Let me get the obvious stuff out of the way first, this is a 2006 film that is called Snakes on a Plane, so what do you think it is going to be about?? Yep, that’s right it is about a bunch of snakes that wind up on a plane. Samuel L Jackson stars in a tongue-in-cheek cult horror in which a group of unfortunate passengers are trapped on a plane with venomous snakes. The snakes have been smuggled on board to kill a witness, and an FBI agent onboard the plane struggles to keep his witness alive whilst people on the ground try to find anti-venoms.
As I imagine any in depth or clever introduction would probably be wasted, I’m just going to crack on with the review, so Snakes on a Plane…er…what is going on???
Sean Jones (Nathan Phillips) is in Hawaii when he stumbles upon a man being tortured then killed by a gangster named Eddie Kim (Byron Lawson). He escapes Kim and is rescued by FBI agents Neville Flynn (Samuel L. Jackson) and John Sanders (Mark Houghton). The agents hire out the first class cabin of a commercial 747 and head for Los Angeles so Jones can testify against Kim.
Unfortunately Kim has arranged for a container filled with live snakes, along with a container of pheromones that will make the snakes unusually aggressive, to be smuggled onboard and released during the flight.
What follows is a fight for survival as the snakes attack the passengers, short out the electronics, and the plane struggles to make it back to Los Angeles.
Let me ask you a question: What did you think this was going to be about??
If you didn’t guess it would be about snakes on a plane then I am surprised you possess the skills necessary to read this review, because as expected a film called: Snakes on a Plane is about a bunch of snakes on a plane. The premise is entirely ridiculous because if Kim could smuggle a container of snakes onto a commercial airliner then why didn’t he smuggle on a bomb instead?? What part of his brain thought that smuggling on two separate containers, one with snakes and another with pheromones to make the snakes aggressive, would be a smarter plan than just blowing the thing up??
Fortunately Snakes on a Plane keeps its tongue well a truly in its cheek. The film does not take itself seriously in any way, and there are a number of very funny moments. The infestation of the plane starts slowly with an unfortunate couple who are attempting to join the mile high club becoming the first victims. When the snakes are revealed the film’s pace doesn’t slow down as numerous passengers are attacked and the survivors struggle to stay away from the angry serpents.
The snakes themselves are mainly creations of CGI. This was due to the fact that the real snakes were not aggressive enough; and apparently there was also a clause in Jackson’s contract which stated that no snake would be brought within 25 feet of him. Sadly the computer generated serpents are clearly the product of CGI and are obviously not real which is a pity as it is difficult to see how a person could be unnerved by a fake snake.
Snakes on a Plane delivers what it promises, and does it in an entertaining way. The film is not meant to be taken seriously and the more seasoned members of the cast are obviously enjoying themselves.
The film can easily be criticised for its lack of realism and CGI reptiles. But in a film called Snakes on the Plane people could ask what someone being critical expected to see when they watched it. Hollywood favourite Samuel L Jackson is also able to utter an immortal line, and to say it here would rob the audience of a fine moment in cinematic history.
Aircraft have always been environments that film makers like to mess around with. After all a tube 35,000 feet in the air and miles from the nearest landmass is a very isolated environment in which the passengers are trapped. Snakes on a Plane is a silly idea but it is executed so well by its cast that an audience with a passion for cult favourites and tongue-in-cheek humour cannot fail to be entertained.
Similarly with Broken Arrow this is a film that I really like and as a result there is not much more that I can say about it except to give it a solid Thumbs Up.
8/10 - Great slice of cult cinema that does exactly what it says on the tin, Samuel L Jackson and the rest of the cast are clearly having a ball and Keenan Thompson (from TV’s Keenan & Kel) is also on hand to help save the day.