Snakes on a Plane

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Review #219 of 365
Film: Snakes on a Plane [R] 101 minutes
WIP™ Scale: $12.25
Where Viewed: United Artists Denver Pavilions Stadium 15, Denver, CO
When 1st Seen: 18 August 2006
Time: 11:55 a.m.
Soundtrack: Download the soundtrack from Cobra Starship, Gym Class Heroes, The Academy Is..., The All-American Rejects & The Sounds - Snakes On a Plane: The Album now – or - order the CD below
Review Dedicated to: Fierce Kargs of Chicago, IL and Jamie A. of Seattle, WA

Click for 'Review Lite' [a 150-word or less review of this film]
Review Part 1 of 2
I'll never forget the audience reaction the first time I saw the preview for Snakes on a Plane. Little probably did most people realize in that auditorium that we would all fall prey to what has become a national sensation before the movie even debuted on screen late Thursday night in many cities. First of all, you've got a title that screams campy B-movie from the 1970s—brilliant. Then you've got scenes of Samuel L. Jackson on a plane with hundreds and hundreds of venomous snakes made furious by pheromones sprayed on flowers in the cargo hold and dozens of passengers being attacked and bitten in the worst possible locations on their bodies—brilliant. Finally, you've got a summer of movies that took itself a little too seriously and relied a little too heavily on sequels and franchises to engage moviegoer's passions, and you have prime conditions for an unexpected blockbuster despite what most logical bean counters, pollsters, and analysts would have predicted—double brilliant. Now, some people might object to me using the word 'brilliant', and 'clever' might be a better word for it. And some others might object to my characterization of this summer as a bit dull in the movie-release category, but come on basically we had Mission: Impossible III, X-men III, Superman Returns, Pirates of the Caribbean II, M. Night Shymalan V, and a bunch of animated films. The only real surprises were Talladega Nights and World Trade Center and how terrible Tom Hanks was in The Da Vinci Code. Finally, anytime you get Samuel L. Jackson all fired up, you know you are in for an adrenaline-charged roller coaster ride.

"…go into this film with modest expectations… you'll have an awesome time ."
Who better to helm this fiendish film than the director of non-stop action film, Cellular, David R. Ellis. For a bit of trivia, David Ellis began his career in the Disney® Kurt Russell movies. He's been a stunt man for over sixty films and a second unit director on such films as The Matrix Reloaded and Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. Two things he clearly knows how to do are frame a movie well and keep the heart rate elevated throughout an entire movie. The film begins with a classic set-up. Young Hawai'ian surfer stud Sean Jones (Nathan "Wolf Creek" Phillips) over sees the murder of a Los Angeles District Attorney at the hands of notorious gang mob boss Eddie Kim. Somehow, Eddie Kim finds him. Enter Nelville Flynn, FBI agent, (Samuel L. Jackson) who comes to his rescue and ultimately convinces Sean to testify in LA against Eddie. This necessitates a flight from Honolulu to Los Angeles and the commandeering of all of first class for Sean and his two FBI protectorates. Lead flight attendants are Claire Miller (Julianna Margulis) and Tiffany (Sunny "One Last Thing…" Mabrey). Obnoxious passengers include mini dog-totting Mercedes (Rachel Blanchard), rap star Three G's (Flex Alexander) and his two body guards Big Leroy (Keith Dallas) and Troy (Kenan Thompson), and obnoxious, European, snob Paul (Gerard Plunkett). Support back on the ground is long-time friend of Nelville, and fellow agent, Hank Harris (Bobby "The Night Listener" Cannavale).

So, you should go into this film with modest expectations. This is an August, 1970s B-Movie for the 2000s. If you do, you'll have an awesome time. This movie is hilarious (not as funny as Talladega Nights, mind you), but super funny nonetheless. I mean, come on, some of the places these people get bitten. Painful to watch in some ways, sure, but hysterical in a morbid sort of sick sense—you know sort of like why the Three Stooges were funny. I would love to see this movie at the drive-in. Now, of course, the acting and dialogue are cheesy and unrealistic. Some of the design of the aircraft seemed illogical. I wasn't sure, but it didn't seem possible that there would be a huge area under the cock pit of the plane for example. There were some plot gaffes like snakes are attacking people right and left in the lower level of the plane, while Sean is upstairs in first class doing what for 15 minutes? Or that snakes, even riled up by pheromones, would be unlikely to become so hyper aggressive as to seek out people to attack. Or that an FBI agent would decide to shoot out a couple of windows on the plane in order to get the snakes under control. But, if you can get past these things, suspend all disbelief, and just let the movie go, you'll have fun. The film also has its fair share of scary and shocking moments. If you already have a fear of snakes, you probably want to see this film with a big group of friends, and be prepared for one of them to have a rubber snake in their pocket to spring on you at just the right moment.

Snakes on a Plane is not the best movie of the summer nor is it the worst. It will, however, be long remembered for its pre-release buzz and probably, unfortunately, cloned multiple times in the next few years. Enjoy it for what it is worth.

Related Products from
Other Projects Featuring Cast Members: Samuel L. Jackson
Julianna MarguliesNathan PhillipsRachel Blanchard
Flex AlexanderKenan ThompsonKeith Dallas
Sunny MabreyBobby Cannavale
Other films Directed by: David R. Ellis
CD Soundtrack
Related Book
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Snakes on a Plane Review-lite [150-word cap]
A title that screams campy B-movie from the 1970s; FBI agent Nelville Flynn (Samuel L. Jackson) escorting Hawai'ian surfer stud Sean Jones (Nathan Phillips) on a plane with hundreds and hundreds of furious, venomous snakes attacking dozens of passengers 30,000 feet above the Pacific Ocean; and, finally, a summer of movies that took itself a little too seriously creating prime conditions for an unexpected blockbuster by the name of Snakes on a Plane. Anytime you get Samuel L. Jackson all fired up, you know you are in for an super-charged roller coaster ride. Go in to see this hilarious, mid-August, 1970s B-Movie for the 2000s Helmed by adrenaline master David R. Ellis with modest expectations, and you'll have an awesome time. Snakes on a Plane will be long remembered for its pre-release buzz and probably, unfortunately, cloned multiple times in the next few years. Enjoy it for what it is worth.

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