Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins 4K Blu-Ray Review

By Published On: October 24, 2021Categories: Movies, Reviews

Source: Paramount Pictures

He deserved better.

The G.I. Joe movie franchise sits in an interesting place right now and it is not what I would call mega-successful. On the bright side, it also hasn’t dwelled in the doldrums where Michael Bay ended up taking Transformers for a while. The two movies that are out there are The Rise of Cobra and Retaliation and they aren’t bad films, but they aren’t entirely memorable either. They make for ideal action fare on a Saturday night, yet aren’t exactly “cult classics.”

This leaves Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins in a provocative position. Done the right way, this film could’ve gotten the series back on the right track, like how Bumblebee did for the Transformers legacy. However, the end result is just…there. It’s not a terrible film by any means, but it joins the others in being monotonous fare that did not do enough for its franchise. It’s definitely watchable, but you’ll hardly be screaming, “Yo Joe!” by the end of it.

Humble Origins?

Source: Paramount Pictures

The movie focuses on the young warrior that would become Snake Eyes, played by Henry Golding. After witnessing his father’s murder, he trains himself in martial arts, hoping to settle the score. He eventually joins a Yakuza clan in Los Angeles, where he works alongside a warrior named Tommy (Andrew Koji) after saving his life. There is apparently a magical jewel involved in all of this, which really throws off the vibe of what G.I. Joe is all about. Regardless, there’s Baroness and Scarlett for some reason.

The movie has some good action sequences, like a fun swordfight atop a moving truck and a finale that goes all over the place. Golding and most of the other actors do a good job with the material that they’re given here, but Origins never really finds its place to move the G.I. Joe lexicon forward. It’s got great action, but very little plot to keep it structured; and characters seem shoehorned in. In fact, one key decision towards the end where Snake Eyes’ greatest adversary is born feels more like an afterthought, rather than something deep where you feel its motivation. It’s very, very tacked on.

The movie would’ve fared better skipping all the magical hokum and instead should be focusing on Snake Eyes’ motivations, as well as what Tommy would truly become. Instead, like the other movies, you watch it, shrug, and move on. Even so, Samara Weaving makes a good Scarlett, so at least there’s that.

A Solid Technical Presentation and Decent Features

Source: Paramount Pictures

We were given the 4K version of Snake Eyes to review, and technically speaking, it didn’t disappoint. The picture is sharp in its 4K fold, and the colors are excellent during some sequences. There’s also some real beauty in the darker tones, and the characters have never looked better. I’m also a big fan of the Dolby Atmos mix in the sound, as it really brings out the best effects during the action sequences. The music score could be better, but it sounds great coming from a 4K disc. (There’s a digital version as well if you want to take it on the go.)

The 4K disc comes with some decent special features, but nothing spectacular. There’s one that focuses on the Snake Eyes character, but it doesn’t delve too deeply, going just under ten minutes. The deleted scenes are alright, but they are forgettable and there’s a neat little feature looking at the Arashikage clan. Honestly, I would’ve liked to see more content delving into the history of G.I. Joe itself.

A Real American…Zero?

Snake Eyes can not quite measure up with the franchise it’s based upon. On the one hand, it could’ve been a lot worse. It could have even raised it up to new levels and made us more excited about other stories to come from the brand. As it stands, it’s forgettable fare, and that’s something that doesn’t do the hero justice. There wasn’t even a nod to Ray Park, man!

The disc has excellent technical merits and some decent (albeit short) featurettes. It’s suitable if you want an action movie to watch, but it just doesn’t have the G.I. Joe flair. Stick with the 80s animated movie and the ridiculousness of Burgess Meredith. “YOU HAVE LOST, G.I. JOE! LOST!”

RATING: 5/10

About the Author: Captain Steve