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Robert Schwentke
Henry Golding, Andrew Koji, Ursula Corbero
Writing Credits:
Evan Spiliotopoulos, Joe Shrapnel, Anna Waterhouse

Welcomed into an ancient Japanese clan called the Arashikage after saving the life of their heir Storm Shadow, Snake Eyes joins the battle against the group COBRA.

Box Office:
$88 million.
Opening Weekend
$13,367,853 on 3521 screens.
Domestic Gross

Rated PG-13.

Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
Dolby Vision
English Dolby Atmos
English Audio Description
Spanish Dolby 5.1
Czech Dolby 5.1
Latin Spanish Dolby 5.1
French Dolby 5.1
French Canadian Dolby 5.1
German Dolby 5.1
Italian Dolby 5.1
Hungarian Dolby 5.1
Polish Dolby 5.1
Latin Spanish
Supplements Subtitles:
Latin Spanish

Runtime: 121 min.
Price: $27.99
Release Date: 10/19/2021

• “Morning Light” Short Film
• “Enter Snake Eyes” Featurette
• “A Deadly Ensemble” Featurette
• “Arashikage” Featurette
• Deleted Scenes


-LG OLED65C6P 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV
-Marantz SR7010 9.2 Channel Full 4K Ultra HD AV Surround Receiver
-Sony UBP-X800 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Player
-Chane A2.4 Speakers
-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


Snake Eyes: GI Joe Origins [4K UHD] (2021)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (October 18, 2021)

Back in 2009, the “GI Joe” toy franchise launched as a live-action film franchise via The Rise of Cobra. With a worldwide gross of $302 million on a budget of $175 million, it likely didn’t turn a profit, but I suppose it sold toys, which seemed to be its main purpose.

In 2011, those involved tried again with Retaliation. With a somewhat cheaper $130 million budget and Dwayne Johnson in tow, it took in $375 million worldwide, much closer to profitability territory than Rise.

Nonetheless, we never got a third GI Joe movie as part of that burgeoning franchise. Perhaps the studio figured that neither entry attained the blockbuster success they expected and bailed.

A decade later, the series semi-returns via 2021’s Snake Eyes: GI Joe Origins. With a subtitle that implies further stories of this sort in the future, the flick takes on the most popular of the characters.

A child (Max Archibald) watches his father (Steven Allerick) killed by Mr. Augustine (Samuel Finzi), a thug who uses dice to toy with his victims. Augustine allows the boy’s dad to roll for his fate, but when the dice come up both “ones”, that’s curtains.

As an adult (Henry Golding), the boy adopts the name “Snake Eyes” after this twist of fate. He develops into a skilled fighter, one who joins the Yakuza crew operated Kenta (Takehiro Hira), a man who claims he will find Snake Eyes’ dad’s killer if Snake pulls off a theft for him.

Along the way, Kenta expects Snake to assassinate Tommy (Andrew Koji), also Kenta’s cousin. Snake refuses and finds himself on the outs with Kenta.

Grateful, Tommy takes Snake to Japan with him and helps him train to become part of his warrior clan. Snake deals with this and a lot of plot twists along the way.

When Hasbro developed the 3.75-inch GI Joe action figure line in the early 1980s, they designed Snake Eyes as an all-black toy solely to save money. However, the look caught on and the figure became beloved.

This trivia piece is more interesting than anything you’ll see in the messy and incoherent Snake Eyes.

Look, I don’t expect a whole lot from movies based on action figures, especially when they attempt to revive a franchise that went dormant a decade earlier. Still, you’d think those involved could’ve come up with something more creative and original than this clunker.

For much of its running time, Eyes offers nothing more than a rote samurai-style movie. Snake Eyes goes to Japan to learn the ways of the honorable warrior, a journey that leads him to the usual series of tests with the usual series of stock supporting characters and the usual hint of romance.

Almost none of this seems even vaguely fresh, even when it throws some twists at us. I admit I didn’t see some of these in advance, perhaps because I felt so bored that I failed to pay much attention.

However, I’ll go the “glass half-full” route and give the movie credit for these curveballs anyway. Whatever the reason, I didn’t anticipate these shifts and they allow the story to take on a bit more intrigue than otherwise would occur.

But only a smidgen, as so much of Eyes feels intensely rote, especially in its first half. Along the way, the movie suddenly remembers that it needs to connect to the GI Joe universe, so a few of those other characters emerge from nowhere, a factor that seems both inevitable and surprising.

I refer to this as “inevitable” because Eyes needs to eventually tie the lead to the GI Joe series. I refer to this as “surprising” because I figured Snake Eyes would hop onto the GI Joe bandwagon only at the end and I didn’t anticipate that we’d enter that world halfway through this flick.

Given the tedium of the first hour, I should welcome the introduction of the Joe situations, but it just feels so abrupt and out of nowhere that it becomes a distraction. Add to that the other clumsy ways Eyes tries to tie the lead into the rest of the series and this side of things doesn’t quite work.

Really, I find it tough to locate anything here that does work. For a character who famously never speaks, this Snake Eyes seems like a chatty guy, and he shows enough of a glib, wise-cracking persona that it seems hard to see him as the mute, serious character of the franchise.

Golding just feels wrong in the part. He comes across as too much frat boy and not enough badass warrior.

The movie throws out action scenes willy-nilly and never integrates them well. They suffer from choppy editing that often makes them hard to follow, and they lack much excitement.

It doesn’t help that outside of a bonding ritual between Snake and Tommy, Eyes provides a literally bloodless affair. I get that the studio wanted a “PG-13” affair to allow the kids who buy the toys to see it.

However, Eyes comes with so much sword-based violence that the absence of blood becomes nearly comical. Blades flash and stab but nary a drop of bodily fluid appears, a choice that just seems ludicrous.

Even if you enter Snake Eyes with low expectations, it seems likely to disappoint. A disjointed, pointless and dull attempt at an action flick, it goes nowhere.

Footnote: expect a short tag scene early in the end credits.

The Disc Grades: Picture A-/ Audio B+/ Bonus C

Snake Eyes; GI Joe Origins appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this 4K UHD Disc. Expect a solid Dolby Vision presentation.

At all times, sharpness appeared positive. I thought the image seemed accurate and well-defined from start to finish, with virtually no signs of softness on display. I noticed no signs of shimmering or jaggies, and the movie lacked any print flaws.

Like most other modern action flicks, Eyes favored stylized colors, and as usual, those colors tended toward teal and orange. Actually, the palette broadened at times, so while it stayed heavily oriented toward orange/teal, at least some other hues emerged.

Given the visual choices, the hues looked positive. The 4K’s HDR added impact and heft to the tones as well.

Blacks were always deep and tight, and I saw good contrast as well. Shadows seemed clear and appropriately opaque, although some day-for-night shots could veer toward the dim side.

HDR added range and power to both whites and contrast. The 4K UHD became a strong reproduction of the film.

Downconverted to Dolby TrueHD 7.1, I felt fairly pleased with the Dolby Atmos soundtrack of Eyes, though it seemed a little restrained for much of its running time. A lot of the story passed with only mediocre use of the various channels, so don’t expect rock-em, sock-em from beginning to end.

Still, the track felt engaging enough through the character moments. It also managed to kick to life well for the climax, so that helped compensate for the less involving earlier sequences.

Audio quality was also strong. Music seemed full and bold, while speech was consistently natural and crisp.

Effects became the most prominent component, of course, and packed a solid punch, with positive clarity and range. The audio of Kombat delivered the goods.

A few extras fill out the disc, and a new short film called Morning Light: A Weapon with Stories to Tell runs three minutes, 11 seconds. It brings an “animated comic book” that gives us the story of Snake Eyes’ sword. It offers decent exposition for fans, though it doesn’t become especially entertaining.

Three featurettes follow, and Enter Snake Eyes lasts nine minutes, 32 seconds. It brings notes from 2nd unit director James Madigan, comic creator Larry Hama, stunt coordinators Kimani Ray Smith and Jeremy Frye, producer Erik Howsam, and actors Henry Golding, Takehiro Hira and Andrew Koji.

“Enter” looks at story/characters as well as stunts. This becomes a decent but unexceptional look at the action scenes.

A Deadly Ensemble fills six minutes, 22 seconds with info from Golding, Koji, producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura, Hama, Hira, Howsam, and actors Haruka Abe, Samara Weaving, and Ursula Corbero. They cover cast and characters in this serviceable reel.

Finally, Arashkage occupies six minutes, 59 seconds with info from Golding, Hama, Abe, Koji, di Bonaventura, Smith, production designer Alec Hammond, prop master David Dowling, fight master Kenji Tanigaki, and actors Peter Mensah and Iko Uwais. We get some basics on the characters and the main clan as well as sets and props in this moderately informative piece.

Five Deleted Scenes take up a total of two minutes, seven seconds. With an average running time of about 25 seconds each, should you expect much from these clips?

No – definitely not. We get a few added action beats and a short glimpse of Snake Eyes as he gawks at Akiko. These all seem utterly superfluous.

Unusually, the 4K release does not come with a Blu-ray copy.

After two lackluster GI Joe movies about a decade ago, the franchise returns with the equally blah Snake Eyes: GI Joe Origins. A by the numbers, stale action flick, it lacks much to intrigue the viewer. The 4K UHD boasts excellent picture and audio along with a mix of relatively minor bonus materials. Maybe someday we’ll get a oood GI Joe flick,but Snake Eyes ain’t it.

Viewer Film Ratings: 2 Stars Number of Votes: 1
0 3:
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