Writing Movie “WRONGS”
By Jim West
Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins
Directed by Robert Schwentke
Written by Evan Spiliotopoulos, Joe Shrapnel, and Anna Waterhouse
Hasbro launched the GI Joe franchise with toys that got dubbed action figures. Then the comics and cartoons helped sell the toys. One of the all time favorite characters has been Snake Eyes. In every film the energy this character brings without speaking a word is amazing. Needless to say when this film came out it was going to weigh heavy on whop plays the main character. Henry Golding just may be the right fit as he found tremendous success as an actor in the worldwide hit, Crazy Rich Asians (2018). This film tries to cover a lot of ground, but just manages to reach the finish line with decent plot line resolutions, and of course the setup for future films.
Here comes the spoilers.
Film opens with the tragedy that the hero has to come top terms with in the film which is the murder of his father. We get shown that present day the boy has grown into a deadly martial arts fighter going by the name Snake Eyes after the dice roll that resulted in his fathers death. He gets recruited by a Yakuza boss named Kenta who promises to help him find his father’s killer if he works for him. One day he is tasked to execute a man, but instead decides to help the man escape and finds out this was Kenta’s cousin and heir to a secret ninja clan in Japan. They travel to his home in Japan where he asks if Snake Eyes can join. The leader of the clan says he must pass three trials to prove his worthiness.
The clan protects a jewel that has magical powers. Snake Eyes is revealed to be still working for Kenta and is tasked to steal the jewel. As Snake Eyes progresses through the trials, he gets conflicted about what his betrayal of the clan. When he steals the jewel and comes face to face with his father’s killer he decides to forgive the man who was merely following orders given by a shadow organization called Cobra. Snake Eyes makes it back to warn the clan and then helps them fight Kenta and his men. At the final fight, Tommy the heir to the clan uses the jewel to defeat Kenta, and is banished by the clan leader to which he vows revenge against Snake Eyes.
Henry Golding does a fine job with the character portrayal, and the themes of vengeance and redemption are solid in this film. The only thing I would have added is a montage showing him growing up, learning to fight, and the struggles he faced up till adulthood. That would give the audience more connection to his story and character. I look forward to Hasbro crafting a universe for future films and Snake Eyes being a large part of that.
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