the reworked story and some other changes, but this is hands down the best G.I. Joe-based film out there.
The story starts off with Snake Eyes (yeah, we never learn his real name) being a young kid and watching some bad guys break into their home and kill his father after the enemy leader makes his dad roll some dice and they land on (You guessed it!) two ones, aka Snake Eyes. Of course our young hero will never forget the leader who killed his dad and vows revenge.
Fast forward some years later, he’s older (played by Henry Golding) and still looking for his father’s killer while making money from street fighting and odd jobs. One day he comes across Tomisaburo “Tommy” Arashikage (Andrew Koji) who is the heir to the Arashikage ninja clan and is under attack by some bad guys. After helping Tommy escape, Snake Eyes is invited to Japan to stay and learn the ways of the ninja.
Meanwhile behind the scenes, an evil organization (Joe fans know who they are) is looking to secure an ancient artifact the Arashikage are guarding that has the power to destroy any and everything for the person possessing it. It falls to Snake Eyes and Tommy to make sure this doesn’t happen.
I would say more, but I don’t want to give away too much of the backstabbing and betrayals that happen and why. But I will say that I had a good time with this one, even when it slows down in spots and sometimes has cringe comedy and dialogue. Despite those issues, it has plenty of action and some decent humor when it wants to, and just enough to keep you engaged throughout its run.
It was nice seeing this in 4K with HDR as everything looks amazing, especially when there’s a lot of colors, lighting and shadows on screen. The Dolby audio is also great and will have you ducking and dodging ninja swords and weapons as they come into play. There’s also a few special features to go over once the credits roll.
“Morning Light: A Weapon with Stories to Tell” a fun short film going into the details of Snake Eyes’ sword, Morning Light, “Enter Snake Eyes” discusses what went into bringing this version of the Joe hero to the big screen, “A Deadly Ensemble” gives us a quick look as some of the famous G.I. Joe characters and some new ones that appear in the movie, and “Arashikage” takes viewers deeper into the world of the famed ninja warrior clan.
It’s not the best action film out there, but Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins has just enough going for it to be a fun, entertaining take on the famed character and the Joe universe it pulls from. With a semi-cliffhanger at the end, here’s hoping if a sequel gets greenlit that it can build on what’s here to make an even more fun and action packed film than you can shake a shuriken at.