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Blockbuster Review - Snake Eyes -2021

Snake Eyes – GI Joe Origins

Literally just back from my local Odeon Cinema I thought I would give you my take on this action film.

Upon hearing of this film many months ago I was curious to see how it turned out.

As a reboot to the GI Joe series which is an action film for the younger viewer and based on a cartoon and toy line by Hasbro it had me intrigued.

Now I remember seeing the first two films that were enjoyable for what they were they had good action and the characters were interesting.

But of course, it was the characters of the martial art protagonist and Antagonist that kept me watching.

So this new spin-off title based on the character of Snake Eyes made me look up and take notice.

Now before viewing this movie I knew it had performed badly in the USA and basically was a Box office Bomb only making 36 Million of its 88 Million dollar budget.

But I still had to see it to make my own mind up as it stars two very good Martial artists, Andrew Koji ( The Warrior) and Iko Uwais ( The Raid), but I must say I was dubious about the casting of the main lead considering the role was originally played by Martial artist Ray Park.

The premise of the film is a young boy witnesses his father's death at the hands of an assassin squad.

The boy grows up living day by day by fighting in underground fights by the moniker of Snake Eyes.

Approached by a Yakuza boss he is given a job and in return will be delivered his dead father's killer.

Whilst working for the Yakuza in their Gunrunning business he befriends another member, after refusing to kill his new friend the two escape making a daring break for it.

In the process, Sanke Eyes is injured and his new friend Tommy takes him to Japan to introduce him to his family and make him an offer he can't refuse.

Tommy is the next in line to rule the Arashikage Clan an ancient set of Ninjitsu specialists who are guarding a special Jewel.

When the Opposing Yakuza member Kenta who wanted to kill Tommy sets his sights on Japan a battle ensues. Unbekwnownst to the Arashikage Clan behind Kenta is an evil organisation COBRA.

So from its premise all sounds good to go for your average revenge flick, albeit set in this Comic book World of GI Joe.

So did I enjoy the film, No doubt I found it a two-hour fuelled ride. But that's not to say it did not have its faults.

Story aside for the moment, the first thing that struck me was the editing of the fight scenes, especially those involving the main character. Within the first few minutes, it was evident that casting Henry Golding as this Sword wielding assassin was a mistake, he was clearly not versed in how to fight and they used some very quick cuts to make him look good.

In fact, the first fight in the film was so bad I didn't know if I could sit through it as they used the shaky-cam look to give it a sense of urgency and panic.

Luckily this improved, thanking the gods.

Henry Golding is a good actor and in Crazy Rich Asians he was probably in his element as an actor. But here he is miscast in the role.

As far as Andrew Koji as Tommy / Storm Shadow he actually gets some really good action scenes and his role is one of a co-star and has as much screen time as Henry Golding, which is a blessing for viewers. But even though even his action scenes are far from perfectly shot considering the man's work on The Warrior TV series.

Underused is Iko Uwais as Hard Master who gets a couple of action scenes that are small and again edited too much.

Add in the special effects, lighting bolts, Jumping Ninja clans, and Yakuza firepower the film does have an action spectacle about it.

But then I did sit back and thought this is a film aimed at an audience of 12 years olds and above, you're not going to see hard core Martial art battles with arms and limbs flying.

Then on the other hand why did the original GI Joe films get it so right in the fight department.

The budget might have played a part and shooting time. The original film had a budget in excess of $175 million and took over $302 Million at the box office, that was in 2009.

This in effect is done on a budget compared to those films.

Now back to the story, now I said that the film is aimed at an audience of 12 years and above, hence the maybe less in-depth fight action but with this reboot of the characters the Filmmakers have got it all wrong and destroyed the source material. Snake Eyes vows a code of Silence in the original source material. Henry Golding's Snake Eyes is a jibber Jabber.

Next is in the original material Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow grow up together and their feud, later on, is what makes their relationship so intense.

You can see this in the original live-action films where their roles were just part of a bigger story with other main characters.

In truth even with the poor recreation of the storyline, they could have salvaged the film from being a box office bomb if they just cast a decent Martial artist to play the lead role and got a decent action director.

If they would have kept to the original story and a decent lead role cast it would have taken a mint.

In all Henry Golding doesn't actually do too much action, he does a lot of posing looking hard for the best part.

But like I said I enjoyed my time with the film for what it is. A fun two-hour action ride with explosions and a couple of good fight scenes from the real martial artists in the film.

With most martial art action films that I enjoy at the cinema, I usually end up buying the film on disc because I want to experience the action again.

Unfortunately Snake Eyes does not fall into that category

Plus I viewed this on a Monday Saver ticket at £6.00 which is what it's worth if I had paid the full price to view it I might have not been so lenient.

Look out for our next Blockbuster review when we take on Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings in September.

Review Date: 23-08-2021

Review By: Sertes Nake

  • Henry Golding is Snake Eyes
    Henry Golding is Snake Eyes
  • Andrew Koji as Storm Shadow
    Andrew Koji as Storm Shadow
  • Ninja's
  • Iko Uwais is Hard Master
    Iko Uwais is Hard Master
Henry Golding is Snake Eyes
Henry Golding is Snake Eyes

Henry Golding


A British Malaysian actor who started out as a hairdresser , then a presenter for the BBC , Golding got his big break when he was cast in the 2018 film Crazy Rich Asians.

Andrew Koji

Martial Artist / Actor

British Born Andrew Koji is a actor of English and Japanese decent . His interest in Acting started early in life as well as his interest in martial arts.
As a teenager he made short films and even went to Thailand and Japan where he worked in the film idustry for a short time. 
Andrew also worked as a stunt man as well of which the Fast and Furious 6 was one of his jobs.
In television he had parts in the Britsh made series Casualty , The Innocents and American series American Gods.

Andrew Koji also worked in thearte as well in roles in the Star Wars Stage show , A Streetcar Named Desire and Shinagri-la among others. 

He was all set to go for a change of career when his mother convinced him to audition for The new Warrior TV series , based on the writings of Bruce Lee. 
Having secured the role he has gone to secure his acting career as a box office draw. After Snake Eyes his next role is in the film Bullet Train with Brad Pitt, Sandra Bullock and Joey King.

Iko Uwais

Martial Artist / Actor / Stuntman / Fight cordinator

Indonesian Born Iko Uwais came to fame in the Martial art film circuit with his first film Merantau by Gareth Edwards. His expertise in his art of Silat which is a art his family grew up with as his Grandfather was a Silat Master. 
After the small success of Merantau the films The Raid and The Raid 2 followed , these two films alone secured Iko Uwais place as one of the leading lights in the Martial art film industry. Since then he has expanded into overseas roles and a Netflix Series as well which he produces ,stars and choreographs.


Images Copyright (c) Paramount Pictures 2021



Directed by : Robert Schwentki


Henry Golding as Snake Eyes

Andrew Koji as Tommy  Arashikage / Storm Shadow

Iko Uwais as Hard Master

Takehiro Hira as Kenta Takamura

Haruka Abe as Akiko

Samara Weaving as Major O'Hara

Ursula Corbero as Baroness

Language : English 

Country : USA 

Length : 121 Minutes

Distributor : Paramount Pictures