While the competition is multiplying the exciting superhero franchise, Paramount is also looking to enter the big leagues and is seeking to relaunch the GI Joe series, adapted from Hasbro toys. How? ‘Or what? With an 80 million dollar origin story on the mute ninja, Snake Eyes. Aimed at cinemas, having been delayed several times since early 2020, the film has finally arrived on VOD in France. So , the bet is held ?
When it was just a cartoon, the GI Joe franchise existed primarily to be able to sell Hasbro toys to lobotomized children. When it was adapted into theaters in 2009 with G.I. Joe: Le Réveil du Cobra, it mainly consists of a series of action scenes with exploding toys as well as beautiful children with beautiful children, the latter boobs replacing special effects to distract the lobotomized teenage audience that the film is targeting.
Riding the waves of superhero madness and fantasizing about the possibilities the MCU has to offer, Paramount is therefore trying to introduce an extended universe by giving Snake Eyes an origin story. In the first two installments, this all-black-clad ninja was played by Ray Park, Darth Maul’s iconic player in Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace. As well as benefiting from the talent of a British stuntman, the character has one important quality: he’s completely mute, leaving bland dialogue for Channing Tatum and the others.
Here he not only speaks, but now has the right to head Henry Golding and an especially cliché origin story: n ur dashing samurai tainted has therefore the right to childhood trauma from his father extinguished and has a thirst for revenge that will guide his destiny and scenario against all odds and common sense.
While he’s stuffing muscles into a cage for money, Snake Eyes is found by Kenta, a yakuza who offers to help him find his father’s killer if he agrees to work for him. When asked to execute Tommy, the heir to the House Arashikage who infiltrated Kenta’s gang, he decides to save him. Tommy, grateful, invites him to the home of the Arashikage clan to give him a test to allow him to re-enter the clan. But Snake Eyes is actually disguised in Kenta’s name. Will he be able to avoid betrayal?
Snake Eyes’ first big problem, though, is that the scenario, clearly aimed at 4 year olds who begged their parents to buy a Hasbro ended up in the freezer. The twists and turns are more on call than call centers in Pakistan and the character’s reasons have no logic other than to advance the scenario. Characters are reduced to plot vehicles, and nothing goes beyond the archetypal stage or narrative tool.
No action evokes emotion, as we only get the impression of seeing a box ticked with each line spoken. Worse still, if the main character’s motivations are presented to us clearly, they prevent attachment to the final character, also being reduced to a story function. His change in attitude will arrive after nearly an hour and a half of film, with rebounds so predictable that we can almost see the author’s post-it lying on the side of the screen.
SNAKE WITH A THOUSAND SEAMS LOOKING AT
If the Snake Eyes synopsis also falters, it’s also because it constantly tries to remind you that it’s a kid-like GI Joe movie with a lot of snot insisting on knowing the time of arrival. Reference is thus regularly made to JOE and COBRA, who exist both as a backdrop and as characters in their own right, through the characters Samara Weaving and rsula Corberó.
As one might expect from the screenplay, the film goes to great lengths to hybridize and ends up stuck between two chairs without having the flexibility of either martial artist. He never really chooses what he wants to say and even though he tries to tie the train back to his conclusion, it still feels like you’ve seen the grueling setup for a pointless prequel. A conclusion that unfortunately has become commonplace in recent years…
Obviously, most people could argue that this is largely a commentary from the haters, that Snake Eyes is a ninja film first and foremost and that the priority above all else is to thread a red faux thread into the thread battle scene. But no luck, just as big of a disappointment on that side. German director Robert Schwentke, initially sympathetic to Red and bad R. I . P. D , never shines in gunfights and melee scenes are no exception.
If some fights get a small smile on the corner of the lips, some fightsThe character that adorns the film will almost make you regret the American Ninja era. Cropping seems downright dangerous, editing doesn’t highlight anything and even has the opposite effect, underscoring the “alternate” effect of good-bad. Yet the film offers a potentially comical geographic setting (heavyweight haulers, alleys with an Asian-inspired look), but exploits it so little that it feels like a bad rip-off from a bad Hong Kong movie.
The balance was even more damaging as the players in his ranks were true martial artists who had shown their talents elsewhere. But Iko Uwais is treated like an old rusty Chekhov rocket with scenarios, until the final climax where he has every right to destroy his kneecap during a few shots. Andrew Koji won’t find the Warrior’s physique or his writing as the actor is probably invested in the role, the heir character with heavy responsibilities written with spades
The biggest collateral damage is undoubtedly Henry Golding. If we’re happy to see him put on a blockbuster, the poor one has absolutely nothing to play with, content with his pouting and raucous rumbling throughout the feature film. In moments of pure character arrogance, we’re almost shocked to believe that all of this is just the origin story of Eye Sec, his character in The Gentlemen. That idea will at least help you last two hours in Snake Eyes.
Snake Eyes has been available for digital VOD purchase since 22 September 2021