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Classic combat

Ninja warriors get their kicks in G.I. Joe origin story Snake Eyes

Paramount Pictures

Classic combat
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The shrill clanging of dueling swords in Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins, the third film in the G.I. Joe series, left my ears ringing long after I left the theater. Set mainly in Japan, the film features black-robed ninjas slashing long, curved blades and making gravity-defying leaps. A besieged good guy fends off countless blows from a gang of baddies attacking in single file. It’s all the stuff of a classic martial arts movie—plus giant magic anacondas.

The film tells the backstory of G.I. Joe team member Snake Eyes (Henry Golding), whose search to find the man who murdered his father 20 years earlier lands him in the middle of a power struggle for control of the Arashikage clan. Tommy (Andrew Koji) hopes Snake Eyes, should he pass the Three Challenges, will help protect his family from Kenta (Takehiro Hira), a gun runner and possible Cobra organization terrorist. Loyalty clashes with vengeance.

Plot twists arise from the unexpected choices of flawed heroes and remotely redeemable villains and keep the sock ’em–saturated film passably interesting. A couple of hard-kicking lady warriors give the film extra punch—with no sensuality. Modern viewers will dig the lush cinematography and spiffed-up fight scenes: showdowns on screaming motorcycles and atop a car-carrying semi hurtling down a Tokyo highway. The film’s PG-13 rating comes primarily from brutal but mostly bloodless violence.

The nearly clean dialogue (only two expletives) was a relief to my ears.

Bob Brown

Bob is a movie reviewer for WORLD. He is a World Journalism Institute graduate and works as a math professor. Bob resides with his wife, Lisa, and five kids in Bel Air, Md.



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