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Snakes in Movies
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Kinds of Snakes
Rattlesnakes
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and Anacondas
Snakes in Movies
 
Snake Eyes (2021) (aka Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins)
 
Spoiler Alert !

Some of these pictures and descriptions may give away plot details that you might not want to know before watching the film.
 
This is an action movie spin-off from the G.I. Joe universe centered around the origin story of Snake Eyes and also the origin story of Storm Shadow, both of whom appeared in earlier G.I. Joe movies. Orphaned as a young boy, Snake Eyes took his name from the roll of dice that led to a man killing his father. He vows to get revenge and kill that man, and he makes alliances with evil people who promise to help him, but he keeps all this secret, and this is what gets him in trouble. As they become more familiar with him, his comrades in Japan start calling him simply "Snake."

Snake Eyes is lured to join a Yakuza gang in Los Angeles with the promise of finding his father's killer. There he saves the life of the heir to the throne of the Arashikage ninja clan in Japan, who takes him to Japan and offers him a chance to join the clan. He is trained in their martial arts and he's told he needs to face three challenges that are designed to reveal an applicant's character. After passing the first two challenges, he tells them he's ready for the third challenge, and this is where we see the first of two snake scenes.

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To begin the third challenge, Snake Eyes lowers himself on a rope into a large circular underground chamber then he steps on a tile that triggers the challenge. He has no idea what is going to happen other than if he fails he will die. One by one, three round, barred gates open in the walls and three gigantic snakes crawl out into the chamber and raise their heads up to look at him. Someone tells him from above that they are giant Anacondas as old as time that never harm those who are pure of heart. He understands now what he is supposed to do and centers himself to show the snakes that he's pure of heart. After looking him over for a couple of minutes, one of the snakes attacks him. One of the snakes coils around his body and is about to strike at him and swallow him, but Akiko, the head of the clan's security, who has taken a liking to Snake Eyes, drops in and rescues him. She's pure of heart, so the snakes leave her alone.

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During the climactic fight sequence that always ends films like this, Snake Eyes is fighting the main villain, Kenta, at the edge of the pit. Kenta is winning the fight but Snake Eyes wraps one end of a chain around his arm and the other around Kenta's foot and jumps into the pit, dragging Kenta with him. Then he steps on the tile to release the snakes. Kenta reacts quickly and cuts off the head of one of the snakes with his sword, but a second snake strikes and swallows him. Looks like he failed the purity test. Snake Eyes is still attached to the chain and is gradually being dragged up into the snake's mouth as the snake swallows Kenta. When he released the snakes the second time he obviously thought his heart was now pure enough to survive the snakes, and he is correct. The third snake sniffs him over, then jumps up and breaks the chain, freeing Snake Eyes. The two snakes then stand down and leave him alone. He has passed the test at last.

The snakes are CGI and not very realisitic. They don't look very much like anacondas at all in color, shape, or pattern. They have large double fangs at the front of their mouth, probably because people who design snakes for movies seem to think that snakes need fangs for the audience to take them seriously as a threat. Before one of the snakes starts to swallow Snake Eyes, it coils around him, but with it coils with its tail end, not with the head end of their body as real constrictors do. I also thought that using giant Anacondas to judge the purity of a person was really absurd. Large constrictors can only sense whether or not something is alive enough to kill and eat. Unless - wait a minute - does this mean that my pet boas and pythons were telling me I wasn't pure of heart every time they bit me? No wonder I never became a Ninja...