Snakes on a Plane (2006)

Review by:
Bill Clark

Reviewed by:
On August 18, 2006
Last modified:July 5, 2014


Does the film deliver? Undeniably yes. Snakes On A Plane may, in fact, be in the top three most supremely entertaining films I have ever seen.

Snakes on a Plane (2006)

At last, a film that lives up to the hype. This summer has been bogged down with overblown, effects-driven messes that, frankly, haven’t been that entertaining. By now many folks are familiar with the story behind Snakes on a Plane: the title change, the ridiculous premise, the fans, the rating push from PG-13 to R, the line (“I’ve had it with these motherfucking snakes on this motherfucking plane!”), the list goes on. But the biggest question facing New Line and their unorthodox marketing campaign is simple: Does the film deliver?

Undeniably yes. Snakes on a Plane may, in fact, be in the top three most supremely entertaining films I have ever seen. It is a shameless, joyous exploitation of everything that we go to the movies for: preposterous kills, over-the-top profanity, and T&A. The filmmakers have made this so bluntly clear to us in the marketing that we’re blindsided, not only because the film is a blast, but because we’ve actually been told the truth and not deceived regarding the contents of a film. Mis-marketing has been the flavor of choice for most studios lately. Regardless of what you may think of the premise, the film comes as advertised.

To sum up the plot would be a cardinal sin of Planiac world. Like the new saying goes, “look at the title!” But what I can tell you is the screenplay wastes no time in getting us aboard and attacked by hundreds of venomous, pissed off snakes. I know what you’re saying: “snakes don’t attack unless provoked!” Not this batch. These bad mothers are hopped up on pheromones. I am not making this up.

Once the snakes are set free from their time-released crate all hell breaks loose – and for the remainder of the film. Director David R. Ellis, no stranger to tongue-in-cheek freakishness (Final Destination 2), keeps things moving at a breathless pace. Snakes appear from every crevice of the 747 as passengers try to barricade themselves to safety. The violence is unflinching and often graphic, but very cheeky. The crowd leapt out of their seats in bliss.

Of course the major selling point here is Samuel L. Jackson, and he does his bad ass shtick to perfection. He is well aware that he is in a self-referential B-movie and he plays right into the fans’ hands. The rest of the supporting cast, including Julianna Margulies, Kenan Thompson, and Nathan Phillips, are all funny and clearly in on the joke. What more can you ask for in a film like this?

To see Snakes on a Plane bring home the bacon is really a sigh of relief and somewhat restores my faith in the Hollywood hype machine. In a summer that has been frustrating and all-around dull, the arrival of Snakes on a Plane will be a revelation for those of us who miss the good old days of B-movies and all their glory. Who would have thought that an obstacle-ridden, fan-driven “experiment” would so clearly and effortlessly restate what summer movies are all about?


Studio: New Line Cinema
Length: 105 Minutes
Rating: R for language, a scene of sexuality and drug use, and intense sequences of terror and violence.
Theatrical Release: August 18, 2006
Directed by: David R. Ellis
Written by: John Heffernan & Sebastian Gutierrez. Story by David Dalessandro & Heffernan.
Cast: Samuel L. Jackson, Nathan Phillips, Rachel Blanchard, Julianna Margulies, Todd Louiso, Flex Alexander




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