Snake Eyes – Movie Reviews by Ry!

Snake Eyes – Honor and Vengeance: A Dicey Origin

Films are a place of endless possibilities.  Within this medium, creators play with ideas to make a journey worth the escape.  That balance of enjoyment and believability is key, as the dynamic can provide a memorable moment.  No matter the genre, the rise and fall will define if it was worth the ride.  In this review, I look at a film that mixes origins, lore within an escape of action.  Even along a familiar path, Snake Eyes is an origin tale that is a fun ride … with a roll of the dice.

The film provides the backstory of Snake Eyes (Henry Golding).  From humble beginnings to unexpected turmoil, we see what defines the journey of this eventual member of the G.I. Joes.  The filmmakers build a story through the outline of an origin tale.  In the beginning, we have a general introduction to the titular character.  We see the evolution of his backstory through moments of childhood turmoil, unhealthy alliances and brotherhood motifs.  The first act is driven through scenes of conversational exposition, heavy foreshadowing and action.  The raw details are driven through applications of relativity, but it is also countered with basic motifs, quick cuts and shaky cam.  That standard framework can dull the character’s origin, but the usage of an ‘audience avatar’ adds credence to easing into the fanatical elements of the property.  After some convenient plot armor scenes, Tommy (Andrew Koji) brings Snake Eyes to Japan to become part of his clan.  From this point, the story wavers between characterization and world-building.  This is driven again through general techniques, but the methodical pacing between conversations and training scenes begin to lift the journey to levels of human endeavor.  This evolution of Snake Eyes helps in a twofold approach, creating a character with dimension while also building up the lore.  

As the story progresses, Snake Eyes past becomes relevant to his present.  Having made strides in defining himself, the shakiness of certain choices brings up the matter of trust.  There is a certain level of personal conflict that begins to boil, influencing relationships within the clan.  Standing at a crossroads, vengeance comes to head for Tommy and Snake Eyes.  This leads into a harden conflict that combines realism and lore.  As truths come to light, we head into a third act that sees relationships tested and internal strife become center stage.  Through a mixture of car chases, over-the-top action and one-on-one combat sequences, we see a renewal of purpose for everyone involved with the clan.  This leads to the ultimate choice climax, creating an epilogue that is a lead into the bigger world of the GI Joes.  Snake Eyes is an origin tale that provides girth within the familiar.  Even if certain directional ques hinder at times, it never takes away from the grounded aspect of the tale.  If you are a fan of action, origin tales or the GI Joe property, this is one for you.  I say it is worth seeing at the theaters.

Full Score – 3.5 out of 5 (Matinee)

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