Thursday, November 4, 2021

{4K Ultra HD Review) - Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins (2021)

I knew Hasbro and Paramount Pictures were working on a G.I. Joe prequel reboot, but I must be living under the rock because I didn't realize the film got a theatrical release this year. From what I've read, Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins didn't go over well with the critics and moviegoers. Depending on the source, the budget is between $88 - 110 million and only brought in $37 at the worldwide box office. In other words - it was a major flop.

Paramount Pictures
quickly gave Snake Eyes a digital release on August 17th and released it on 4K UHD, Blu-ray, DVD on October 19th. I don't know the numbers for the digital release, but the physical home media releases aren't selling like hotcakes. I've seen an overload of copies at Walmart, Best Buy, and Target stores, which has led me to the conclusion that nobody cares about this movie.

I'm probably the only '80s kid that didn't grow up watching the G.I. Joe animated series. I was aware of the series, but it just never appealed to me. Don't ask me why, but I did see 2009's G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra twice in theaters and eventually saw the sequel G.I. Joe Retaliation on either DVD or Blu-ray. Both films are godawful, and the only redeeming scenes were with Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow. Snake Eyes has always been the most popular G.I. Joe character. (Yes, I had to "Google" that fact.) So, it should be no surprise that Paramount Pictures greenlit a solo Snake Eyes outing.

Hollywood has never cracked the code in adapting cartoons based on toys to the big screen. Yes, that includes the CGI-bloated Transformers movies. Well, Bumblebee was halfway decent, but the rest downright sucked. Like I already mentioned, 2009 and 2013 G.I. Joe movies were horrible, except for the Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow subplot and flashbacks. Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins could have been a decent reboot for the franchise, but sadly that's not the case. Instead, the film is a blandly-written mess with plenty of miscasting and poorly-filmed action scenes.

I'm well aware of the race-swapping controversy that die-hard G.I. Joe fans fussed about when Paramount Pictures announced Henry Goulding would play Snake Eyes. While I understand the fan outcry, I could care less as long as the actor gave a good performance. Goulding does a decent enough job as Snake Eyes. The biggest gripe I have with the film is how the character isn't the same Snake Eyes from the source material. While my G.I. Joe knowledge is limited, I know Snake Eyes becomes disfigured and damages his vocal cords on a mission. Considering this is an origin film, I expected Snake Eyes to be a disfigured mute by the end credits. But, this never occurred. Plus, Goulding never puts on the iconic helmet.

Henry Golding plays Snake Eyes and Samara Weaving plays Scarlett in Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins.

Let's not go into details about the plot. It's the same old revenge story that Hollywood has done to death. The only other team G.J. Joe character is Scarlett, played by Samara Weaving. The actress looks the part, but her short screentime performance comes across as a bit too stiff. The same goes for Úrsula Corberó as the villainous Baroness. The best acting in the entire film is from Andrew Koji, who plays Storm Shadow.

Andrew Koji plays Tommy/Storm Shadow in Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins from Paramount Pictures, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures, and Skydance.

For those of you who need to know, the picture and sound qualities on the 4K UHD are top-notch. Besides the short film Morning Light: A Weapon with Stories to Tell, there's nothing to brag about on the Special Features - 5 deleted scenes and three behind-the-scenes featurettes.

Overall, Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins is another forgettable film in the G.I. Joe franchise. If you remove all of the G.I. Joe names and references, it would be nothing more than a run-of-the-mill action flick.

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