Snake Eyes: GI Joe OriginsExplained: What’s Up With the Ending?

Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins

Genre Action
Directed by Robert Schwentke
Cast Henry Golding (Snake Eyes), Andrew Koji (Thomas “Tommy” Arashikage), Ursula Corbero (Baroness), Samara Weaving (Scarlet), Haruka Abe (Akiko), Takehiro Hira (Kenta), Iko Uwais (Hard Master), Peter Mensah (Blind Master) and others.
Студии Paramount Pictures, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Skydance Media
Release year 2021
Site IMDb

It’s worth starting with the fact that GI Joes are primarily toy soldier figures that went on sale in the 1960s and became popular among children thanks to the efforts of Hasbro (who made a lot of money on them). Later, the soldiers became characters in graphic novels, animated series, video games and, of course, feature films.

Among the variety of stories dedicated to soldiers, the comics that came out under the leadership of Marvel Comics became the key ones. Thanks to them, from 1982 to 1994, writer Larry Hama revealed to readers the features of the characters of an elite secret unit called G.I. Joe, which fought against the terrorist organization Cobra.

It was this conflict that formed the basis of the script for the film GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra, released in 2009. It was a completely insane action movie with a mixture of superheroes and science fiction, in which soldiers defended cutting-edge military development and interfered with large-scale terrorist operations, recognizing the villains as people from their past. The film stars Channing Tatum, Sienna Miller, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Christopher Eccleston. And in the continuation of the story “GI Joe: Cobra 2” (GI Joe: Retaliation), which was released in 2013, Dwayne Johnson and Bruce Willis appeared.

Reviews for the two films were devastating (especially against the backdrop of the success of Iron Man and other Marvel Studios superhero action films, which more skillfully balanced between action and humor). Unable to withstand the competition, the creators of the franchise put film production on pause. But not for long. Soon, representatives of Paramount Pictures decided to try to rethink the plot, so in 2018 they announced a reboot of the franchise. It turned out that the hero Snake Eyes (a character from the GI Joe team) received his solo film, which was supposed to show the life of a fighter even before he became a soldier of a secret unit. The release of the action movie was scheduled for 2020, but the pandemic adjusted the plans of distributors.


It’s not that GI Joe has an amazing base for a good storyline, but there are still some hopes, especially after the news that Henry Golding will be reincarnated as Snake Isa. Firstly, it was interesting to know the story of the silent ninja who always hides his face behind a mask (at least he was like that in two films), and not to associate it with the previous cast. Secondly, the trailer promised a modern Asian aesthetic and spectacular fights using samurai swords. Also, the writers had to reduce the degree of madness, making the action a little more mundane.

Well, Snake Eyes: The Beginning of G.I.Jo is really nothing like previous action movies from the franchise. It doesn’t have a truly recognizable cast, nor does it have some outrageous sci-fi that makes you laugh. But in the picture there are fantasy elements that are intertwined with Japanese mythology. As well as a crumpled plot that misses the development of central friendships, and extremely dull antagonists, desperately thirsty for power.

So, the film shows the audience a hero who, in memory of the tragic death of his father, calls himself Snake Eyes. The guy lives on his own, preferring to remain in the shadows, and for years he keeps the dream of revenge. One day he gets into a showdown that suits the yakuza, and by chance he saves one of the bandits (he is played by stunt actor Andrew Koji). It turns out that this is not a simple thug demonstrating the art of wielding a sword, but a revered leader of an ancient Japanese clan who serves people for the good. Accepting gratitude from a newfound friend, Snake Eyes arrives in Japan, where the hero is offered to become a noble warrior.


The film’s writers don’t particularly bother with the quality of the dialogues (and they don’t succeed at all with jokes), but they focus on the trials that Snake Eyes must go through. It turns out a kind of parody of Asian culture, to which they added modern elements (and, of course, neon signs), while missing the most important thing – thoughtful character development.

Some heroes got bogged down in endless clichés, and someone could not show their essence at all in two hours. Like, for example, the Baroness played by Ursula Corbero, whose appearance causes bouts of boredom. To be honest, with the selection of actors for some roles, the creators obviously made a mistake. While Henry Golding and Andrew Koji seem to be doing their best, the rest of the cast fails to create memorable scenes (a crowd of criminals in suits armed with katanas can be more striking than the central figures of the film).

Nevertheless, you can still watch the action movie – there is a variety of action scenes (sometimes filmed from below with a shaking camera) and traditional Japanese houses that keep centuries-old secrets of a respected clan. As well as the path of a warrior who gets a clear set to continue in the next film. It’s pretty clear to those who have seen previous entries in the GI Joe franchise.

Pros: an attempt to tell the story of Snake Isa by sending the character to Japan; less over the top sci-fi like previous G.I. Joe films; action scenes Cons: dull presentation of characters; unsuccessful supporting cast; cliché Conclusion:

the film is not as crazy as other GI Joe films, but it cannot be called a successful reboot of the franchise.

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