Entertainment

“GI Joe: Snake Eyes”: the opportunity to revive one of the most popular franchises in the world

Santiago García reviews “GI Joe: Snake Eyes”, the movie that premiered on Prime Video.

Toys, comics, animated series and two feature films make up the universe of G.I. Joe that for decades has passed from one generation to another, showing that its characters and stories are always attractive. Despite being great productions, the two previous feature films did not end up satisfying the public, which led to G.I. Joe: Snake Eyes was a spin-off, that is, a branch of the central line, to allow greater concentration on a character and a story. But the world in which this and other characters inhabit was born many years ago.

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In 1945 a movie called Story of G.I. Joe, directed by William A. Wellman (in Latin America it was called We are human beings too), which portrayed the lives of American soldiers during World War II from the point of view of a war correspondent. At that time the already used term GI Joe to refer to the soldiers became popular.

The person in charge of interpreting this Snake Eyes with a face and many dialogues is Henry Golding.  (Prime Video)
The person in charge of interpreting this Snake Eyes with a face and many dialogues is Henry Golding. (Prime Video)

That’s why when the creator of children’s action figures had to choose a name for his invention, he had the idea to register them as GI Joe and thus launched the first four figures, each one representing the United States military forces. They were nothing more than Barbies for girls, which over time ended up becoming one of the most successful toys of all time. And like Barbie, it was expanding its product offering, although in its case with many different characters, quite far from the origin in many cases, such as Snake Eyes.

G.I. Joe: Snake Eyes It comes almost sixty years after the birth of toys. There were already comics, a famous animated series that made them very, very popular, and later also video games. There were two feature films with actors, the first was G.I. Joe: Origin of Cobra (2009) with great figures in the cast such as Channing Tatum, Jonathan Pryce, Dennis Quaid, Sienna Miller, and Joseph Gordon-Lewis. The sequel was released in 2013 and was called GI Joe: The Counterattack. The cast was no less important, since they joined Dwayne Johnson and Bruce Willis. In both films Snake Eyes appeared, but did not say a single line of dialogue. This changes in the new film, of course, of which he is the protagonist. And somehow, it seeks to get a little closer to the franchise, even if it is a spin-off.

Toys, comics, animated series and two feature films make up the GI Joe universe.  (Prime Video)
Toys, comics, animated series and two feature films make up the GI Joe universe. (Prime Video)

As the title indicates, we are facing the origin of the character. Before becoming the mysterious vigilante Snake Eyes, he witnessed his father being killed by a villain who rolled the dice to decide whether to execute his victims. Those dice threw a double one, that is to say what is known as “Snake Eyes” (Snake Eyes). The young man prepares his whole life to get revenge on him, infiltrating the yakuza clans and ending up in the middle of a battle of factions. It is not known, at the time, if he is a hero or a villain and how much he is willing to do to achieve his initial goal of revenge. The clan that adopts him discovers him in an illegal fight circuit, where he observes his enormous talent and sees him as someone useful to be part of the yakuza.

The person in charge of interpreting this Snake Eyes with a face and many dialogues is Henry Goldingrising figure of Malay origin who became famous for his role in the sitcom Crazy Rich Asians. The challenge of humanizing Snake Eyes has brought mixed opinions but at the same time it was the only way to make him the exclusive protagonist of the film. They are also Iko UwaisIndonesian martial arts film legend and Ursula Corberoremembered actress of The Money Heist. Although the actors are not the most important thing, it is clear that this time the franchise was preferred over the stars. Although the result is uneven, the film looks more authentic in that aspect.

"G.I. Joe: Snake Eyes" It comes almost sixty years after the birth of toys.  (Prime Video)
“GI Joe: Snake Eyes” arrives almost sixty years after the birth of toys. (Prime Video)

There are plenty of fight scenes missing, which is by far the best part of the movie. True pitched battles with different weapons and locations. There are also firearms and spectacular motorcycle chases. A narrative that mixes Eastern with Western action cinema and promises future installments of a franchise that is not willing to give up. Available on Prime Video.

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