Upon starting this site, I haven't paid any attention to anything much Hasbro has put into theaters, save for 'Bumblebee'. So while that may be something to look at in the near future for a theme, a lot of it has to do with my lack of nostalgic interest. While most kids were playing with G.I. Joes (as seen here) and Transformers, I was busy with my Ghostbusters and Ninja Turtles. So before getting into the review, everyone should know I took this with a grain of salt. As mentioned in my previous review for 'F9', I'm really just happy to be back in theaters, and I thought this would be fun.
Things open with a young boy experiencing a touch of childhood trauma when his father is killed in front of him in cold blood. When the boy is all grown up, he has since become a skilled martial artist who has dedicated his fight to one day avenging his father. So as we can see, it's a fairly typical revenge plot. In order to hide his identity, he calls himself "Snake Eyes" (Henry Golding) a call back to the events of his father's death). He fights in an underground circuit in LA, and is one day approached by a man named Kenta (Takehiro Hira); a wealthy Yakuza boss who offers to provide his father's killer if Snake works for him. At first, Snake's plan for vengeance is unfolding well, but soon he's asked to prove his loyalty by shooting Tommy (Andrew Koji), Kenta's cousin.
From here, Snake and Tommy escape to Tommy's dojo in Japan, and requests that Snake be initiated due to his skill, and owing a life debt to him. In order to become part of the clan, Snake must undergo three trials in order to determine whether or not he is worthy (again, fairly typical). As the film unfolds, we get to some double-agent stuff, and it keeps you guessing as to who's supposed to be bad and who's supposed to be good, but any 'Joe' fan will be able to work it out pretty easily. Things like the Joes and Cobra are certainly a thing here, but the focus is thankfully more on the developing characters of Snake Eyes and Tommy, and though things are fairly typical, I can't deny that it was still fun.
I would probably go so far as to say that of the 'Joe' movies, this is probably the best of them. But in saying that, one should probably remember that the bar hasn't been set all that high. However, I did think it was well executed with decent fight scenes, and you don't have to throw reality out the window quite as much as you had to with the other 'Joe' movies. I appreciated the focus on this, and it's nice that while there's a few Joe and Cobra characters, there is by no means an oversaturation of them. It does a good job of making sure we know this is Snake's story, and being perhaps the most popular 'Joe' character, it's simple enough to give a damn. It's also not one of these descriptive origins saying how he got everything he owns. There's essentially just a uniform scene, and maybe a sword.
So all in all, for a 'G.I. Joe' story, this really wasn't bad. One should probably know that I went into this with very low expectations though. I'm still in a stage of appreciating the effect the big screen has on me again as opposed to viewing the movie in any sort of real negative way. But even with that, I can't really deny that I got what I expected; perhaps even a bit better. My opinion is that this is actually a perfectly passable movie, but one might not need the big screen to see it. It could just as easily be a straight to video release with its predictability and common themes. But what can I say? It's a 'G.I. Joe' movie, so one can't really expect gold.