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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 25.79%
Average: 10.69%
Pretty Bad: 14.47%
Total Crap: 20.75%

14 reviews, 75 user ratings

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Snakes on a Plane
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by Collin Souter

"He said 'motherfucker' again! This movie rules!"
2 stars

At this point, it’s hard to think of Snakes on a Plane as just a movie. I didn’t read any blogs or message board rants about it over the past year. I heard a little about it, laughed about it and, in the past couple weeks, marveled at the absurdity of it all as the movie’s behind-the-scenes antics took a life of their own. It’s a bit strange to me that in this age as Hype has taken on many forms that people would look at all of this and say to themselves, “It almost doesn’t even matter if it’s good or not.” It won’t matter in its opening weekend, that’s for sure, but a few weeks from now when the madness has died down and we can all laugh at ourselves for taking part, that’s when it will matter. Did this movie turn out to be any good? Is it even good Bad? Or did we just need something to laugh at?

I, for one, have already moved on. Now before you pigeonhole me as an elitist, snobbish film critic, let me just say that I’m not about to go into a long-winded review of this movie with references to “character development” or “mise en scene.” I didn’t come here for that. I came to Snakes on a Plane to have a good time, just like the rest of the herd. The problem I had was that I was never quite sure what kind of good time I was supposed to be having. It’s a B-movie, certainly, but it’s too self-aware and restrained. It’s a horror- comedy, but can’t seem to make either genre work. It’s a crowd-pleaser (assuming the crowd is made up of “fans”), but the crowd with whom I sat seemed to just applaud and laugh as though the film had it’s own APPLAUD sign flashing before them.

“Dude, Samuel Jackson just said ‘motherfucker’! This movie rules!”

Yes, the plot is what everyone says it is. Simplistic, dumb and full of simplistic, dumb possibilities. Samuel Jackson plays Neville Flynn, an FBI agent who must escort a young eye witness (Nathan Phillips), who had seen the murder of a prosecutor by a notorious crimelord. They board a flight from Hawaii destined for Los Angeles. In order to try and kill Sean before he can testify against him, the crimelord sets in motion a plot to unleash a gaggle of vicious snakes in hopes of killing everyone on board and having the plane crash into the ocean.

Wackiness, terror and mayhem ensue as many of the passengers try to survive an inescapable snake attack. At one point, a snake gets put in a microwave, to which the audience laughed and cheered, as though Gremlins never even happened. The good news is that there are no likable people on this plane, so it’s just as well they all die of poisonous snakebites. I’m pretty sure that’s the point, but the movie has no imagination as to why. It’s pretty much a standard grab-bag of cultural stereotypes: The rapper and his entourage, the socialite with the cute little doggie in her purse, the effeminate male steward, etc. David Koechner, as one of the pilots, brings to life the only character with any real charm.

David R. Ellis directed the film (as well as hundreds of bloggers who offered suggestions), and he has proven himself a solid craftsman of action set pieces in otherwise cheeseball movies (Final Destination 2 and Cellular are great pieces of trash). He would seem to be an ideal candidate for this movie, but he’s not able to mix tones as well as, say, Joe Dante or Peter Jackson, to make this a successful B-movie. It seems too concerned with being everything to everybody. The first big snake attack scene is, admittedly, fun to watch, but after a while we’re stuck with a one-joke concept that got old months before the movie came out and gets older still as the movie wears on. As a scare-fest, Snakes doesn’t work simply because computer generated snakes (as we’ve learned from countless PG-13 horror movies) are not scary. A director with a greater sense of the absurd could have made this movie fly.

New Line has publicly stated that the critics are not the audience for this film and have therefore decided to hide it from them. They want “the fans” to see it first. I watched this movie with what I think were “fans” (Thursday night, before the official opening day). It’s hard not to think of some of them as scientifically bred sheep constructed in the marketing department at New Line headquarters. They seem to want to create a “cult film,” except that they failed to understand that a true movie cult is formed slowly, not created instantaneously. Snakes on a Plane, even with its laughable backstage shenanigans, feels like a carefully constructed marketing ploy by a studio that has gone to unprecedented lengths to sucker in as many people as possible on an opening weekend.

Will the movie be better remembered as a movie or as an internet phenomenon? Too soon to tell. We’ve been told by bloggers, Samuel L. Jackson and countless hipsters to embrace the film because of its title and concept. Parts of the movie work, but not near enough to make it a classic and certainly not enough for me to want to jump on the Bandwagon of Irony. Yes, I’m glad it’s Rated R and not watered down PG-13 tedium. I just can’t help but wonder what Ronny Yu had would have made of this project before it got taken away from him. He had in mind a “crazy, mad Hong Kong version.” Now, that sounds to me like a cult B-movie worth cheering for.

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originally posted: 08/18/06 16:43:07
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User Comments

6/22/15 David Hollingsworth I wouldn't even recommend this for dogs. 1 stars
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
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 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
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  18-Aug-2006 (R)
  DVD: 02-Jan-2007



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