Empire magazine’s written all about the new movie spotlighting Snake Eyes from GI Joe, and along the way, Hama comes up in dialogue, and what they say about him is pretty strange. But first, if the following is correct, the titular hero’s racial background has been changed:
Now along comes Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins, which promises to look beneath the mask and explore what made him the man we know in the fighting force. With Crazy Rich Asians and Last Christmas actor Henry Golding inheriting the mantle, the new film has its latest trailer online (see it below). Empire went on a one-man mission to track down Snake Eyes producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura and have him talk through some key elements.
Yes, Golding’s of Asian descent (Malaysia), making this another example of race-swapping for the sake of “inclusivity” that supposedly was never there to begin with. Now, here’s the part referencing Hama himself:
“It’s the first time we’ve explored it. Larry Hama, the creator of Snake Eyes, is in on many of the decisions,” says di Bonaventura. “Snake in the comic is blond haired and blue eyed. We asked him why he made him that way. He said he didn’t really know. So we asked if he cared if he’s dark haired and Asian here? ‘Probably should have done that in the beginning!’ We try to give a little bit of an explanation. His character’s journey is that he’s had a life of bad luck. That’s the simplistic way of saying that’s how he got to Snake Eyes and then you watch it, and he struggles with that and he makes bad decisions in the movie, which I think is ballsy and hopefully the audiences are going to like it. Some people might wish it were cheerier, but others are going to get into the fact that we went gritty.”
I’m not surprised at all. That’s the whole problem with modern entertainment, and obviously not limited to Batman. Turning everything gritty along with dark. You don’t have to darken the vision in order to depict a character making mistakes.
But how strange indeed to learn Hama couldn’t explain why he developed Snake Eyes as a white caucasian when GI Joe was launched as a comic and revised toy line in 1982. If I were in charge, I’d just say it’s not a crime to be a white, and no big deal if you’ve got a white man or woman practicing martial arts. Let’s consider that Batman was one of the earliest white superheroes depicted as a martial arts practitioner, ditto Daredevil, and undoubtably, any and all SJWs who decide being a martial artist is “cultural appropriation” would damn Bob Kane, Bill Finger, Stan Lee and Bill Everett as illegally appropriating the skills years before. And look how Hama seems to have decided that making Snake Eyes white/caucasian was a mistake in the first place. Regrettable if he didn’t have the courage to defend his past work, likely due to his knee-jerk liberal politics. If Asian cast members are needed, all he had to do was create some more for the heroes’ team. There’s one more thing here I’d like to comment upon:
“If you’re a fan of the Joe series/movies, you’ll like the characters. If you’re not a fan, it lets you into it. This is a movie about the Arashikage and Snake Eyes within it, and why the Arashikage is, in turn, in the world of Cobra and Joe. I’ve studied a lot of Steven Spielberg’s movies and I think one of the things he does that I love is what’s called an “ice cream cone movie.” It starts very narrow and as it gets bigger, it gets wider, the way a cone does. We’re starting with Snake and then in comes Storm and the Arashikage, and then the Joes come in. It’s expanding the world.”
There was once a time when Spielberg was a big deal. But he became too politically/ideologically driven post-September 11, and that decidedly is why whatever impressive talents he brought to the table years before have worn off since. As for liking this movie? That’s only if they take a merited approach to the screenplay and performances, and I’m not sure the filmmakers are doing enough to convince they got it packed in there, due to the hints at political correctness in this interview. The 2 GI Joe movies of the past decade never got anywhere, and this won’t either if PC takes precedence over quality preparations.
Originally published here.