'Snake Eyes': AAPI Heritage Month Must-See Movies

Scheduled for release this summer, we're celebrating "Snake Eyes," an AAPI action-filled blockbuster for the masses, based on the beloved G.I. Joe hero.

Chuck Walton

By Chuck Walton

Snake Eyes AAPI Heritage Month

©Paramount/Courtesy Everett Collection

Nearly 40 years after he debuted as one of the original cast of the "G.I. Joe – A Real American Hero" comics, cartoons and toy line, Snake Eyes, the hero with an AAPI background, is getting his own major studio motion picture. We're ready for it.

The Movie

Much about the movie's story is still under wraps. We know Paramount Pictures is touting the film as the origin story of the character Snake Eyes. For those unfamiliar, Snake Eyes is the code name of one of the original members of the elite U.S. covert mission group known as the G.I. Joe Team. Snake Eyes is the group's top commando, dressed from head-to-toe in stealth black, and not known (at all) for dialogue. He's the silent warrior. To sum up, he's the best of the best.

©Paramount Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection

©Paramount Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection

His some-time ally/some-time nemesis is Storm Shadow, a ninja dressed in all-white who's operated for the Joe team's foe, Cobra, and also worked with the Joes. Snake Eyes has trained with Storm Shadow's Arashikage ninja clan. Specifically, both Storm Shadow and Snake Eyes are the students of the clan's head ninja, Hard Master. Meanwhile, Snake Eyes is also involved in a relationship with his fellow G.I. Joe operative, Scarlett.

Also appearing in the film are Cobra villainess, Baroness, and a character known as Blind Master.

The AAPI Connection

Henry Golding, who's half Malaysian and half British, plays the role of Snake Eyes in this latest movie version (previous G.I. Joe live-action movies cast martial arts expert Ray Park in the role). Golding's an AAPI star on the rise. Before "Snake Eyes," Golding's starred in "Crazy Rich Asians," "Last Christmas" and "A Simple Favor."

© Warner Bros. Pictures/courtesy Everett Collection

© Warner Bros. Pictures/courtesy Everett Collection

Andrew Koji, who's half British and half Japanese, faces off with Golding's Snake Eyes in the role of Storm Shadow. Koji previously played the lead role in the Cinemax series "Warrior," based on an original concept by martial arts legend Bruce Lee.

Iko Uwais, the brilliant Indonesian actor/stuntman/martial artist from "The Raid" and "The Raid 2," will mentor both Golding and Koji's characters in the role of Hard Master.

As a result, expect plenty of fireworks.

©Sony Pictures Classics/Courtesy Everett Collection

©Sony Pictures Classics/Courtesy Everett Collection

Why You Should See It

"Snake Eyes" is a major studio blockbuster with AAPI roots that deserves the widest audience possible. Above all, it's a comic book come to life that's made for the summer season, and it's a showcase for Asian action stars in a modern environment in a global, commercial setting. "G.I. Joe" is an All-American brand. Allowing AAPI stars to lead the way this time is a reason to celebrate.

Did You Know

"Snake Eyes" star Henry Golding was a tv presenter, host, and hairdresser before being discovered by director Jon M. Chu (through his accountant) and cast in the lead role of super wealthy bachelor Nick Young in 2018's "Crazy Rich Asians."

"Snake Eyes" opens in theaters everywhere on July 23, 2021.

Chuck Walton

Chuck is an editor/writer who's worked for NCM, Fandango, Movies.com, MediaTrip, Hollywood.com and Newsweek. His favorite movie is "Jaws." He's definitely a dog guy.

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