Written by John Heffernan and Sebastian Gutierrez
Directed by David R. Ellis
Running Time: 1:45
for language, a scene of sexuality and drug use,
and intense sequences of terror and violence.
Snakes on a Plane gives you exactly what you expect: hammy acting, a ridiculous plot, and tons of slithery fun.
While in Hawaii, Sean witnesses mob boss Eddie Kim murdering a District Attorney. He then agrees to testify against Eddie in Los Angeles. Eddie finds out what plane Sean will be on, and figures the best way to take him out, is to unleash snakes... on the plane! It's up to FBI Agent Nelville Flynn to save the day.
The buzz for Snakes on a Plane has been building for months. The title alone was enough to make people giddy with excitement. Not because they expected the movie to be good. No. But because they expected the movie to be so bad it was funny. Kind of like Showgirls, but more intentional. And let me say that Snakes on a Plane delivers big time. First off, the entire story is somewhat ridiculous, what with this mob boss buying tons of illegal poisonous snakes from a dealer in L.A., having them shipped to Hawaii, then having them placed on the correct plane and released during the flight. Let's just say there are a lot of holes in that plan. The actors, some of them quite recognizable, had to deal with a script that might have been written by a 12-year-old, so the movie was full of laugh out loud lines. In fact, without any pre-release anticipation, had I gone into this movie thinking the filmmakers thought they had a very serious movie on their hands, the film would have been awful.
But the producers did something very smart. They embraced the fanboys and went all out. Initially they wanted to change the name of the film to something more generic. That would have been a huge mistake because the title, Snakes on a Plane, lets you know *exactly* what you're in for and helps set the mood. They also realized that had they made a PG-13 rated movie with no swearing and no sex, they might have gotten some younger fans to come out, but it wouldn't have been as much fun. So they went back, added a sex-in-the-bathroom scene, and let Samuel L. Jackson go off.
And what perfect casting it was. Jackson is arguably the coolest actor in Hollywood (and dare I say, the coolest man in the world.) Who else would you want battling snakes in midair? Tom Cruise? Mark Wahlberg? Haley Joel Osment? Jackson always looks like he knows everything that's going on and can handle any situation that arises. He's got that smirk on his face that says, bring it on suckas, I'll take you down. His line delivery is just naturally funny, so when you give him cheesy lines, it makes it even funnier. He gets these looks in his eyes and the absurdity of the situation which lets the audience feel like they're right there with him. The rest of the cast filled in the various stereotypes well enough. There was the loudmouthed and annoying British guy who you know will get his comeuppance. There were the two kids traveling alone for the first time. There was the flight attendant who was doing her final flight. And there was the horny couple who just had to have sex in the bathroom. And, like in all good horror films, if you have sex, you will die. And in a brutal way.
Then there were the snakes. First off, there was snake-cam, so we could see the world through the eyes of the snakes. How brilliant was that? Totally non-sensical, but so much fun to watch. A lot of the snake action was CGI and at times it was very obvious, but the snake attack scenes were totally worth the price of admission. No person (or animal) was spared, and no body part was safe. Both men and women are gonna cringe during this movie. There were tiny snakes, bigger snakes, recognizable snakes (like cobras) and one massively huge snake that I wish had gotten more screen time.
But, after all that, the biggest reason this movie was so fun? The crowd. You *have* to see this movie in a crowded theater! There is no other way to enjoy it. If there are only a dozen people watching, or if you wait until it comes out on DVD, you'll be missing most of the fun. When I saw the film, the crowd was pumped from the previews. As soon as the title of the movie came on, people applauded. When Sam Jackson's name appeared on screen, people cheered. And when the Man himself finally arrived, the place went nuts. When we saw the first snake (about 24 minutes in) everyone was ready to jump out of their seats. Then, during the film, any time a snake attacked someone the entire audience cheered and groaned together. And when Jackson utters his soon-to-be-legendary line "I've had it with these muthaf*cking snakes on this muthaf*cking plane!" the roof almost came off the theater. Unlike any other movie that has come out in recent memory, Snakes on a Plane is one that has to be seen with other people.
THE BOTTOM LINE
So overall, Snakes on a Plane is what you want it to be. A cheesy, ridiculous, fantastically cheesy movie with the coolest man on the planet battling snakes... on a plane!
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