“Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins is another example of the best possible case for a franchise starting summer blockbuster.”
Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins reboots the G.I. Joe franchise from the ground up by changing the focus of the franchise to the journey of one single character in an endlessly entertaining martial arts romp. The movie works best when the action and humor are turned up a notch by the brilliant cast but can struggle to find its footing as it navigates Snake Eyes’ story with a global threat and the need to set up a sequel. None of the movie is boring and audiences will no doubt be looking forward to the sequels this origin deserves.
The movie follows the path of Snake Eyes, played by Henry Golding, as an underground fighter looking for vengeance after seeing his father killed as a boy. Snake begins to work for a Yakuza gangster and discovers Tommy (Andrew Koji) is a spy who has infiltrated the Yakuza. When Tommy is discovered, Snake Eyes helps Tommy escape and they flee to Japan. Tommy is the heir to an ancient line of ninja warriors and recruits Snake Eyes to help him fight the looming threat of Cobra. As the threat gets larger it threatens the World and Tommy and Snake Eyes’ friendship.
Snake Eyes takes its reboot cue from the MCU and appears to be building the G.I. Joe Universe around a beloved character played by a charismatic lead. Henry Golding was born to be the leader of a franchise like this. He has the charm, the humor, the look, and the action-chops to carry the movie from start to finish. Marvel and D.C. must be kicking themselves for not casting him as a superhero earlier because the way he plays Snake Eyes is exactly what every big-budget franchise is looking for. Starring opposite him in this movie is Andrew Koji who anyone who has seen Warrior on HBO Max knows has the chops for the action sequences. What was nice in this is the way Tommy was written and played by Andrew Koji added more depth to the story and laid the groundwork for the Storm Shadow and Snake Eyes relationship in the future.
The action sequences are incredible. Unlike the most recent Fast and Furious, it appears that the majority of the fight sequences were done as practically as possible. Lately, many blockbusters have suffered from the CGI awareness creeping into the screen and ruining the experience but it appears that the Snake Eyes crew tried to use the actual actors as much as possible allowing the fights to feel that much more real. This is important as the franchise moves forward because G.I. Joe can get pretty silly but grounding the action as much as possible it will allow the fights to escalate as the franchise moves on in a more acceptable manner.
In conclusion, Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins is another example of the best possible case for a franchise starting summer blockbuster. It boasts incredibly complex and fun action sequences and is buoyed by an action star-making turn by one of the most sought-after Hollywood actors, Henry Golding. If this is what the G.I. Franchise wants to do moving forward then I think they know exactly what they are doing and knowing is…well you get it.