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Overall Rating
3.28

Awesome28.48%
Worth A Look: 25.95%
Average: 10.76%
Pretty Bad: 14.56%
Total Crap: 20.25%

14 reviews, 74 user ratings


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Snakes on a Plane
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by Erik Childress

"DON'T.....YOU.....BELIEVE IT!!!"
1 stars

I suppose it’s justified that no review of this film can go on without mentioning the unique history that brought it to the screen. All the internet geeks already know the story so I’ll just play a brief Cliff’s Notes catchup for the uninitiated out there. Samuel L. Jackson saw the title on the script and signed up; a tactic he no doubt utilized for such unique cover pages as Formula 51, S.W.A.T., xXx, Twisted and Basic. When the studio said they were changing it to Flight 121, Jackson threatened to walk. Director Ronny Yu ultimately did. An instant legend was born on the web with fans of the story creating parodies and even writing scenes they wanted to see in the movie. New Line Cinema took it to heart, went back to reshoot new material and gave the fans precisely want they wanted and confirmed the worst fears of moviegoers everywhere. Fanboys should stay as far away from actual moviemaking as possible.

Not that they can be really be blamed. The film is almost a lost cause from the beginning and it’s a realization that washes over you as it progresses. In the simplest terms possible the plot is as uncomplicated as high-concepts come. A witness (Nathan Phillips) to a murder by notorious crime boss, Eddie Kim (Byron Lawson) is being escorted from Hawaii to Los Angeles by FBI agent, Nelville Flynn (Samuel L. Jackson) and his partner. A collection of exotic, poisonous snakes are placed on an altitude timer (don’t ask) and unleashed by Kim’s people in the hopes of either randomly nailing the witness or bringing down the plane entire.

Right here logic should be taking over even for anyone who came to expect precisely what the four words of the title promise and nothing more. The snakes could have been part of some ridiculous zoology transfer and got loose instead of the overly complicated circumstances that take nearly a half-hour to establish. Believing into the terror plotting of Eddie Kim requires all sorts of commitments on our part; not the least of which is buying into the Asian boss’ notorious reputation. This is undermined in the two brief scenes we get to spend with him, played by Lawson as the kind of guy that the Yakuza wouldn’t send out for coffee. Not even represented as a frightening MacGuffin, the FBI has a constant watch on him (talked about but never seen) instead of immediately arresting him and when the time comes the order is barked into a walkie-talkie and the audience never gets a satisfying conclusion for the mastermind who orchestrated this oh-so terrifying ride for them.

Bringing us back to the plane – in true Irwin Allen fashion there’s a smorgasbord of potential snake bait taking the red eye. They include the hot stewardesses (Julianna Margulies & Sunny Mabrey), the flight attendants more likely to be found on one of my flights (Lin Shaye & Bruce James), a rapper (Flex Alexander) and his posse (Kenan Thompson & Keith Dallas), returning honeymooners (Emily Holmes & Tygh Runyan), a Marine’s kids (Casey Dubois & Daniel Hogarth), a mother with baby (Elsa Pataky), a Paris Hilton-type with purse doggie (Rachel Blanchard), a foreigner with attitude (Gerard Plunkett), a kickboxer (Terry Chen) and the pilots (David Koechner & Tom Butler). And SNAKES!

John Heffernan & Sebastian Gutierrez’s script take a long time to establish each and every one of these people; complete with quirks or clichéd one-dimensions and then throws their potential cooperation or deterrence out faster than a snake strike. Why introduce the rapper’s Howard Hughes complex for touching if he’s not going to be thrust into a position where contact could save his life or, God forbid, another? Instead, he nonchalantly shakes someone’s hand without hesitation as some sign of progress. The eyewitness is so anonymous he could have starred in Supercross. Could the dog be used to retrieve something the humans are too fearful or too big to venture into? What about the kids? Have they learned nothing from their father to become a few good men? Ronny Yu would have found something creative to do with the kickboxer instead of giving white women piggybacks. Only the guy with video game training gets to show off his skills in an even more hamfisted bit of misdirection than introducing the film’s only Irwin-esque set piece, which is more like the deleted bit of Jackson’s demise from Jurassic Park. So lame is the sequence in fact that I’m not even sure a velociraptor and a shark leaping from a dunking tank to attack Jackson could have mustered any surprise or suspense.

As for the motherf*!&ing snakes on the motherf*!&ing plane, there’s only so much you can do with snake attacks - and about zero you can do when you’re evidently aware that every snake on board is a CGI creation. (An old-fashioned rubber garter snake has more inherent terror.) The campiness is lost almost instantly when the film sets up the ensuing danger with the blatantly added reshoots of a snake snacking on a breast and attacking a shlong. (Oh, such Freudian endeavors.) These are money shots that leave pretty much every remaining bite as the equivalent of Spielberg during Raiders dropping thirty people in a row into the Well of the Souls, having them stare down the same snake, letting it lunge and then drop another person down. (And just how did that snake get into a vomit bag?) That’s the type of question no one should be asking, but director David R. Ellis (who has done solid action and suspense with both Final Destination 2 and the overlooked Cellular) creates no sense of dread, no sense of space, no sense of the comraderie it would take to overcome the situation and, most unfortunately, no sense of fun.

Snakes on a Plane fails at every opportunity, but most shockingly at the most base levels of camp that it clearly wants to fall back on as a safety net. With its lame jokes and predisposition towards creepy crawlies invading the most private of human anatomy, for about a half-hour it resembles the most expensive Troma production ever made (until I was keenly reminded that this year’s Slither fits that bill much better and is a more superior drive-in yuckfest to boot.) Hype or no hype. Reshoots or not. Press screenings or no, Snakes on a Plane is a bad movie and there’s nothing noble in New Line’s “gesture” to smugly skip the press and giftwrap the first showings for the “fans” who supported this undertaking through mocking and their own creative differences. Guess what? The joke’s on them. Or more appropriately – they ARE the joke.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=15043&reviewer=198
originally posted: 08/19/06 00:36:51
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User Comments

7/10/11 Dr.Lao FIlm makers showing their honest contempt for their audience 1 stars
7/10/11 Jennifer Barr alright, although it just seemed so predictible thru out 3 stars
12/26/10 Blue Shark Dude ... The people who don't get it are Republicans anyway ... so no loss. 5 stars
6/01/10 User Name Snakes On A Plane aims low, and hits lower. 2 stars
10/25/09 Miss Snake The best fun a movie could offer. The fake looking CGI snakes are hysterically funny. 4 stars
7/25/09 Jeff Wilder Works better if you view it as a comedy rather than as a thriller. 3 stars
11/20/08 PAUL SHORTT EVEN IF VIEWED ENTIRELY ON ITS OWN TERMS, THIS FILM, LIKE ANY SNAKE, TAPERS AT ITS END 2 stars
3/07/08 SamanthaPayntr it definitely delivered, there were snakes and they were on a plane, pretty good stuff 3 stars
7/27/07 TreeTiger A piece of cinematic shit - I recommend... Anything BUT this... 1 stars
7/11/07 Tiffany Losco I thought it was ok, but I didn't like the blonde bimbo in the bathroom 2 stars
4/02/07 CAB I was expecting Leslie Nielsen to show up at any minute… 2 stars
3/29/07 Your mom Assholes, this movie is the worst shit ever.STUPID. ASS. HOLES. 1 stars
2/27/07 Asian God 94 The BEST B-grade horror movie of all time! Compulsary Viewing 5 stars
2/19/07 JM Synth No where near as fun, or silly, as it should have been 3 stars
2/14/07 Prada it was sooo.. bad it was actually good 3 stars
2/05/07 MickT Samuel L. Jackson is the biggest sell-out EVER!! what a piece of shit this film is!!! 1 stars
2/03/07 Indrid Cold Upside: it's as exciting as a snakes/planes movie could possibly be. Downside: ditto. 3 stars
2/02/07 Anthony Feor People expect us to take this movie seriously? 0.5/5 1 stars
1/22/07 Matt It should be clasified as COMEDY 5 stars
1/19/07 Jeff Brown pitiful 1 stars
1/14/07 Sugarfoot It felt like an Airport sequel. Overall not as fun as I thought it would be. 2 stars
1/09/07 Matt Get a life, have a laugh - this is FUN,FUN,FUN! 4 stars
12/10/06 JoKimiKo the movie is AwsOme but ur REviEw! is craP 1 stars
11/18/06 Lerker You are the worst reveiwer. Ever. 1 stars
11/17/06 Nick So, you gave Borat 1 Star, but SOAP 5 Stars? I do not comprehend your thought process. 3 stars
11/11/06 Serge Piece of crap IMO. Snakes on crack...har har. 2 stars
10/28/06 DIANA a movie to watch on tv if nothing else to watch 2 stars
10/25/06 Drew G So bad it was good... 3 stars
10/13/06 Erin Get out of the mud u sticks, it was great fun!!! 4 stars
10/09/06 Mike Nothing great to me. Something to watch if really bored. 2 stars
9/30/06 NiCk Great movie! Was Pulp Fiction good because of its plot? 5 stars
9/21/06 malcolm awful, but a lot of damn fun 3 stars
9/13/06 Edward Connell A purposefull movie that will lead you on an adventure in excitement and possibility. 4 stars
9/12/06 Louise Good fun and a pretty tense ride!!! 4 stars
9/12/06 Michael Coovert Samuel Jackson's stock just plumeted in my book!! Total schtick and effects fodder!!! 1 stars
9/12/06 Kevin Ramsay "Snakes On A Plane" is pure fun. Don't take it too seriously, though. 5 stars
9/11/06 Aaron This move was a blast! 4 stars
9/03/06 Christopher Stucky The hype WAS the story. The movie was an afterthought. 1 stars
9/02/06 Stubby If you all were any stupider, you'd have to be told when to breathe. Kill yourselves. 1 stars
8/31/06 Christine it was soooooo awesome I want to see it over and over again 5 stars
8/28/06 Serina Boccello COME ON!! who honestly wants to see THIS movie!! SNAKES AGGHHH!!! 2 stars
8/28/06 Grant Funny, well acted, stupid jokes, scenes and endless funny deaths. 5 stars
8/27/06 Alan Snakes on a Plane happens 5 stars
8/26/06 Mike D Only movie I've seen in this year that got a standing ovation from the entire theater! 5 stars
8/26/06 michael average and wait for the DVD 4 stars
8/26/06 Stanley Thai Still an average thriller without the famous title. Nothing special. 3 stars
8/26/06 Alex Thorne does exactly what it says on the tin. gruesomly marvellous 4 stars
8/25/06 Robert Blanton Mr. Souter nailed this snake right on the head! 2 stars
8/25/06 Zaw Snakes bites.. lol 5 stars
8/24/06 philip Corcos corcos 5 stars
8/23/06 Centipedes "Snakes? On MY plane?" It's more likely than you think. 5 stars
8/23/06 Quigley much more violent than I thought; sex scene pointless; but Sam Jackson and the snakes rock 4 stars
8/22/06 A. Shah The best time I've had in a movie since I was a kid. I'm now 33. 5 stars
8/22/06 Pn. 1000 fanboys collaborated on the script. That it's schwag should surpise no one. 2 stars
8/22/06 danthewrestlingman Snakes On A Motherfuckin Plane Beeoch Nuff Said 5 stars
8/22/06 Ole Man Bourbon Not enough snakes. JIMMIE BELLE TURN OFF YOUR GODDAMN CAPS LOCK. 3 stars
8/22/06 JIMMIE BELLE REALISM. CAN THIS SCENE REALLY TAKE PLACE? WILL EVERYONE ON THE PLANE BEHAVE LIKE THIS? 5 stars
8/22/06 Sammy J. This movie is the most balla shit eva! 5 stars
8/22/06 Harold You are all tools. 1 stars
8/21/06 Captain Highcrime Not since the glory days of "Married...with Children" have audiences been so boisterous. 5 stars
8/21/06 Jeff Martin Awesome movie, great fun and entertainment, brianorndorf is full of crap in his review 5 stars
8/20/06 ajay go in a packed theatre of nerds who "get it". Otherwise, it's horrible. 4 stars
8/20/06 ray best time i've had at the movies in years. great cinema? maybe not. still fun. 5 stars
8/19/06 Alex S AWESOME AWESOME AWESOME 5 stars
8/19/06 Nads Snakes on a muthafuckin' PLANE! 5 stars
8/19/06 KingNeutron Decent; some really scary parts. Take S.O. to see it. 4 stars
8/19/06 Jesus WAAAY better than expected... ridiculous, stupid, and amazing! 1 stars
8/19/06 Keith This movie was boring. What is up with Snakes on a plane who cares. A total waste of money. 1 stars
8/19/06 Kent Battersby Best. Movie. Ever...SNAKE VISION!!! 5 stars
8/19/06 Adrian It's fun. It's that simple. No thinking, no shit liek that, just fun. 5 stars
8/18/06 Joe Baldwin The audience makes all the difference. Laughter and applause filled the room for 2 hours. 5 stars
8/18/06 Andrew The most fun I've had in a theatre... EVER. 5 stars
8/18/06 Doug Higley Absolute BEST B Horror Ever. Total Fun at breakneck pacing. 5 stars
8/18/06 Squibner Welch Fantastic fun 5 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  18-Aug-2006 (R)
  DVD: 02-Jan-2007

UK
  18-Aug-2006

Australia
  24-Aug-2006




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