Director: Robert Schwentke
Writers: Evan Spiliotopoulos, Joe Shrapnel, Anna Waterhouse
Stars: Henry Golding, Andrew Koji, Haruka Abe
RATING: 2 Stars
After saving the life of their heir apparent, tenacious loner Snake Eyes (Henry Goldin) is welcomed into an ancient Japanese clan called the Arashikage where he is taught the ways of the ninja warrior. When secrets from his past are revealed, Snake Eyes’ honor and allegiance will be tested – even if that means losing the trust of his closest ally Storm Shadow – Andrew Koji
When people were already very underwhelmed by the previous G.I. Joe movies, I don’t know if starting what I assume is/was going to be a series of origin movies was really the way to go. Seriously, did no one learn from watching X-Men Origins: Wolverine?? Origin stories are rarely the most interesting part of a characters story, and it takes a lot of work, luck and skill to make them into a workable, likeable film. And while there were aspects of this film that I liked, there were far, far more that I didn’t like.
Henry Golding is a great actor, and oozes charm in every film I have seen him in. But I had a hard time believing him to be an action hero. He didn’t quite have the grit and darkness down enough to sell his characters story. Also, his American accent came and went so frequently throughout the film it got to be a little distracting. None of the other characters, especially our villain had much personality at all. All were very standard, cardboard cut-out action movie characters, none of them believable or relatable at all. And a special mention should go here for Samara Weavings wig in this film, which was a crime in and of itself. Yikes.
But this is an action film, so lets talk about the action. This part of the film was actually very, very good. The fight sequences were excellently shot for the most part, and the stunt work was superb. I am a big fan of close up, hand to hand combat in films, and Snake Eyes had this in spades. In the beginning, there were a few scenes where they were clearly going for a handheld camera kinda vibe, so at times the camera-work was a little too shaky to really appreciate the fight choreography, but otherwise, this was part of the film I really loved.
The dialogue ranged from witty banter, to god awful cheesiness, and there was no telling which way it was going to go from one minute to the next. A few times I was genuinely cringing from how bad the dialogue was. And the less said about the CGI anacondas the better at this stage I think.
I’ll be honest, I didn’t go in expecting great things, so I can’t say that this film disappointed me, because it was more or less what I thought it was going to be. But I am sad that it didn’t manage to surprise me at all.
‘Snake Eyes’ is out in UK cinemas from 18th August