Snake Eyes Is the Villain of His Own Movie
Renaldo Matadeen
gi joe snake eyes 2021
gi joe snake eyes 2021
WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins, in theaters now.
With the G.I. Joe franchise being rebooted, fans were eager to see how Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins would begin to shape a new path in this universe, where the terrorist cell, Cobra, works in the shadows. Ray Park's silent take was one of the few gems in the previous Paramount films, so Henry Golding as the titular character had big shoes to fill while exploring his beginnings. However, as the film develops the rivalry between Tommy Arashikage (Andrew Koji) and Snake Eyes to show why the two eventually become enemies, Snake Eyes is surprisingly made into the villain of his own story.
In the lore, Snake Eyes is a more altruistic figure. Across many cartoons and animated films, no matter what, he seems like an incorruptible paragon of virtue, who Duke and co. can rely on at anytime. More so, he's a ninja of honor. His and Storm Shadow's brotherly bond from training with the Arashikage only broke when both warriors thought the other killed the clan's members, not realizing Cobra's Zartan was the true culprit that set the civil war afire.
This drove a manipulated Storm Shadow to Cobra, but it also created room for him to redeem himself and join Snake Eyes and the Joes. The problem with Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins, though, is that its version of Snake Eyes doesn't give Tommy room to forgive him or desire a future alliance. And that's because Snake Eyes is consumed by hate, driven by misplaced revenge and is nothing short of a traitor, who doesn't care about innocents in the collateral damage.
Throughout Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins, his main goal is to infiltrate the Arashikage and steal the Sun Jewel for Kenta and the Yakuza, all so they can hand over Augustine, the man who killed Snake Eyes' dad when he was a kid. This turns Snake Eyes into a spy, lying and playing Tommy, who actually has good intentions. He brings Snake Eyes into the fold, treating him like a brother, but the ninja keeps plotting, willing to use anyone from Scarlett and the Joes to criminals like the Yakuza for his endgame.
The way he betrays the Hard Master, Blind Master and other clan members is also quite heartbreaking, as they let him in on their secrets so they can create a world of order and justice, at least for some. But as Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins goes on, the ninja is nothing more than a bloodthirsty user, manipulating the people who gave him that which he longed for most -- a sense of family.
Ultimately, the way he earns Tommy's trust and then backstabs him can't be forgiven. This causes an angry Tommy to use the Sun Jewel to stop Kenta and the Yakuza, as he simply realizes everyone has the potential to betray him.
It results in the clan banishing Tommy, but being sympathetic towards Snake Eyes, who ironically charts a path filled with lies when his own dad held secrets of his own that carved out their tragedy-filled life. And worst of all, Snake Eyes' duplicity leaves Tommy vulnerable so that Cobra can then pounce on him and make him their deadly Storm Shadow. In that sense, it's easier to feel sorry for Tommy than for the selfish ninja who takes everything from his best friend, not caring how much of Tommy he has to sacrifice to get vengeance.
From director Robert Schwentke, Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins is now in theaters. It will be available to stream on Paramount+ 45 days after its theatrical release.