The recent movie, Snake Eyes – G.I Joe Origins (2021) was a box office bomb. Furthermore, it was also pretty badly received by critics. It wasn’t hard to see why, as we wrote about in our recent review of Snake Eyes – G.I. Joe Origins. Despite Henry Golding putting in a decent performance, the movie just didn’t cut it. We’re here to look at five reasons that it just didn’t manage to thrill or excite us . . .
As we mentioned in our review, unfortunately the film lacked much “genre definition”. There were elements of ‘Spy-fi’, fused with fantastical aspects, and they didn’t sit well together. But more than that, the movie needed to know what it was. That was far from the case, and what we saw reflected that. For example, we knew very little about the real threats of Cobra. And so, that leads us onto . . .
With the exception of the red mystical stone, and it getting in the wrong hands, Cobra barely featured. Really, only The Baroness (Ursula Corbero) represented them as a presence. But enough about the weak-story . . . We’ve already covered that, in our review of Snake Eyes – G.I Joe Origins. A movie is more than just the characters. If you look at the likes of Shang-Chi and The Legend of the Ten Rings (2021) – which we also recently reviewed – then the setting is hugely influential. The world of this movie is truly uninteresting
Sometimes, cheesiness is fun. If intentional, and so self-conscious, it can work wonderfully. This wasn’t the case in Snake Eyes. It took itself seriously and genuinely attempted to be cool and funny. It was neither, generally. Everything was corny, in the wrong way. The outfits weren’t impressive; the overall tone of the film was like something from the early 2000s. What it needed was complexity . . .
No Real Nuance
Today, people expect a degree of nuance. They want villains who aren’t out and out “good” or “bad”. This makes the motivations of the characters a huge part of who they are. There are numerous example of this. The only real example in Snake Eyes is Tommy (Andrew Koji). By the end of the film his “conversion” into Storm Shadow undoes what little shades of grey has been painted so far.
The movie seemed to just assume that because the toys were once popular, the movie would be. Perhaps that may have been the case, fifteen, or even ten years ago. But now audiences want something a little bit different. Also, these sorts of movies can’t exclusively rely on the “hardcore” fans to be successful. Part of the process should be to get new fans on board. They should take a note out of Disney’s book (not just the MCU, but The Mandalorian, too). You have to build a world and provide interesting characters. That way, people tend to look back to the original stuff and become interested. Snake Eyes – G.I Joe Origins failed badly there, too.
Snake Eyes is out now, still showing at certain cinemas. The film is also set to be released on Paramount+ pay-per-view soon, too.