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Snakes On A Plane (2006)

DVD Cover (New Line Studios Widescreen)
Genres / Traits:
Action Thriller, Horror, Natural Horror, Snakes
Director:
David R. Ellis David R. Ellis
Starring:
Samuel L. Jackson Samuel L. Jackson
Julianna Margulies Julianna Margulies
Nathan Phillips Nathan Phillips
Rachel Blanchard Rachel Blanchard
Flex Alexander Flex Alexander

5.4 / 10 - Overall Rating

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An F.B.I. Agent takes on a plane full of deadly venomous snakes, deliberately released to kill a witness being flown from Honolulu to Los Angeles to testify against a mob boss. --IMDb
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Review by Chad
Added: January 08, 2007
There are a few questions that I ask myself when reviewing movies on this site, and the main one is simply "Did it entertain me?" I personally don't care if a movie features a lackluster script, bad acting, or horrible special effects - at the end of the day, all I really want is some entertainment, and I'm content if it manages to do that despite its flaws. The second thing that I ask myself is "Did it deliver what was promised?" What I mean by that is simple: if it's a horror movie, I want to see a couple of good frights, and if it's a comedy, I want to laugh. That's not asking for a whole lot out of a movie, but you'd be surprised at how many directors seem to forget to add these vital elements to their films these days. When you judge Snakes on a Plane as a serious, thought-provoking film that will stimulate your mind and deliver award-winning performances, it fails; however, when you judge it by the criteria that I just laid out, it's a highly-recommended film.

The premise for this film is quite simple to sum up: there's a lot of venomous snakes, and they're on a plane. See how the title just completely summed up the movie? Again, more films should take note of that, but that's getting a bit off subject. This scenario comes to be when a young slacker named Sean (Nathan Phillips) witnesses notorious gangster Eddie Kim (Byron Lawson) murder the prosecuting attorney for his case. Sean manages to escape the scene, but it sort of goes without saying that Kim wants the lone witness to "disappear" so that he can get away with his latest crime. Enter FBI agent Neville Flynn (Samuel L. Jackson), a man who wants to see Kim put behind bars and intends to protect Sean long enough for him testify in order to make that happen. The problem arises when Neville and Sean board a flight from Hawaii to Los Angeles in order to make the court date, as they soon learn that Kim has rigged a device to set loose hundreds of highly venomous, pissed-off snakes on board the plane once it takes off.

In my eyes, what makes this film work is the fact that it delivers exactly what it promised and did it in a highly entertaining fashion. Sure, the storyline throws logic, common sense, and science out the window in various parts of the script and the CGI effects are lacking in certain parts of the film, so if you judge it based on those merits, then you'll probably walk away disappointed. However you're definitely in for a treat if you view Snakes for what it truly is - a glorified b-movie with plenty of laughs, frights, and action.

My thoughts on this movie may come as a bit of a shock to some of you readers, considering the fact that this film didn't even come close to living up to the box-office expectations and was almost universally slammed by the "major" critics. The reasoning for that, in my opinion, was the internet hype and the impossibly-high expectations that it set. I won't go into details about how the title of this movie, the infamous quote, and various screen captures were plastered on just about every site and forum online since that topic has been covered to death (and I'm sure most of you know what I'm talking about regardless), but I feel truly believe that all of that hype led to expectations that simply couldn't be fulfilled. You have viewers thinking that they're going in to see a life-changing film that will blow everything else in the history of cinema away, and when it turns out to be "just another movie", there's obviously going to be disappointment. It's true that this isn't a film that will top any year-end lists or wind up on many favorites lists, but for a mindless ninety minutes of pure entertainment, it works out wonderfully.

If you haven't already checked it out, ignore the massive amounts of hype that was built up around the characters, plot, and overall film and pick up a copy if you're in the mood for an entertaining night in front of the television. 8/10.
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bluemeanie #1: bluemeanie - added 01/09/2007, 02:48 PM
I am glad someone finally got around to reviewing this one. I saw the film on opening night, but never got around to writing a review for it, simply because I was so incredibly pissed off. "Snakes On A Plane" was a disaster of epic proportions. The internet buzz this film acquired was staggering, and I expected something moderately passable. It was awful. Just plain awful. One of the worst films I have ever seen, and not in a fun, cheesy way, but in a sad, 'we thought this would be cool but were wrong' way. Samuel L. Jackson is awful, most likely because the words coming out of his mouth are awful. He has no business in a film like this. If anything, this film teaches us to avoid internet buzz. 0/10.
Chad #2: Chad - added 01/10/2007, 12:02 AM
If you look at it for what it is - a mindless action / comedy flick - then how could you not love it? You have an incredibly unlikely scenario that actually works given the context of the film, some great lines (and not just "the" line, either), and an entertaining battle between these people and the snakes. I'll admit that it was overhyped, but given the amount of hype surrounding it in the first place, it could have turned out to be the best film of the last sixty years and still not lived up to it. Also, Samuel L. Jackson + awful should never be used in the same sentence. The man could sit on a stool and read the phone book for ninety minutes and still walk away with praise.
BuryMeAlive #3: BuryMeAlive - added 01/10/2007, 05:01 PM
I agre with MvMMDI , you gotta take it for what it is.
bluemeanie #4: bluemeanie - added 01/10/2007, 05:45 PM
I had no problem with the premise. I thought it was creative. I had no problem with their wanting it to be a fun, cheesy action flick. However, they failed at it. The dialogue was weak, weak, weak -- if you're going for cheese, at least make it intelligent cheese. This script was abismal. And, in this case, Samuel L. Jackson + awful is dead-on. Samuel L. Jackson is one of those actors who is always himself -- just a different version of himself. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it does not. It didn't here. I felt bad for him. The special effects were atrocious, and maybe that is what they were going for, but if you're going to give an audience this kind of insanity, at least make it somewhat worth our while. I didn't laugh one during this film. I almost walked out.
grain of sand #5: grain of sand - added 01/11/2007, 02:15 AM
this movie is really funny
Cryptorchild #6: Cryptorchild - added 01/12/2007, 05:47 PM
Snakes On a Plane is a great movie. And I think it was a sucess on many levels. I don't think it lived up to "the hype" but come on, what film can, given THAT much hype was just plain crazy. It's a good film and I enjoyed it and I say fuck all the hype and watch it as you would any other movie.
thereans #7: thereans - added 01/12/2007, 08:13 PM
i must have missed all the hype because i first heard about snakes on a plane when it came out at the movies although i didnt get around to watching it til the other day because i expected it to be an awful pile of crap... well wouldnt you know it, the movie completely lived up to my expectations. the only reason we hired the movie was for "the" line and it was so inappropriately placed that it was completely ruined. i dont care if expectation for the film was unreasonably high... it doesnt stop this film from being the biggest turd that was ever smeared across a movie screen so stop defending it. it barely even delivers what promises in the title because the snakes are so completely unrealistic, both in their visual appearance and behaviour. it was so bad that it was almost good. we laughed the whole way through; but you dont laugh with the film, you laugh at it. it is so sad that movies like this are being produced that there's nothing left to do but laugh. this movie basically sums up everything that is wrong with society today. if you want to see a good action/comedy flick watch true lies, snatch or lock stock and two smoking barrels. if you want to see Samuel L. Jackson pump out some golden lines then watch pulp ficton. if you want to laugh at an awful movie see snakes on a plane, just dont expect to get anything more out of this movie. i think MvMMDI should consider looking for a different reviewer. 0/10
Chad #8: Chad - added 01/12/2007, 08:55 PM
I should review mainstream new releases more often; I've certainly got a lot of people riled up with this one. I shudder to think what the reaction will be like when Plane Dead (aka Zombies on a Plane) comes out.

thereans - You say that it didn't deliver what was promised (snakes on a plane) because the actual snakes were "so completely unrealistic, both in their visual appearance and behaviour [sic]", and I'll admit that the CGI usage was fairly bad (I said that in the review as well), but let's not forget that they used close to 500 real snakes in this movie (yes, real live snakes). Whether you liked it or not, you can't say that it didn't deliver what was promised.

Your comment leads me to believe that you were looking for something along the lines of True Romance, Snatch, or Pulp Fiction (all good movies, no doubt), but if that's the case, then it's no wonder that you were disappointed: this does not attempt to be a high-brow movie, so you shouldn't expect it to come off as one. If that's not your cup of tea, then you're certainly entitled to your opinion - just don't expect something like Pulp Fiction 2 from a movie called "Snakes on a Plane."
bluemeanie #9: bluemeanie - added 01/17/2007, 05:32 PM
But, what made the film worse is that it was in Samuel L. Jackson's feet that he could not come within 10 feet of a live snake, which is why the only real snakes you see in the film are far, far away from the star of the film. Bad idea there. I wasn't looking for anything other than what the movie promised -- the other poster might have been, but when I go into a film entitled "Snakes On A Plane", I expect accordingly. However, what it gave me was a spoof of itself. It got so caught up in the public reaction and the internet buzz that it turned into a joke. Oh, and let us not forget that most of the virgin nerds out there who hyped up the film so much didn't even bother to see it in the theatres. Otherwise, it wouldn't have been a bomb. And, yes, compared to what was originally predicted, "Snakes On A Plane" was a bomb. After people saw it finally they realized that it was as awful as it originally sounded. I don't mind ridiculous plots if they're well executed. This film was just pathetic.
Crispy #10: Crispy - added 02/01/2007, 03:06 PM
This movie is definately a love it or hate it ordeal. Personally I thought it was pretty good, but I'm realy not surprised so many people didn't.
Dametria #11: Dametria - added 04/24/2007, 12:26 PM
I KNOW its a spoof, It supposed to be funny, silly horror-ISH movie. But man I could NOT sit thru this thing! I tried twice and didnt get very far either time. Its just TOO retarded.
Tristan #12: Tristan - added 05/13/2007, 11:26 PM
This movie wasn't even good, in that bad sort of way. It was just plain bad. I was waiting for the movie to realize it stunk, and become a cheesy action-comedy. No dice. It actually tried to come off as a legitimate movie, which is what made it absolutely horrendous. I'm so disappointed I saw this shitty movie in the theaters. 2/10
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