‘Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins’ Review: Henry Golding Rules

Snake Eyes: GI Joe Origins“Probably a good movie like you’re about to see has the words “GI Joe” in the title. Maybe that’s because it seems to have very little to do with anyone’s usual idea of ​​GI Joe. It’s not a light, squared-out heavy weapon fight, like “GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra” (2009) or “GI Joe: Retaliation” (2013), the two previous installments in the series. Hasbro inspired action. Rather, it’s a dark, sleek air-powered manual ninja fight – a tale of vengeance, aristocracy, and intrigue set in Tokyo, where the title character (Henry Golding), a man saddened to witness his father being killed by the forces of darkness, joins the Arashikage clan, a 600-year-old ninja dynasty, but only because he is on a mission to destroy the secret. secret.

“Snake Eyes,” directed by Robert Schwentke (“The Divergent Series: Insurgent”), has style and fit, with a demonic family plot that makes for a fair quota of reality drama. . The film is also a collection of large but extremely complex special effects studios including ninja movies, women’s films, yakuza films and international revenge films. The fight scenes are choreographed with hack-and-slash precision, and the entire film, as shot by cinematographer Bojan Bazelli, takes on a dazzling nocturnal beauty. For a children’s franchise, it’s pretty good, but the main title is this: Henry Golding must be seriously considered for the role of James Bond. “Snake Eyes” makes it clear that he has the beauty, the coolness, the charm, the danger, the magnetism and the essential Bond qualities – the ability to convey the most deadly thoughts to the audience without speaking. a word.

Golding’s snake eyes got his nickname from the way his father died. An assassin, breaking into a safe house, asks the father to roll a pair of dice; it appears snake eye, which means his number has increased. When we meet our hero as an adult, he’s a boxer in a cage, nothing more than his own preservation. So when Kenta (Takehiro Hira), a yakuza leader with short hair and a smug smile that might remind you of James Spader Red from “The Black List,” tries to hire him after a fight. war, he doesn’t care. That is, until he learns what is promised in the bargain: that Kenta will find his father’s killer. That’s one thing that Snake Eyes cares about. In the midst of the fiery fireworks of the ninja attack that followed, he saved the life of Tommy (Andrew Koji), a skinny, evil-looking warrior. He’s led under Tommy’s direction, and Golding is such a good actor that it makes us believe in the depth of this relationship.

But it’s actually a one-way brotherhood. Tommy is the obvious heir to the Arashikage family, who live in a luxurious fortress estate on the outskirts of Tokyo. He wants to get Snake Eyes involved – but the other family members are a bit “Godfather” – a bit shy about it. They don’t trust anyone who isn’t family. That builds tension between Snake Eyes and Akiko (Haruka Abe), the clan’s security expert, in her medieval bangs, an amusing snap. She neither likes nor approves of him, but there’s a hostile erotic spark between them that’s all the more tempting to not be satisfied.

To join the clan, our hero must pass a series of three tests, the last of which can kill him, and the “Snake Eye” surprises them enough to make us swoon. The film was written by Evan Spiliotopoulos, Anna Waterhouse and Joe Shrapnel, from a story by Spiliotopoulos, who has been shown to have a rare gift for adding real meat to the bones of genre material. Snake Eyes’ trying to find its way into the clan took some punches at it. He must defeat skeptics such as the poor Hard Master (Iko Uwais) and the Totally Blind Master (Peter Mensah), and even the arduous third test, which turns out to be a battle. pit battle with three giant anacondas may have occurred. animated by Ray Harryhausen, with a bit of Zen mentality.

What we do know, not long ago, is that Snake Eyes is serving two masters. The scolding made him seem like a spirit of honor, and a man longing for a home, except that he behaved badly. He is torn between loyalty and revenge – or rather, between two types of loyalty (because the revenge he seeks is about loyalty to his father). He is tearing himself apart. Schwentke transforms the clan’s estate into a mossy garden of suspense, taking in fiery motorcycle rides and fighting in the rain against the hot flashes of Tokyo neon lights.

Of course, “Snake Eyes” is an origin story, but what struck me when I saw it was how much that form now connects genres and franchises. GI Joe isn’t (at all) a superhero, but the movie feels like a Marvel warm-up at times, with touches of “Batman Begins.” It has enough action-packed action-for its own sake, that, for moments, it could be a spin-off of “Fast and Furious.” The villains, who have ties to the tentacle terrorist organization of Cobra’s underworld, could be the masterminds in almost any outsized horror movie worldwide. When Snake Eyes finally learned that his father was a “Joe,” we prepared for the entire GI Joe series to be its own reboot. Movies seem to be stuck in replay mode right now, but what’s interesting about “Snake Eyes” is that it succeeds in creating a replay feeling like something you’ve never seen before.

https://variety.com/2021/film/reviews/snake-eyes-g-i-joe-origins-review-henry-golding-1235023560/ | ‘Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins’ Review: Henry Golding Rules


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