This week on "Justin Hall At The Movies," I'll be reviewing one of the most popular characters in the G.I. Joe universe as gets his own origin story in "Snake Eyes."
Snake Eyes is a popular character in the G.I. Joe, but this treatment is curiously misguided in this humorless and complicated action/adventure. It just seems like no one in this movie is inhabiting it; it's more like a desperate escape.
Henry Golding from Crazy Rich Asians stars as the titular character and when he was a boy, he witnessed the murder of his father. He becomes a drifter and an expert in martial arts in the hopes that one day, he'll be able to track down the person responsible.
He's given the chance to join an organization in Japan that will help Jim seek revenge, but he turns them down. Instead he rescues the organization's rival (Andrew Koji) who introduces him into another society that will help train him in their ways.
Like Batman Begins, Snake Eyes does witness the murder of a loved one and journeys far off to begin training in order to get justice, but that's where the similarities end. This movie just cranks up the action to where it becomes dull and repetitive and Snake Eyes isn't as intriguing or mysterious as Bruce Wayne or his alter ego.
Snake Eyes has to undergo three trials before he join their clan and all the while, he's constantly torn between revenge and trying to do what's right and these trials test him in many different ways. However, they seem to derivative from other plot devices we've seen far too many times.
Snake Eyes is obviously intended to be the first in a franchise and it's too bad it's off to a rough start as I would've appreciated the opportunity of using a fast forward button.
Instead I was forced to take it by pointless action scenes, a convoluted story, and performances that were silly and overwrought. They're all as serious as if they were performing Shakespeare.
Golding does bring a degree of energy and spirit to his role, but he's let down thanks to a by-the-numbers script and a one-dimensional character that we don't really care what happens by the end.
Snake Eyes is just silly, self-important, and it's just not fun.
(Rated PG-13 for sequences of strong violence and brief strong language.)