Snakes on a Plane (2006)

snakes-on-a-plane-2006Samuel L. Jackson has just bought himself a heaping helpful of infamy and prestige shamelessly bragging about and spearheading one of the most ludicrous ad campaigns ever enlisted for such a ridiculous movie. I admit I was one of the many who thought the hype, jokes, spoofs, et al were all overblown for what could have been a mediocre big budget crap fest. But you know what? When all was said and done, I’d rather have a fun ridiculous original film, then another remake of a childhood classic. And that’s what invariably won me over on “Snakes on a Plane”.

Say what you want about “Snakes on a Plane”, but I’d rather have more of these films than a “Halloween” or “Omen” raping. Yes, I said raping. You have to appreciate Jackson’s willingness to say “Yes, this is a dumb movie, and yes I’m proud of it”, and you can’t fault him for pretending it’s anything other than a movie about snakes on a plane. Its snakes on a plane… someone was bound to combine them. Moving on, this ridiculous movie spawned also one of the largest ad campaigns of the summer, something that became a precedent and inspired other studios and directors to take the opinions of fans with great relevance to their film’s construction. If only this would happen more often.

“Snakes on the Plane” is hands down the most brilliant, and the crappiest movie I’ve seen in years. Now, I’ll bet some of you are probably hating me for saying that, or cheering that I get it. Well, I didn’t buy into the hype and I wasn’t looking forward to this, but I just enjoyed it because it was unabashedly campy and idiotic. Normally, I don’t like those kinds of films, but “Snakes on a Plane” wins you over. Samuel L. Jackson is a cop who convinced a witness to a mob murder to testify. Naturally, to stop the witness from bringing them down, the mob sneaks deadly snakes on the plane he’s in. It’s such an obvious move, isn’t it? Those goofy mobsters and their slow moving venomous reptiles. So, the writer sets up the characters and knocks them down as the snakes begin wreaking havoc. And now Samuel L. Jackson must save the day before the cast of C-listers are offed.

You know the dog will be eaten, you know the rattlesnake will be ignored due to the baby with the loud baby rattle, and you know eventually the baby will be jeopardized. But then you sit back and hear the audience just enjoying it, and you end up doing the same. And who can resist the lovely Sunny Mabrey? That has no relevance to the review or my point, but seriously—she’s hot. Most entertaining of all are the methods in which the snakes dispense of their victims. One man has his penis bitten off, another couple is bitten to death during sex, and there’s so much more I don’t want to ruin for you. “Snakes on a Plane” is like a ninety minute straight faced “Saturday Night Live” skit, everyone says “Snakes on a Plane” in every other line of dialogue, even Jackson’s characters seems to acknowledge the stupidity of the situation, and not even those whom are bitten seem to be afraid of dying.

But a weird thing happens, by the second half there’s this genuine atmosphere of sheer terror as the comedy stops for a while, and we see nothing but the passengers desperately attempting to escape, while others are being viciously killed, and then comes the big ass python, and you’ll find yourself getting antsy. Not to mention Bobby Cannavale plays the straight man as a cop intent on finding rare anti-venom for the passengers. “Snakes on a Plane” won’t please everyone, and those who like it or dislike will debate on its merits for hours, but when you have Sam Jackson saying stuff like “I have had it with these motherfucking snakes on this motherfucking plane!”, you just have to laugh and enjoy the stupidity that is simply “Snakes on a Plane”. I enjoyed “Snakes on a Plane” because it’s so awful, it’s good. And I won’t even argue the sheer stupidity and over-hyped nature of said film, but I couldn’t help but sit back and smile at this carnival at the end of the day. It hurts so good. Mike, Cro, Tom, we need you.