Monday, 21 September 2020
Snakes on a Plane
Written by Sandra Fitzpatrick   
Tuesday, 29 August 2006 21:39

It is perhaps the most difficult challenge a movie critic can be subjected to. A test of will and character so great that few survive. The test consists of one age-old question: “Do I pretend not to like this crappy film?”

Weaker specimens of the breed may crumble under pressure, giving in to a desire to display intellectual superiority. Others may simply be embarrassed by the satisfaction of their basest desires to be entertained. But some of us survive, gathering the strength and the courage to proclaim; “I liked this B-Movie!”

Snakes on a Plane is so bad it’s good. Some critics will argue that it is so bad that it is too bad to be good, but I beg to differ. The underground group of people who rent movies like Boa vs. Python or Dragon Fighter (you know who you are) will agree. They understand that these movies don’t just allow you to sit back and be lazy. They invite your participation, your feedback, and your laughter. Mystery Science Theatre 3000 gained a cult following by putting that little tidbit of knowledge into practice.

Little can be said about the plot of Snakes on a Plane, except that the title pretty much says it all. A guy (Nathan Phillips) witnesses a brutal murder and is on his way to L.A. to testify against the crime lord behind the killing. The crime lord decides that the only way to do-away with the witness is to bring down the plane with snakes. Hmmm… no, I can’t think of an easier way either. So he smuggles hundreds of snakes aboard, uses a timed device to release them and sprays pheromones to make them more aggressive, blindly hoping they will kill everyone on board and crash the plane.

But there is one thing that crime lords never factor into their evil plans. Samuel L. Jackson! This badass is always there when B-movies need him! Who put the “deep” in Deep Blue Sea? You got it, Sam Jackson. Who signed back on for XXX 2? Well it sure wasn’t Vin Deisel. So it should come as no surprise that when hundreds of snakes are set loose on a plane Samuel L. Jackson steps in to save a handful of the passengers.

That’s right, I said a handful of the passengers. Because we all know that they can’t all be survivors on a movie featuring computer-generated snakes. Many people have to die in many, many gruesome ways before the hero can save the day. But the main characters survive and that’s really all that matters.

Wouldn’t it be surreal if this were the case in real life? The headlines might read:
“PLANE CRASH KILLS HUNDREDS– Athletic Guy and Cute Girl Survive”. – The crash that ended hundreds of faceless, nameless lives is just the start of a happy ending. In a press release today the adorable survivors of the tragic crash were all smiles as they relived their chance encounter. “If the crash hadn’t happened we never would have started dating!”

Sorry, I got off track there. Back to the movie! Of course Snakes on a Plane, as ridiculously awful as it may be, is not a perfect bad movie. My main complaint being that the snakes just weren’t big enough! Granted what they lacked in size they made up for in numbers, but I was looking forward to Anaconda sized action. There was one extra large snake, but he doesn’t make an appearance until near the end.

In closing Snakes on a Plane did what it was meant to do. It kept me entertained for an hour-and-a-half and gave me something to laugh about with friends afterwards. Forgive me if I’m just not being “critical” enough. I give it 7 out of 10 stars.