‘Snake Eyes’ Review: The Journey to the ‘G.I. Joe’ World

In this loose remake of Pier Paolo Pasolini’s galvanic “Teorema,” an enigmatic stranger is dropped into the home of an august family, whose lives said stranger tears asunder. He intrigues a suspicious grandmother, challenges a trusted aide-de-camp, becomes a near brother to a callow heir.

All right. The plot points above are real; however, “Snake Eyes,” or as it’s called on posters, “Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins,” bears only coincidental resemblance to an art film. But such are the longueurs of this would-be slam-bang blockbuster directed by Robert Schwentke, that it sure does inspire woolgathering.

Any major comic book dude will tell you that while an origin story may be a necessary “meh” element in a comics series, it is generally death on the big screen. So, in telling how the sword-wielding Snake Eyes becomes part of the G.I. Joe team (here referred to as “the Joes”), it mixes the special warrior training stuff with plot complications involving the title character’s quest for vengeance.

As for the training, Snake, as he’s sometimes called, gets a lesson in martial-arts etiquette from Hard Master — played by Iko Uwais of the “Raid” movies, who’s got the most impressive moves in the cast — and is subjected to some Yoda stuff by Blind Master (Peter Mensah). All the while he’s planning to betray his noble sponsors. That he’ll see the error of his ways is, well, inevitable.

For an ostensible action hero, Henry Golding in the title role does an awful lot of standing around and looking tense. The mayhem is frantic yet forgettable, and the possibly inadvertent goofiness extends from dialogue humdingers like “For 600 years, our ninjas have brought peace and stability to Japan” to a central-casting villainess who looks like she has a side gig as a dominatrix.

Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins Rated PG-13 PG-13 for face-smashing, but necessarily unbloody, violence. Running time: 2 hours 1 minute. In theaters.

By: Glenn Kenny
Title: ‘Snake Eyes’ Review: The Journey to the ‘G.I. Joe’ World
Sourced From: www.nytimes.com/2021/07/22/movies/snake-eyes-review-the-journey-to-the-gi-joe-world.html
Published Date: Thu, 22 Jul 2021 11:00:03 +0000

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