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Snake Eyes: GI Joe Origins

Henry Golding has screen presence to spare. In “The Gentlemen”, “Crazy Rich Asians”, and “Last Christmas” the dude stole almost every scene he’s in with a lot of style and charm. So why does he basically disappear in the title role of SNAKE EYES?

Maybe it’s the really weak screenplay that rehashes every “becoming a Ninja” story ever told.

Perhaps it’s just that this thing takes forever to get in motion. It’s a mess.

Basically, Snake Eyes watched his father be murdered by a gangster and his life mission is to extract revenge on that gangster.

Will he be able to set aside that murderous quest when he has the chance to become part of something bigger, a centuries old family fighting for good?

Meh, I’m not sure I cared, I just wanted something to happen.

Andrew Koji is the best thing in the film as Tommy, the young man about to lead that righteous family. Haruka Abe is okay as their head of security that has plenty of questions about Snake Eyes.

Speaking of which, it’s hard to take anyone seriously when they are calling out “Snake Eyes!” in a moment of panic or passion. It made me laugh every time. Kurt Russell managed to create a character so fierce in Snake Plissken (Escape from New York) that I never questioned his name. Here, I just kept laughing.

Golding is stuck with an underwritten hero role that takes forever to establish his loyalty and character. Buried inside a mask and a superhero outfit, he just fades to black.

Peter Mensah (True Blood, Avatar) makes a decent impression as Blind Master, whose name pretty much tells you everything you need to know about his character. That should be some insight into the quality of the writing.

Director Robert Schwentke is a hack, managing to make an $88 million budget look like half that, save some nifty giant boa constrictors and some chase-action scenes, which we all saw in the trailers.

It’s time to throw GI JOE back in the toy box and stop making bad movies about them. Not since Tom Cruise’s horrific Mummy movie has a reboot launch for a film series been so badly botched.

This comes up SNAKE EYES no matter how you roll it and gets a D.

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