© Paramount Pictures Germany GmbH

Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins (Snake Eyes)
Canada/U.S.A. 2021

Opening 19 Aug 2021

Directed by: Robert Schwentke
Writing credits: Evan Spiliotopoulos, Joe Shrapnel, Anna Waterhouse
Principal actors: Henry Golding, Andrew Koji, Haruka Abe, Takehiro Hira, Eri Ishida

A young loner (Henry Golding) joins the yakuza to earn some more money. His loyalty is put to a test when the gang leader Kenta (Takehiro Hira) asks him to execute Tommy (Andrew Koji). Instead he escapes with Tommy by fighting off the yakuza in intense battles which ultimately forms a deep friendship between the two men. After saving Tommy’s life, the Arashikage clan welcomes him to as one of their own. To become a worthy member of the clan he must pass three tests. During this time, the clan offers him the closest thing to a home that he has ever known. The Head of security, Akiko (Haruka Abe), does not trust Snake Eyes as she is keen to protect her clan. Unfortunately for Snake Eyes, his past haunts him and his ulterior motives will come to light.

Making a film to tell the backstory of the GI Joe character Snake Eyes was a great idea. It was highly amusing seeing Henry Golding, better known for his charming and romantic main role in Crazy Rich Asians (2018), portraying Snake Eyes in such a volatile action movie. The action scenes definitely meet expectations with highly skilled ninja sword battles and fist fights and also including actors like Iko Uwais who is well known in the film industry for doing his own martial art stunts. The backstory for Snake Eyes was very well done showing how the difficult past he had was formative in him becoming a revenge-seeking gang member. However, he was able to turn his past around and finding a purpose through the Arashikage clan. At the end of the movie, Scarlett (Samara Weaving) offers him the opportunity to become a Joe. The music emphasized the action scenes very well. The story was an amazing balance between brotherhood, personal identity, clan loyalty, and the personal progression of Snake Eyes’ character and it leaves the futures for Snake Eyes and Stormshadow open for future films. The Battle between Cobra and the Joes continues and I for one cannot wait for the next movie to come out. (Adrian Schoeneshoefer)

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