August 25, 2006

Movie Review: Snakes on a Plane

Posted in Movies at 11:03 pm by Calico Jack

Let me get this out of the way first: Snakes on a Plane is the funniest movie I’ve seen all year. Yes, you heard me correctly. It is also one of the worst movies of the year, but its sheer awfulness makes it surprisingly hilarious. I went to see this movie with Princess Sela and her boyfriend, and the three of us laughed practically the entire time. Unfortunately, most of our laughter was directed at the the film itself, and not one of the few intentionally-funny punchlines. So where should we begin? How about…

The plot. Everything you need to know are those four words in the title. Apart from a few setup scenes in Hawaii, an occasional cut to an FBI office in Los Angeles, a herpetologist’s house — wait, what happened to the plane? By the time that FBI agents were chasing down an exotic snake handler and having a shootout in a barn in the California desert, I was about ready to die from laughter, most of it resulting from….

The dialogue. It’s pretty sad when even the serious dialogue elicits howls of laughter from the audience. One of Samuel L. Jackson’s most repeated lines in the movie is “Do as I say and you’ll live!” Other worthy samples include “All praises to the PlayStation!” “You sure you can fly this thing with one hand?” “We’re having a problem with our avionics!” and my favorite, “Great! Now they’re snakes on crack!”

Plot holes. Coming up with a reason to have dozens of poisonous snakes on a plane is flimsy enough. But that is only the start of the mess. An empty first-class cabin suddenly has storage bins full of carry-on luggage. Snakes chew through exposed wires and insulation, wreaking havoc on the plane’s “avionics.” Harmless corn snakes are shown right along the deadly coral snakes. A very large, very fangy python/ubersnake suddenly appears in the ceiling of the plane…you get the idea.

Okay, now you need to ignore everything I just said. Snakes on a Plane is an awful film, critically speaking. I’ve only scratched the surface at how terrible this movie is — provided, of course, that you sit by yourself in a darkened theater. However, if you go with a big (or even small but vocal) group of friends, you’ll have a great time at the movies. Unfortunately, our screen was rather empty; I can only imagine the level of raucousness that would occur with a packed theater.

Unlike most bad movies, this one is so bad it’s extremely funny. I don’t think I’ll buy it on DVD; but when it does come out I’ll get a group of friends together to watch this late at night, with a big bowl of popcorn and lots of pillows to throw at each other. And once you see the film, take a look at this thread from IMDB about audience members’ quotes during the movie. It’s nearly as funny as the film itself.

Snakes on a Plane doesn’t even qualify as an average horror/action movie. It isn’t scary, the plot holes and dialogue ruin any suspense that could be built up, and there are only three jolts that come from the “snakes-appear-out-of-nowhere” cliche. However, this is a comedy that provides more laughs (unintentional or not) than most other movies. As a critic, I give Snakes a D. But you can’t beat the experience of watching this film with your friends; in that regard it’s quite unique. So go see it, but don’t expect anything approaching mediocrity. Just be prepared to laugh — a lot.


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