Snakes avoids turbulence
August 25, 2006 —
It's the same old story you've heard a thousand times before: man witnesses brutal murder; mob boss orders man to be killed; FBI agent tries to protect man by flying him to Los Angeles; mob boss fills their plane with deadly poisonous snakes.
Okay, so maybe it isn't the same old story. But it is quite possibly the most ridiculous plot for a movie that was not made straight for the Sci-Fi Channel.
But if you go into Snakes on a Plane expecting little more than what the title implies, you won't be disappointed. The film dishes out everything it promises - snakes, snakes, and more snakes, on a plane.
And surprisingly, the movie presents itself quite well.
Clearly, the main selling point of Snakes on a Plane is the sheer ridiculousness of its plot. Couple this with Samuel L. Jackson in a starring role and you have a summer blockbuster.
Jackson is as fine an FBI agent as any actor could be and is clearly the perfect choice for the role. The supporting cast is a bizarre assortment of minor celebrities (Rachel Blanchard, David Koechner, Kenan Thompson) who all contribute to making this the most exciting plane ride since Red Eye.
The snakes are realistic and not laughably fake as many probably expected. And there are even a few jump-in-your-seat moments.
But what saves this movie from being exported to the Quad in less than a week is the fact that it doesn't take itself too seriously. Heck, it's even pretty funny.
How could anyone not laugh while Jackson, as agent Nelville Flynn, runs through the plane shocking snakes with a stun gun?
If the movie has one fault, it is that Jackson's dialogue is quite plain and rather dull throughout the movie, though it does get better (and more vulgar, just like it should be) in the end. Maybe it's best that they waited until the end to give us what we wanted.
Two hours of Sam Jackson running around shouting obscenities at snakes is pure cinematic gold, it's true; but that might just get old after a while. In small doses it remains hilarious.
Unfortunately this just means that I will skip about the first 10 chapters on the DVD once it is released and go straight to the quotable scenes.
But I won't forget about the rest of the movie, either. As bad as I expected Snakes on a Plane to be, it was surely the surprise of the summer - a movie that is entertaining for the whole ride.
Of course it will never be compared to Jurassic Park or Jaws or even Arachnophobia in terms of greatness, but it might just make you check under your seat while you're sitting in the theater - just to be safe.