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‘Snake Eyes’ is a boring, joyless slog of a film, critics say

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Henry Golding and Samara Weaving star in Paramount’s “Snake Eyes.”

Paramount

Once again, a stellar cast can’t save the G.I. Joe franchise from a terrible script, critics say.

Paramount’s “Snake Eyes” arrives in theaters on Friday with a 41% “Rotten” score from Rotten Tomatoes, the aggregate of 70 reviews.

The film stars Henry Golding (“Crazy Rich Asians”) as Snake Eyes, a rough and tumble loner who is out for revenge after witnessing the death of his father at a young age. Fans of Hasbro’s toy franchise know the character is destined to join up with the G.I. Joe team, a covert organization associated with the U.S. military forces.

“Snakes Eyes” takes some liberties with the source material, as it swaps out the blonde, blue-eyed Caucasian ninja from the comics for Golding, who is of Malaysian heritage. In previous iterations, Snake Eyes is also mute, the result of a helicopter explosion.

Part of the allure of the character was his ambiguous backstory. Much of Snake Eyes’ past is redacted in his files, although it is implied that he had extensive military training before joining up with the Joes.

“[‘Snake Eyes’] takes the most popular G.I. Joe character and totally demystifies him until all that’s left is a blandly hunky dude with a sword,” wrote Matt Singer in his review of the film for ScreenCrush. “In the earlier G.I. Joe movies, Snake Eyes never spoke. Now that I’ve heard what he has to say, I think I prefer the alternative.”

“Snake Eyes” was Paramount and Hasbro’s attempt at reinvigorating the G.I. Joe franchise, which fizzled after 2009’s “The Rise of Cobra” and 2013’s “Retaliation” failed to drum up demand, despite all-star casts.

“The Rise of Cobra” brought together Channing Tatum, Dennis Quaid, Christopher Eccleston, Sienna Miller and Joseph Gordon-Levitt and garnered a 34% “Rotten” score from Rotten Tomatoes. “Retaliation” added Dwayne Johnson, Bruce Willis, Adrianne Palicki, Ray Stevenson and Elodie Yung and earned a 29% “Rotten” score.

“People typically rank Transformers as the worst franchise based on a toy line,” Singer wrote “What ‘Snake Eyes’ presupposes is, maybe it isn’t?”

Here’s what critics thought of “Snake Eyes” ahead of its Friday release in theaters.

Brandon Katz, Observer

Still from “Snake Eyes.”

Paramount

Lindsey Bahr, Associated Press

Johnny Oleksinski, New York Post

Henry Golding stars in Paramount’s “Snake Eyes.”

Paramount

Soren Andersen, The Seattle Times

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