Title: Snakes on a Plane
Release Date: 8/18/06
Stars: Samuel L. Jackson, Nathan Phillips, Kenan Thompson
Director: David R. Ellis
MPAA Rating: R
Reason for Rating: language, a scene of sexuality, drug use, and intense sequences of terror and violence
Runtime: 1 hour 45 minutes
A young motorcyclist, Sean (Nathan Phillips), witnesses a hit by the Chinese Mafia and becomes a target. FBI Agent Nelville Flynn (Samuel L. Jackson) rescues his life and is charged with keeping him alive and out of reach of the mafia, so that he can testify. The murder takes place in Hawaii, therefore Agent Flynn and Sean must take a flight to LA. The mafia, as its last resort, has a shipment of the most poisonous snakes in the world onboard and rigged to get loose once the flight is in the air. Snakes do indeed get loose and fueled by pheromones, begin a viscous attack on the passengers, endangering Sean’s life and everyone else on the plane.
How to begin? Well, let’s start by what you might think; campy, campy, campy. The characters are introduced quickly with modest development and with such little tact that you can almost pick the order of death before they even board the plane. All my hopes died in the first fifteen minutes, BUT WAIT! Hook, line, and sinker, I was reeled in just like every other moviegoer and led to believe that this was about to tank. Enter the snakes. It’s true, the plot was shaky at best, but the snakes and more importantly the way in which the snakes attacked, were unique and dare I say hilarious…and yet we waited. This is the perfect throw back to the 80’s and one of the more fun movies I have seen in a long time. The whole theater was screaming and laughing all in the same breath. As a male passenger goes to the airborne rest room to relieve himself, the collective male sigh was more than audible and the movie did not disappoint…and yet we waited.
I never thought I would hear myself say this, but the funniest line in the movie was “spork”; yes you are correct, the nifty utilitarian amalgamation of fork and spoon. The combination of fear and comedy was a comfortable mix, a recipe long forgotten by Hollywood. The casting director gets a ten, for only Samuel L. Jackson could delivery such an intense performance without ridicule… and finally we have arrived. The line everyone has been waiting for the entire movie, a pistol waving, fed up Sam Jackson with his iconic Pulp Fictionesque taunt… “I’m tired of these mother$%&#ing snakes on this mother$%&#ing plane.”, oh sweet Jesus we are delivered and I am completed and it is universal acceptance as the crowd cheers in approval and thanks all around me. Odd, I find myself cheering as well.
To review and critique properly one must look for the flaws in a movie, however, one must also remember that this is the entertainment business whose primary mission is to entertain. This is not art, but it is definitely entertainment. The producers really threw the dice, but no seven out here, I was glad to have experienced the slithering terror in the air.
Hit or No Hit: Coach Mike realizes that this movie has a batting average of .094, but is due for a base rap. As foretold, it gets a double, not a pretty shot mind you, but hey, in the record books a double is a double.