The first reviews are in for Henry Golding's Snake Eyes – and its a decidedly mixed reception for the GI Joe Origins movie.
The anticipated actioner sees the Crazy Rich Asians star take on the role of the fan-favourite character as he is trained by ancient Japanese ninja clan the Arashikage, though secrets from his past come to the fore.
Going by the first reviews, Snake Eyes appears to be a missed opportunity, with some criticism levelled at its action sequences, as well as a mixed verdict on Golding.
Here's what critics have been saying:
"It's surprisingly been eight years since the last GI Joe blockbuster, with Jon Chu's GI Joe: Retaliation released back in early 2013, but time hasn't done much to improve things as far as quality is concerned. There is enough to appreciate in Snake Eyes to call it a mediocre movie, but it's tough because there exists so much potential in it to be better than it is."
"Snake Eyes: GI Joe Origins does't reach the giddy, earnest heights of something like Aquaman or a Wachowski project. It methodically sets up sequels – to be recast and released around 2030, judging by the Joes' cinematic track record so far. But the dubiousness of its present-day achievement, the sheer ludicrousness of making the best GI Joe movie in 2021, is part of the dumbfounding fun."
"The script's attempts at wisdom amount to little more than dime-store platitudes, and the internecine turmoil of the Arashikage clan never comes close to anything like emotional heft. The flying fists may make this a relative anomaly for the multiplex release calendar, but that should be understood as the faintest possible praise, an acknowledgment that we're looking at one of the more interesting varieties of boring movie."
"It's also not surprising that the industry would capitalise on [Henry Golding's] breakthrough moment and come knocking with some piece of Intellectual Property for him to star in. Unfortunately that IP piece is Snake Eyes, an origin story about a GI Joe character that completely misunderstands its star's appeal. Golding is simply not the right actor for the part. He's not exactly bad, just miscast and misused. And despite the novel trimmings and flash around him, his character is woefully generic."
"The problem is director Robert Schwentke puts a lot more focus on making the plot stand as a little above average while letting the action fall by the wayside. Even with grand production values, when I have such difficulty enjoying a bunch of ninja fights, I have to ask myself, what's the point?"
Snake Eyes is set to release on July 23 in the US and August 18 in the UK.
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