Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins stars Henry Golding as Snake Eyes, a tenacious loner who is welcomed into an ancient Japanese clan called the Arashikage after saving the life of their heir apparent. Upon arrival in Japan, the Arashikage teach Snake Eyes the ways of the ninja warrior while also providing something he’s been longing for: a home. But, when secrets from his past are revealed, Snake Eyes’ honor and allegiance will be tested – even if that means losing the trust of those closest to him. Based on the iconic G.I. Joe character, Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins also stars Andrew Koji as Storm Shadow, Úrsula Corberó as Baroness, Samara Weaving as Scarlett, Haruka Abe as Akiko, Tahehiro Hira as Kenta and Iko Uwais as Hard Master.

Let’s get this out of the way first: Henry Golding donning the shiny black visor as G.I. Joe’s most high-profile good guy is an inspired choice.

Growing up as an avid reader of the series it wasn’t until issue #94, when they gave us a good look at the guy, that this reveal absolutely floored 14-year-old me. He was slightly grotesque, head full of wavy blonde hair, and here was the guy who shouldered the weight of a dark past while being every young boy’s ideal hero who didn’t wear spandex. Fast forward thirty-two years later and we finally are going to be able and see this man in action all on his own.

To be honest, I’m just not sure what to make of this trailer. There’s so many directions that could have been taken here, but it seems we’re going to have to settle on this being one long take inside Snake Eyes’ own Tiger Nest from Batman Begins, with everything including a moment where he has to decide whether he’ll kill another person based on someone’s suggestion.

Plus, you’ve got motorcycle swordplay, an extended rainy/neon fight sequence on a soundstage that feels more choreographed than it is exciting, sets that look like they were leftover from the latest Mortal Kombat remake, and, instead of something scrappy, rough around the edges, perhaps even a little daring, directorially speaking, we’ve got something that should be bowing on a streaming service than something that’s being promoted to be seen on the big screen.

Still, as someone who doesn’t care about The Fast and The Furious, I’ve got to look forward to SOMETHING this summer that’s big and dumb, right? Hopefully, this still can be it.

Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins opens wide in theaters on July 23, 2021.

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