REVIEW / FILM OPINION – After two relatively disappointing first opus, the “GI Joe” franchise continues with the spin-off “Snake Eyes” by Robert Schwentke, available since September 21 on VOD.
GI Joe : a benchmark since 1964
Initially, franchise GI Joe was born from an articulated action figure produced by Hasbro released in 1964. The toy line started with the famous GI Joe before many characters gradually joined the toy brand. Quickly, these toys are derived in animated series, in comics, then in the cinema in 2009 with GI Joe: Awakening the Cobra directed by Stephen Sommers. The feature film may be a critical failure, but it has earned more than $ 302 million in box office revenue. This prompted Paramount Pictures to produce a sequel in 2013, directed by Jon M. Chu. GI Joe: Conspiracy counts on an appetizing cast including Bruce Willis and Dwayne Johnson and thus brings back more than $ 375 million in box office revenue.
This year, the first spin-off of the saga is released on our screens. Paramount in fact commissioned Robert Schwentke to stage Snake Eyes, a solo film about this character played by Henry Golding. In the first two opus he was then camped by the talented Ray Park (Darth Maul in Star wars). Snake Eyes was due out in theaters on October 23, 2020, then last August 18. But due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the feature film is only available on VOD since September 21. And it might not be worse …
Snake Eyes : or how to miss a blockbuster!
Robert Schwentke therefore chooses to tell the origins of the famous Snake Eyes, before it becomes the powerful ninja that everyone knows. And what made the strength of the character in the first two parts, that is to say his silence, his impressive calm, his silence that was cold in the back, and his ultra stylized costume that never revealed his face, is swept away with a severe backhand.
Now Snake Eyes is a chatty protagonist, wearing the face of an uninspired Henry Golding. Snake Eyes is a lazy origin story, which accumulates the coarse clichés of the genre. We thus find the clichés of a dramatic story for an uninspired blockbuster: a traumatized child who must face the death of his father, an evolution dictated by revenge, a superficial and particularly soporific training, until the attainment of a great destiny for a great warrior. Overall, it still smells very strongly of warmed up and the cruel lack of inspiration.
Snake Eyes must assume a considerably superficial scenario. Indeed, the story, written with lamentable motivation, is mainly intended for a (very) young audience, which will then not be too demanding. A story that also suffers from a cruel lack of interest. Especially because of his characters extremely poorly written, and devoid of any depth. No figure stands out, and the heroes are just lifeless puppets that only serve to painfully advance the plot.
It is also difficult not to mention the emptiness of the twists and turns, each one more phoned than the next. Even visually, the feature film fails to impose itself as a lesson in style. The choreographies lack charm, and the staging is devoid of panache to give rhythm to the various monotonous clashes that are offered to the audience. And the presence of Iko Uwais (the star of The Raid) unfortunately does not change anything.
Snake Eyes by Robert Schwentke, available on VOD on September 21, 2021. Above the trailer. Find all our trailers here.