Director: Robert Schwentke
Notable Cast: Henry Golding, Andrew Koji, Haruka Abe, Takehiro Hira, Ursula Corbero, Samara Weaving, Iko Uwais, Peter Mensah
The G.I. Joe franchise has always walked (and punched) down a fine line. If it’s too serious, it loses the summer blockbuster casual fans looking for escapism. If it’s too goofy? Fans of the intellectual property will cry parody and abandon ship. It’s the same debate that happened with Rise of Cobra and Retaliation and it’s already a debate raging online about the latest, a pseudo-reboot of the Hasbro toy line as action cinema, Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins. For a film that’s meant to be a silly modern interpretation of an 80s iconic character born of the ninja boom of that era, that’s a lot of pressure.
With an $88 million budget in tow, not including marketing
for the film, and an increasingly apathetic audience to the IP, Snake Eyes
has an increasing amount of grapple-hook-wall scaling to accomplish. Yet, it’s
a pleasant surprise to know that this reboot, directed by Robert Schwentke, is
weirdly effective at finding a balance in the basics. It lays its stakes firmly
in the world of silly, bombastic summer blockbusters, but in doing so it also
manages to lean into the lunacy of the G.I. Joe world. It delivers something
slightly different than the usual expectations of world policing in Go
Joe or the Marvel Cinematic Universe appeasement which benefits the experience.