Up until this point, Snake Eyes has not been that bad. The action is quite good, and if you’ve seen Andrew Koji in Warrior, then you know he’s an exceptional actor/fighter. Where the story turns south is when the G.I. Joes and Cobra rear their ugly head. The big story twist is the Arashikage Clan is the keeper of a mystical gem, or in Marvel-speak—the power stone. Cobra is in league with Kenta to take it, which brings in Cobra’s Baroness (Úrsula Corberó) and Scarlett (Samara Weaving) for the Joes. To me, the late second act addition of the Joes feels forced and honestly could have been removed as the presence of the Baroness and Scarlett looks and feels out of place.
I also have a big pet peeve concerning Snake Eyes. The big fight where Snake Eyes saves Tommy’s life takes place in the Port of Los Angeles. The scene opens with an aerial shot of the Port of Los Angeles… that is clearly not the Port of Los Angeles. I know this because I lived near the port for most of my childhood. I get these things are not shot in L.A., but you can’t just cheat and substitute in any old port. Yes, I’m being petty.
“…fun to watch, and each set piece stands out from the others.”
The highlight of Snake Eyes is the action. Golding, Koji, and Haruka Abe, as the clan’s chief of security, Akiko, do most of the heavy lifting, and they look good in the hand-to-hand combat. It’s fun to watch, and each set piece stands out from the others. I also found it interesting that they used electric cars and motorcycles for many of the chase scenes. If an electric motorcycle crashes into anything, is there going to be a massive explosion in the aftermath?
Remove the G.I. Joe element, and Snake Eyes is a slightly above average American homage to the martial arts genre. In the end, I found I had a greater appreciation for the first half of the film because of its action and exciting story, which by no means has enough depth to stand out from the pack. Nevertheless, it’s probably my favorite G.I. Joe movie, which still isn’t saying too much.
"…a slightly above average American homage to the martial arts genre."