Throughout the entirety of Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins, the titular character played by Henry Golding has plenty of lines of dialogue, which may seem odd considering that the classic Joe is traditionally mute. While the origins of Snake Eyes’ traditional silence vary depending upon the version, the ninja operative of the Arashikage clan is almost always voiceless, even being known as the Silent Master. So, why does Snake Eyes talk in the new movie? The answer can be found in the Snake Eyes’ transformation from comic book to onscreen character.

In Snakes Eyes’ Marvel Comics origins from Larry Hama, the ninja was caught in a helicopter collision on one of his first missions as a G.I. Joe shortly after Storm Shadow’s believed betrayal of the Arashikage. During the accident, glass from the shattered window scarred Snake’s face and damaged his vocal cords, which is what led to his permanent silence. However, other origins have ranged from Snake Eyes’ throat being punctured by Cobra’s Zartan to the ninja simply taking a vow of silence in response to Storm Shadow’s betrayal, as was the case in the prior and unrelated live-action films. Still other versions of Snake Eyes’s backstory never bother to explain the reasons for his silence, marking them as classified information. Whatever the particular origin, Snake Eyes being a mute ninja has long been a core element of his characterization, save for this new origin film.

In Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins, however, Henry Golding’s Snake Eyes talks throughout the whole film, and no indication or hints are ever made that he becomes mute as the plot progresses. The most likely reason for Snake Eyes’ lack of silence is a desire to have a strong leading actor with plenty of dialogue. After all, this is the first film in what could be the beginning of a brand new franchise and G.I. Joe cinematic universe (at least that’s the hope).

Why Can Snake Eyes Talk In The New Movie?

It would have been much harder to drive the plot forward if Snake Eyes didn’t have any lines, and that would have been a much harder sell to audiences. Because of these practical considerations, having Snake Eyes talking seems almost like a necessity for his solo film. Unlike the comics in which the visual language of the characters and environment allows Snake Eyes to be as expressive as anyone else without speaking a word, this is much more difficult to do in an action movie, which is especially true if the silent character is the protagonist. This is why even after Storm Shadow betrays his duty and is banished from the Arashikage, Snake Eyes doesn’t take a vow of silence nor does he suffer any injuries to his vocal cords or face. As a result, the Silent Master isn’t all that silent in his origin film, and he doesn’t receive his iconic cowl and visor until the end. Considering how being silent is a key aspect of Snake Eyes as a character, it is surprising that the movie made the choice to hold back on the incident that caused him to go mute.

Did Snake Eyes Critical And Commercial Failure Kill The GI Joe Franchise?

Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins’ failure significantly hurts the chances for a sequel or another movie in the G.I. Joe franchise to see the light of day. Indeed, it would be difficult for studios to move forward with Snake Eyes 2 considering how Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins only made $34.6 million in worldwide box office earnings – not even reaching half of Snake Eyes’ $88 million budget. That said, the movie did lay the grounds for Joe Colton – the original G.I Joe – to potentially appear in the next G.I. Joe movie, whether or not it will be a direct sequel to Snake Eyes. Moreover, while the decision to not reveal the reason why Snake Eyes is mute contributed to the movie’s poor reception, this also means that this mystery can still be answered in any future installments. The chances for Snake Eyes 2 getting the green light seem slim, but in the right hands, the G.I. Joe movie franchise could still become phenomenal.

By akagami