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Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins (2021) 4K Ultra HD Review

By Oct 19, 2021 06:32 PM EST

While Golding offers a different portrayal than the rich, debonair pretty boy we have seen in the past, he can’t save this film.

Almost one hundred years ago, three brothers went into business and over time they sold everything from textiles to pencils and final, toys.  In 1942, their largest sales came from the toy division, including the wildly popular, Mr. Potato Head.  A few years later they became a licensee of Disney merchandise and approximately ten years after that, in 1964, they introduced a line of "dolls" marketed to boys called G.I.Joe.  In the last, almost sixty years the franchise has produced all kinds of merchandise as well as, animated televisions series, and animated and live-action films.  This past summer a new, live-action movie focusing on Snake Eyes opened in theaters.  Three months later, it is making its way to retailers for purchase on 4K.

In 1982 Snake Eyes first appeared in G.I. Joe comic books as a ninja student with the Arashikage clan.  Over the years he has been a character in G.I. films and television shows.  However, Snake Eyes, played by Henry Golding (Crazy, Rich Asians), has now earned his own feature film.  Paramount Pictures released Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins to less than stellar critical praise and gloomy box office sales this past July.  Now, G.I. Joe fans will be able to buy it.

As a young boy, Snake Eyes watched while some terrible men came into their house and killed his dad, leaving him an orphan.  Growing up "on the streets", Snake Eyes learned to fight and take care of himself.  However, he still harbored the anger, which has fueled him all these years, to find his father's Killer.  When offered information of the killer's whereabouts, Snake Eyes accepts the deal and does what he must do, even betraying those that trust him, in his quest for vengeance.

One of the nicer aspects of newer films is that they generally transfer well to 4K.  Snake Eyes doesn't disappoint in this area, as the video offers fine details and clean visuals.  Perhaps the curse of such high-quality material is that it can make errors even more glaring and stand out negatively.  For example, when Snake Eyes, Tommy (Andrew Koji; Fast & Furious 6), and Akiko (Hakura Abe; Kiss Me First) are on motorcycles fighting bad guys it is obvious they are not actually on moving motorcycles.

Conversely, The Dolby Atmos audio has depth and clarity.  Explosions occur all around the viewer and dialogue is clear, although it doesn't seem to be as full or loud as the sound effects.  The 4K disc also doesn't offer much in the way of extras but those that are included offer some additional information about the characters and the story.  The five features are Morning Light, Deleted Scenes, Enter Snake Eyes, A Deadly Ensemble, and Arashikage.

While Golding offers a different portrayal than the rich, debonair pretty boy we have seen in the past, he can't save this film.  The fight sequences are well done, especially the swordplay but the script ranges from fair to poor, so the dialogue is groan-worthy at times.  The story also veers away from the source material to create a whole new backstory for Snake Eyes, which I can't imagine sits well with fans of the G.I. Joe franchise.

The film, of course, sets Snake Eyes up for a sequel at a minimum, as we see Tommy transition into Storm Shadow.  However, if Paramount Pictures plans to continue this journey, I hope they get a new screenwriter.  I would be interested to possibly see more of these characters and how they might evolve but if a second movie is a continuation of this one...I'll pass.

Story: D+
4K Combo Pack: B -  for video/audio quality and extra features
Overall Grade: C

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MPAA Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 121 minutes
Distributed By: Paramount Pictures

For more information about Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins visit the FlickDirect Movie Database. This release has been provided to FlickDirect for review purposes.

About Allison Rose


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