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Movie Review: Snake Eyes: G.I. JOE Origins

Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins

You know who the coolest GI Joe action figure always was? Snake Eyes. You know who was pretty cool in those otherwise terrible GI Joe movies from a decade ago? Snake Eyes. So it makes a lot of sense to reboot the franchise and include at the center the oh-so-hot-right-now Henry Golding as your black-clad ninja, right?

Yes, but then you need to deliver a better movie rather than one centered around the least interesting character in the entire film. You know who’s a badass in this movie? Storm Shadow. Scarlett. The Baroness. Multiple other members of the Arashikage clan. You know who wasn’t? Snake Eyes.

This movie could’ve been really cool. But ultimately it serves as a better origin story for Storm Shadow than it does for Snake Eyes, who is just sort of there. The film doesn’t give us a lot of reason to root for him and like the slowest fighter ever, it telegraphs its every move, making it a cliched “curse your inevitable but sudden betrayal!’ vibe. No lie: my 13 yr old son whispered to me 10 minutes into the movie “He’s going to be the bad guy, right?” When your target adolescent audience is that far ahead of the movie and its main characters, you’ve officially dumbed it down too far.

The story is pretty simple: Snake Eyes was orphaned at a young age and has spent his entire life fighting on the streets and seeking revenge against the man who killed his father. When a powerful member of the Japanese mafia hires him with promises to deliver his father’s murderer, Snake is ordered to befriend a young man named Tommy, heir to the leadership of the Arashikage, a legendary clan of ninja. They take in Snake Eyes and train him, ultimately leading to him having to make a choice to betray them to seek the path of vengeance or to choose the path of honor and his new clan and family. And also COBRA and GI Joe sort of show up and have interest in how all of this plays out, too.

All of this might be cool if done just a little more deftly. And here the problem lies with both the script and direction. Director Robert Schwentke, responsible for the R.I.P.D. film and a couple of the Divergent series sequels, faces the same problems he did in those films: the directing is competent but lackluster. Utterly devoid of voice or any personal statement or connection, it’s hard to emotionally connect with the film, even with such a slam dunk toyetic premise as “Action figure ninjas!” This may also be due to screenwriters Evan Spiliotopoulos, Joe Shrapnel, Anna Waterhouse, and the no doubt 8-12 other members of the script by committee who demanded certain elements be included in the movie to satisfy the desires of Hasbro or other studio executives. Shrapnel and Waterhouse have collaborated on other good projects in the past, including the 1936 Olympics Jesse Owens story Race and the recent Seberg, and it’s hopeful that they’re being tapped to write an Untitled GI Joe sequel as it’s likely the good things in this movie (and there are many good things). But the dullness seems very familiar for Spiliotopoulos’s work, which mostly includes uninspired Disney straight to video sequels and the recent live-action Beauty and the Beast (talk about uninspiring).

All of this sounds very negative towards this film, and perhaps we shouldn’t be so hard on it. At the end of the day, it’s a serviceable action movie and has a few actually really cool moments. This isn’t surprising, since the supporting cast is full of martial arts veterans. I just wish they got to do more. And I wish I didn’t have to wait until 90 minutes into the film to really get to something that felt cool.

And to be very clear, this is the best GI Joe movie that has been made. That is an extremely low bar since the first two are ridiculous disasters. But here’s the weird thing: those movies at least left a huge impression on me. It was a bad impression, no doubt, but an impression nonetheless. I couldn’t tell you the villain’s name from this movie. But I do remember the bat$#!^ insane performances by Joey Gordon Leavitt and Christopher Eccleston as Cobra Commander and Destro. And I remember the second movie, where they had the audacity to literally kill off 90% of the characters from the first movie in the first 10 minutes so we could start fresh with The Rock and Channing Tatum. Bad movies. But I’m still thinking about them. In two weeks I will likely have forgotten Snake Eyes even came out.

Which is a shame. Snake Eyes as a character deserves better than this. Henry Golding deserves a better role written for him. Andrew Koji, who gives the breakout performance here as Tommy/Storm Shadow, deserves better. I only hope they do all of them justice in whatever sequel will come. Let’s hope it feels at least a little more personal and interesting than this did.

At least the toys are still cool.

2.5 out of 5 stars

You can watch the trailer for Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins here.

Unboxing: Hasbro’s Snake Eyes: G.I. JOE Origins Figures

Hasbro has hooked us up with figures from their Snake Eyes: G.I. JOE Origins wave of releases and we’re going to open up the box and check it all out!

You can get these now!


Hasbro provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review
This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Graphic Policy does purchase items from this site. Making purchases through these links helps support the site

Snake Eyes Gets a Final Trailer

Watch the final trailer for Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins!

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.

Diamond Select Toys Sneak Peek: Snake Eyes, Cyclops, Skywalker, and More!

The year is half over, and 2022 will be here before you know it! That’s why Diamond Select Toys is opening pre-orders on a variety of products that will ship beginning in January, including items based on The Crow, G.I. Joe, Lord of the Rings, Marvel Comics, and Star Wars!

Crow Movie Premier Collection Resin Statue

A Diamond Select Toys release! Eric Draven returns as an all-new 1/7 scale Premier Collection Statue! Based on the movie The Crow and measuring approximately 11 inches tall, this statue depicts Eric atop a flaming crow-design base, with his guitar slung across his back and the titular crow alighting on one arm. Limited to only 3,000 pieces, it comes packaged in a full-color box with a numbered certificate of authenticity. Designed by Caesar, sculpted by Rocco Tartamella! SRP: $175.00

GI Joe Gallery Snake Eyes PVC Diorama

A Diamond Select Toys release! G.I. Joe’s silent ninja, Snake Eyes, leaps from a snowy ledge in this all-new PVC diorama from DST! Flanked by his wolf companion Timber, Snake Eyes wields his trademark sword as he launches his sneak attack. Measuring approximately 11 inches tall, this diorama features detailed sculpting and pain tapplications, and comes packaged in a full-color window box. Designed by Mark Wong and Tony Simione, sculpted by Jorge Santos Souza! SRP: $49.99

Lord of the Rings Gollum Deluxe Action Figure

A Diamond Select Toys release! Gollum gets the deluxe treatment in this new action figure release! Based on his appearance in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Gollum comes packaged with three interchangeable heads, interchangeable hands, a rock formation to climb and perch on, plus other bonus character accessories, including a fish, an axe for Gimli, and knives for Legolas and Aragorn! Gollum features 16 points of articulation, detailed sculpting and paint, and comes packaged in a full-color window box. Designed by Eamon O’Donoghue, sculpted by Gentle Giant Studios! SRP: $39.99

Marvel Animated Doctor Octopus 1/7 Scale Mini-Bust

A Diamond Select Toys release! The Doctor is in! One of Spider-Man’s greatest foes has arrived in the 1/7 scale bust line, based on his appearance in Spider-Man: The Animated Series! Dr. Otto Octavius rocks four mechanical arms and a bowl cut in this new animated-style bust, featuring culptign and paint applications that leap right off the TV screen. Measuring approximately 6 inches tall, this bust is limited to 2000 pieces and comes packaged with a certificate of authenticity in a full-color box. Designed by Barry Bradfield, sculpted by Paul Harding! SRP: $69.99

Marvel Comic Gallery Classic Thor PVC Diorama

A Diamond Select Toys release! This diorama be worthy! Thor makes his classically-styled debut in the Marvel Gallery line of PVC dioramas with this all-new sculpt! Posed swinging his hammer on a rubble-strewn base, this sculpture of the God of Thunder is part of a new series of battle-inspired scenes. This piece stands approximately 9 inches tall, features detailed sculpting and paint applications and comes packaged in a full-color window box. Designed by Nelson X. Asencio, hand-sculpted by Jean St. Jean! SRP: $49.99

Marvel Comic Premier Collection Cyclops Resin Statue

A Diamond Select Toys release! Don’t fire until you see the reds of their eyes! The first-ever Marvel Premier Collection statue of the X-Men’s stalwart Cyclops, it shows Scott Summers in his classic costume, unleashing a crimson optic blast. Measuring approximately 11 inches tall and featuring detailed sculpting and paint applications, it is limited to only 2000 pieces and comes packaged with a certificate of authenticity in a full-color box. Designed by Clayburn Moore, sculpted by Alejandro Pereira Ezcurra! SRP: $175.00

Marvel Select Venom Action Figure

A Diamond Select Toys release! Taste the Venom! One of the Marvel Select line’s best-selling action figures, Venom returns to the line just in time for the next installment of the Venom film franchise! Measuring 8 inches tall, Venom comes with interchangeable heads and hands, as well as an add-on piece to simulate his look from Venom: Madness! Featuring 16 points of articulation, it comes packaged in Select action figure packaging with side-panel artwork for shelf reference. Designed and hand-sculpted by Jean St. Jean! SRP: $29.99

Marvel Select Venom Action Figure

Star Wars Return of the Jedi Luke Skywalker Milestones 1/6 Scale Statue

A Diamond Select Toys release! Luke Skywalker is back in Black, and he’s the newest Milestones statue! Measuring approximately 12 inches tall, Luke wears his famous all-black outfit from Return of the Jedi, including one black glove, and holds his green-bladed lightsaber. This statue is limited to only 2000 pieces, features detailed sculpting and paint applications, and comes packaged in a full-color box with a numbered certificate of authenticity. Designed by the Silva Bros. and sculpted by Gentle Giant Studios! SRP: $250.00

Star Wars The Force Awakens First Order Stormtrooper Legends in 3D ½ Scale Bust

A Diamond Select Toys release! The troopers are coming, and now the foot soldier of the First Order is the latest Legend in 3D! Measuring approximately 10 inches tall, this half-scale bust of a First Order Stormtrooper is limited to only 1000 pieces, and features detailed sculpting and paint applications. It comes packaged with a numbered certificate of authenticity in a full-color box. Designed by Joe Allard, sculpted by Gentle Giant Studios! SRP: $175.00

Star Wars Revenge of the Sith Count Dooku 1/6 Scale Mini-Bust

A Diamond Select Toys release! You may know him as Darth Tyranus, but Count Dooku is a true Dark Lord of the Sith, and now he’s the newest 1/6 scale mini-bust from Gentle Giant Ltd.! Holding his red-bladed lightsaber upright, Dooku is the essence of Sith nobility in this approximately 7-inch mini-bust. Limited to only 2000 pieces, it comes packaged in a full-color box with a numbered certificate of authenticity. Designed by the Silva Bros. and hand-sculpted by Jean St. Jean! SRP: $120.00

Star Wars Revenge of the Sith Count Dooku 1/6 Scale Mini-Bust

Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins is coming July 23

During the Hasbro Pulse Fan Fest, it was announced that the next G.I. Joe film, Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins will be coming out earlier than expected. The film will be coming to theaters July 23.

The film stars Henry Golding as Snake Eyes, Samara Weaving as Scarlett, Úrsula Corberó as Baroness, and Andrew Koji as Storm Shadow.

Directed by Robert Schwentke and written Evan Spillotopoulos the film focuses on Snake Eyes and the origin of the character. It’s the highly anticipated launch of the next phase of Hasbro’s G.I. Joe franchise.

The figures have been released and they look amazing. We’ll have more coming.

Preview: Snake Eyes: Deadgame #3

Snake Eyes: Deadgame #3

(W) Rob Liefeld, Chad Bowers (A/CA) Rob Liefeld
In Shops: Nov 25, 2020
SRP: $4.99

Superstar creator Rob Liefeld takes on fan-favorite Snake Eyes! Snake Eyes is caught in the crosshairs. Will he be able to escape this lethal challenge? Or will he, like others before him, fall to the power of… the Deadgame?

Snake Eyes: Deadgame #3

Preview: Snake Eyes: Deadgame #2

Snake Eyes: Deadgame #2

(W) Rob Liefeld, Chad Bowers (A/CA) Rob Liefeld
In Shops: Oct 07, 2020
SRP: $4.99

Superstar creator Rob Liefeld’s action epic hits a new high! Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow race against time… and each other. There can be only one winner, but no limit on those who fall to-the Deadgame!

Snake Eyes: Deadgame #2

Unboxing: G.I. Joe Classified – Snake Eyes

Hasbro has hooked us up with the first releases from their G.I. Joe Classified line of figures. Duke! Roadblock! Scarlet! Destro! Snake Eyes! The classics are back in an all-new scale with lots of detail.

After our initial look at all of the figures, we dive in and check out Snake Eyes, #02 of the series!

Get yours now!

Hasbro provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review
This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Graphic Policy does purchase items from this site. Making purchases through these links helps support the site

Review: Snake Eyes: Deadgame #1

Snake Eyes: Deadgame #1

Rob Liefeld shows that he can still draw one hell of an action sequence in Snake Eyes: Deadgame #1, which is non-stop guns, blades, and ninjas with guest appearances from other G.I. Joe characters like Scarlett and Roadblock. I’m not super familiar with the G.I. Joe franchise except for catching the first Channing Tatum movie on cable a while ago. However, that isn’t a problem as Liefeld and scripter Chad Bowers set up all the life vs death, immortal vs mortal, good vs. evil, and best of all, ninja vs ninja context and fixings you need throughout the story. Throw in Adelso Corona’s enhancements to Liefeld’s disciplined linework and bulky, yet restrained figures, and Federico Blee’s spot-on colors, and Snake Eyes is a popcorn action flick in a summer sadly bereft of them because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

But back to the comic! People shit on Rob Liefeld’s art style (Especially his anatomy) everywhere from Tumblr to fly-by-night YouTube channels, but they forgot that comics aren’t about photorealism or perfectly rendering the human form: they’re about storytelling. And Liefeld is one hell of a storyteller, especially when it comes to dynamic, boisterous action layouts. (See his collaboration with Mike Mignola on X-Force #8.) This is evident from the first page of Snake Eyes where two immortal beings face each other with Blee using a scarlet background to hint at the mayhem to come. Utilizing a single page, Liefeld and Chad Bowers establish the main thrust of the plot and the MacGuffin before getting to the good stuff: Snake Eyes wordlessly infiltrating a secret base. Liefeld uses a variety of types of shots to show him breaking in before unleashing his inner martial arts filmmaker and using tight close-ups as Snake Eyes takes down the baddies using a full page pin-up shot to let the story breathe and give some the old Wizard reading fans something to smile at.

Rob Liefeld doesn’t use double page spreads until later in the story when Snake Eyes fights against the series’ Big Bad. Everything has been a walk in the park up to this point, and the wide screen layouts coupled with Federico Blee’s red and black and Bowers’ taunting dialogue raise the stakes for Snake Eyes. Also, Snake Eyes whips out his dual pistols for the first time giving his enemy a little taste of the 21st century. The variety of combat techniques keeps the fights interesting as Snake Eyes’ opponent shows a little bit of a horror side to go with the bloody katanas, guns a-fucking-kimbo action of the majority of the comic. He’s connected to Snake Eyes’ past, but not in an annoying way, and mostly his purpose is to show that this badass ninja might need a little help from his bros, er, the Joes moving forward.

Snake Eyes: Deadgame #1

In a reversal from a lot of comic book reviews, I feel like I’ve focused a lot on the Snake Eyes’ visuals and want to discuss Chad Bowers’ skill at capturing the voice of a character, who doesn’t have vocal cords. Bowers’ captions never overwhelm Liefeld, Corona, and Blee’s art adding just the right amount of flavor and context to Snake Eyes’ actions. In fact, they remind of a less verbose Chris Claremont in the first Wolverine miniseries that with Frank Miller and Joe Rubinstein’s art truly established him as both a force of nature and a noble warrior. Snake Eyes has a mission to fulfill (That might be connected to destiny and all that fun stuff.), and he only commits acts of violence in service of that mission, which is actually a rescue to start out with. The full balaclava and visor get-up that he wears reinforces this efficient, non-sadistic approach as Snake Eyes is a smooth killer and not raging out all over the place. In contrast, Bowers writes quippier dialogue for the other Joe’s more in line with a traditional action movie.

In the final analysis, Snake Eyes: Deadgame #1 is a damn good ninja comic, a showcase for Rob Liefeld’s action storytelling, and in my case, a strong introduction to the G.I. Joe universe. This first issue shows Snake Eyes’ strength as a solo act, and I’m interested to see what Liefeld, Chad Bowers, Adelso Corona, and Federico Blee do with an ensemble cast in subsequent issues.

Story/Art: Rob Liefeld Script/Dialogue: Chad Bowers
Additional Inks: Adelso Corona Colors: Federico Blee
Letters: Andworld Design
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.8 Overall: 8.4 Recommendation: Buy

IDW provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


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Rob Liefeld’s Snake Eyes: Deadgame Launches with 36 Exclusive Covers

The highly anticipated Snake Eyes: Deadgame comic book series written and illustrated by superstar creator Rob Liefeld is almost here! Hitting stores next Wednesday, the first issue of IDW Publishing’s G.I. JOE comic book spin-off is being supported by a combined 36 Retailer and Convention Exclusive covers, including 9 covers illustrated by Liefeld himself!

Snake Eyes has long been the most mysterious member of the G.I. JOE team, but within the pages of DEADGAME, he’ll finally be forced to play his hand! How long can he keep his past classified… and what deadly secrets will come back to haunt him?

The first issue of Snake Eyes: Deadgame will arrive in stores on July 15.

Snake Eyes: Deadgame Covers
Snake Eyes: Deadgame covers
Almost American
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