Snake Eyes is rebooted, Jack! This time he’s all young and hip and not yet totally anonymous. Hell bent on exacting revenge for the death of his father, Snake Eyes finds himself mixed up in a conflict within an ancient Japanese clan.. And Cobra… and GI Joe’s for sure. Can he get revenge and stop them all before it’s too late? Find out in… Snake Eyes (2021).
How?! Snake Eyes has so much angst. That’s cause he watched his father die at the hands of a man known as Snake Eyes. Now he’s taken on that moniker and he’s ready to… well basically be sad. It’s been a hardscrabble life for young Snake Eyes, who gets recruited by the Yakuza after showing off his fighting skillz as a MMA fighter. But when a fellow worker, Tommy, is revealed to be a traitor Snake Eyes can’t stand to murder him in cold blood and instead helps him escape. For his trouble he is rewarded with Tommy’s loyalty. Turns out Tommy is actually the heir to a big time Japanese clan and wants Snake Eyes initiated into the clan. Everyone is like, what this dope? And also they are super suspicious. Turns out they are all right because (spoiler alert!) it was all a ruse and Snake Eyes is still working for the Yakuza in exchange for information about his father’s murderer. The Yakuza big boss, Kenta, is working with Cobra and ultimately wants what he believes is his: the clan’s MacGuffin, the Jewel of the Sun. Snake Eyes is like, whatever, fine, just get me my father’s murderer and proceeds to pass the first two initiation tasks for the clan (which honestly seemed not that hard, I could probably have done them). But the third task is all about some big ass snakes that can sense when someone isn’t pure of heart (now that’s more like it!), Snake Eyes fails and is expelled. But he’s learned enough as he’s able to return and steal the Jewel of the Sun. In exchange he is delivered his father’s murderer, but ultimately relizes that friendship > bloodlust (aww) and heads back to the clan to help them fend off Kenta. Now armed with the Jewel, Kenta is formidable, but with the help of a GI Joe they are able to get the Jewel back. Tommy attempts to use the jewel against Kenta, but Snake Eyes is the one to defeat him by luring him into the big ass snake pit (yeah!). Tommy is exiled for trying to use the Jewel and vows revenge against Snake Eyes, while Snake Eyes is recruited to the Joes. THE END.
Why?! Big ol’ MacGuffin Alert. Not often do you get a classic of the genre. In this case the Jewel of the Sun is an uber powerful weapon that everyone wants. So powerful that the clan can never use it, it must only protect it. This turns out to be simply the ability to shoot flames at people. So like a flamethrower? Sure I could see that being pretty great in feudal Japan, but like… really anyone can have a flamethrower nowadays. Anyway, Snake Eyes wants revenge and the bad guys want power.
Who?! Gotta love a pro wrestling acting debut. Mojo Rawley appears briefly as Snake Eyes’ opponent in a street fight. He’s actually had a pretty good career in the WWE. He also had a cup of coffee with a couple NFL teams as well, which would get him called a “Former Professional Football Player” on The Bachelorette, so that’s good enough for me.
What?! I talk about the MacGuffin, but more as an object of desire and less about an object in itself. It’s an orange glowing piece of rock that acts as a flamethrower for those that wield it. The story we are told is that the sun goddess sent it down to Earth as a test and that the clan was tasked with protecting it and specifically to never use it. So… it’s a meteorite… like in Super Mario Bros.?
Where?! We get a bunch of real rad intertitles telling us where we are, but we are primarily in Japan (with a brief moment in Los Angeles). I would say that it’s a pretty good Japan setting given that it’s steeped in Japanese lore. But it also mostly takes place in a fake dojo and so doesn’t have the feel of Tokyo or anyplace real. So just a B.
When?! Hmmm. Usually I can venture a guess here, but this is a weird one. It has the feeling of taking place outside of time and it could probably be anytime. This is almost certainly an F. I highly doubt there is actually any indication of when this takes place because there isn’t a need to… it’s just a dumb film with a bunch of dumb fake stuff happening in a fake place at a fake time. The end.
You’d think that after already trying to start up a GI Joe Cinematic Universe (GIJCU) and more or less falling on their faces with some pretty dumbo paint-by-numbers actioners earlier in the decade that people would have learned their lesson. Apparently not cause this is a straight up mid 2000’s dumbo action film centered around a 1990’s MacGuffin. All of it is dumb and (even worse) pretty boring. That’s not mentioning a nice, glaring example of a BMT classic. My guy Henry Golding can’t hold down an American accent to save himself. It just ain’t happening and they needed to quickly pull a JCVD and say he was American but had an accent for some reason. Anyway, I was pretty shocked to find myself decidedly not entertained by this movie and instead walked away scratching my head about how it ended up somehow overrated. It’s actually a bit upsetting. One thing I’ve learned over the years of BMT is to embrace the beauty of the franchise. The story you can build across movies, even if it’s all kinda stupid. I would hope this continues and we see more… but also they have to do a bit better than this. Patrick?
‘Ello everyone! We got a backdoor pilot for a GI Joe reboot! We got ninjas! We got a film which is about just one GI Joe, but before he actually got to do anything interesting with the GI Joe’s … Let’s go!
P’s View on the Preview – One of the rare 2021 films to get a wide release and bad reviews, we just had to save it for the end of the year run down. I didn’t really know much about the film going in. I didn’t even really know if it had anything to do with GI Joe. Which was fun. What were my expectations? I guess shiny garbage. Is this second dying? Isn’t every bad movie that comes out now just shiny garbage? I can’t really tell there have been so few in the last 2 years.
The Good – I liked the actors. All of them I think did a very good job with the material given. And a lot of the action is pretty cool (except for one aspect of it, which I’ll get to in the Bad section). But honestly, that is it. Nothing else in this movie is worth the time spent watching it. Not a single think. Best Bit: The actors are charming enough that I hope to see all them in other stuff in the future.
The Bad – The film is nonsense. Pure, utter nonsense. Such nonsense that I’m tempted to call the whole thing dog poo in my face … but can I go so far? It feels like that should be reserved for really unredeemable piles of trash. This ain’t that, because the actors are fine and the action is kind of cool. Speaking of which, wire-fu man. Also looks like trash. The action looks so good when it is hand to hand stuff, and all of a sudden people are jumping twenty feet in the air and everything looks ridiculous. Didn’t even need the speed-up suits from the first GI Joe film. Fatal Flaw: The film makes no sense and that makes my brain angry and my heart sad.
The BMT – It is weird to watch a disjointed franchise going through multiple reimaginings in BMT, but I think we might get there with GI Joe. If they ever decide to make a drastically different version of GI Joe again we’d have watched multiple reboots of a property mostly live in BMT. Did it meet my expectations? Yeah. Yes, it is shiny garbage, but this is more than that. This is truly a bad film. And really what more can I ask for in the end.
Roast-radamus – A very good Product Placement (What?) right in the nick of time, with Storm Shadow sipping on some Johnny Walker Black (the most eeeevil of all the Johnny Walker whiskies) during the mid-credits scene. A great international Setting as a Character (Where?) for Japan which is a surprisingly rare setting for bad movies. And a fabulous MacGuffin (Why?) for the glowing orange gem which, it turns out, lights people on fire. Closest to BMT I think, being mostly redeemed through its connection to GI Joe and all of the baggage that entails.
Sequel, Prequel, Remake – I mean, a prequel is pretty lame. I think it is time to bring back our old friend, the BMT Crossover Episode. Snake Eyes has almost died a few times now, so Sasha Petrosevitch sends out his elite Half Past Dead Investigative Unit (HPDIU) to see if he qualifies for Half Past Dead duty (and you bettah belieb he does). You better watch out because the Half Past Dead crew now has a ninja on board. “I ain’t Aikido, but it’ll do,” Sasha smirks. “That sounds like a challenge.” says Snake Eyes. Aikido versus … karate I assume? I don’t know martial arts very well, but it’s obviously a draw. “You done well kid,” Sasha says with his eyes. The first mission? We have a little issue with a Cobra offshoot called Asp which is trying to resurrect Donny Johnson’s essence into a robot body (remember this is GI Joe, so literally anything is possible). Sasha and Snake Eyes ain’t having that. In the end with a Aikido-karate fusion, they destroy Robo-Chestnut in the nick of time and save the day. GI Joe: Half Past Dead: Ninja Resurrection.
A few more and You Just Got Schooled will be back with a vengeance! Cheerios,