Director: Robert Schwentke
Cast: Henry Golding, Andrew Koji, Úrsula Corberó
Release Date: October 19, 2021
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 6/10
Disc Rating: 7.5/10
Discover the origins of the iconic G.I. JOE hero, SNAKE EYES (Henry Golding), in this action-packed, edge-of-your-seat adventure. Welcomed into an ancient Japanese clan called the Arashikage after saving the life of their heir-apparent, STORM SHADOW (Andrew Koji), SNAKE EYES joins the battle against the terrorist group COBRA. Pushing him to the limits, SNAKE EYES will become the ultimate ninja warrior. But, when past secrets are revealed, his honor and allegiance will be tested – even if that means losing everything he has been fighting for. Also starring Úrsula Corberó as BARONESS and Samara Weaving as SCARLETT.
Please Note: Paramount Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Post. The opinions I share are my own.
‘Snake Eyes’ tells the origin story of one of the most notable ‘G. I. Joe’ heroes. The film follows our lead who has dubbed himself Snake Eyes after the loss of his father at a young age and joins him as an adult working for shady mobsters. After saving the life of a man about to be executed, he soon learns that that man is the heir-apparent to the Japanese clan called the Arashikage where he is welcomed and invited to take a test for his chance to become one of the clan. But unfortunately for Snake his past may remain too solidly in his world to allow him to become the individual he needs to find his new self, putting him, the clan and a whole lot more at risk along the way as he begins taking steps toward becoming the unspoken soldier we all know.
Directed by Robert Schwentke (RED, Allegiant) from a screenplay by Evan Spiliotopoulos (The Huntsman: Winter’s War), Joe Shrapnel (The Aftermath) and Anna Waterhouse (Race); from a story by Spiliotopoulos and based upon Hasbro’s ‘G.I. Joe’ characters respectively, Schwentke does a nice job at the helm of ‘Snake Eyes’ capably guiding along the stylish action and fun throughout. The film’s cast includes Henry Golding (The Gentlemen), Andrew Koji (TV’s Warrior), Úrsula Corberó (TV’s Snatch), Samara Weaving (Ready or Not), Iko Uwais (The Raid: Redemption) and more, with most offering decent, if not at least fitting performances for the most part in each of their respective roles.
‘Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins’ is a slick, fast-paced and exciting ride packed with plenty of well-crafted action sequences and a clever new take on some popular ‘G.I. Joe’ characters as well as some other familiar characters in supporting roles that help to make it feel more like a real entry in the franchise throughout. Especially when focusing on origins and storylines that to my knowledge weren’t ever really explored in the comics and cartoons, at least definitely not in the scope they are here. The film looks quite spectacular visually for the most part which helps to ever keep the viewer’s attention from faltering, although there are a few elements that can be somewhat distracting such as a few CGI animals/creatures and of course the complete absence of blood amid people being sliced and hacked by swords left and right; certainly an understandable decision as it would be unwise to distribute an R rated ‘G.I. Joe’ film, but still makes a noticeable impact on the movie at times nonetheless. I would certainly encourage fans of the ‘G.I. Joe’ franchise and anyone who enjoys a pretty exciting and action-packed adventure to try and give ‘Snake Eyes’ a whirl at some point when it’s convenient. It may not be anything groundbreaking or real exceptional, but it’s definitely a fun ride with plenty of beautiful surroundings and visually impressive action sequences, paired with some decent performances and ties to the bigger ‘G.I. Joe’ story that altogether at least make it worthwhile.
Overall, ‘Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins’ is an enjoyable look at the origins of Joe member Snake Eyes that’s loaded with stylish action and fun throughout. It may not be a great film in many respects, but it certainly keeps things exciting and moving along at a quick pace; taking the more familiar elements of these characters and trying to imagine and explore where their stories began. ‘Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins’ is recommended for fans of the ‘G.I. Joe’ franchise along with anyone who enjoys a fun and fairly carefree action film filled with excitement around most turns. It probably isn’t something that many casual viewers will need to go out of their way to get hold of immediately and I would also suggest renting the film or catching it on a streaming service when available before dropping the money on a blind purchase of the 4K or Blu-ray release, but it’s an entertaining enough ride that it’s definitely at least worth a watch at some point in the foreseeable future.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation with the film’s original 2.39:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks fantastic as a whole and delivers a clean, smooth and wonderfully detailed presentation from start to finish, with no unexpected issues arising along the way. It holds up nicely even during the many fast moving action sequences and darkly lit moments, never allowing anything occurring onscreen to become negatively affected or problematic. Overall, this is a wonderful high definition video presentation that holds up great throughout and should easily please first time viewers and fans alike.
The Blu-ray release features a Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 channel compatible) soundtrack. Please note that this review pertains solely to the Dolby TrueHD 7.1 audio presentation. This multichannel soundtrack offers a crisp, clean and consistently aggressive audio presentation throughout. It regularly takes full advantage of all seven available channels in order to send music, along with action effects, vehicle activity, crowd chatter and more throughout the various speakers whenever appropriate, and never causing any dialogue or other audio elements that might be occurring simultaneously to become distorted or rendered inaudible in the process. Overall, this is a top notch Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 compatible) soundtrack that more than delivers across the board and definitely shouldn’t disappoint.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins’ includes a few fun extras that fans should enjoy. Included on the release is the animated short film ‘Morning Light: A Weapon with Stories to Tell’ (running approximately 3 minutes length), along with a handful of brief ‘Deleted Scenes’ from the film (running approximately 2 minutes altogether) and some Behind the Scenes Featurettes that explore different aspects of the film and feature interviews/comments with the cast and crew, plus behind the scenes footage and more. The included Featurettes are ‘Enter Snake Eyes’ (running approximately 9 minutes), ‘A Deadly Ensemble’ (approximately 6 minutes) and ‘Arashikage’ (7 minutes).
*Please note that the above images are taken from the Blu-Ray and resized. They will additionally suffer quality loss as a result of .jpg compression. Larger versions of each image can be viewed by clicking on the image. All images and content included on this Blu-Ray release are the property of their respective owners.
Film Rating: 6/10
Disc Rating: 7.5/10
‘Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins’ is Now Available to Own on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, DVD & Digital from Hasbro, Skydance, MGM & Paramount Home Entertainment
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