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Review by
Kelly Parks

Snakes On A Plane
Hannah Rachel Production Services Ltd. / Nina Saxon Film Design / Mutual Film Corporation / Patchwork Productions / New Line Cinema
Rating: USA: R

Bad movies are sometimes good. Sometimes bad movies are so bad their badness is entertaining. But when a movie tries to be entertainingly bad on purpose, is it a good bad movie? Or is it a good movie being bad? Because if it's bad it's good but if it's good then it's not bad. Norman, please coordinate.

Okay, I know what I'm doing wrong. I'm thinking. More on that later.

SNAKES ON A PLANE was written by John Heffernan and Sebastian Gutierrez (GOTHIKA) and directed by David R. Ellis (CELLULAR, FINAL DESTINATION 2).

The title pretty much tells you the story and it’s the title that made big time movie star Samuel L. Jackson (JURASSIC PARK, SPHERE, DEEP BLUE SEA, UNBREAKABLE, THE INCREDIBLES) want to do the movie. He heard about it by chance and got in touch with the very surprised producers.

The story opens in Hawaii where surf bum Sean Jones (Nathan Phillips: WOLF CREEK) is doing some dirt biking. He quickly (the whole story moves quickly – a good thing) comes across an unfortunate prosecutor being murdered by crime boss Eddie Kim (Byron Lawson: FALLEN [TV]). Sean is now “the witness”, pursued by Eddie Kim's men.

His only hope is FBI agent Flynn, who rescues Sean from the bad guys and convinces him to go to Los Angeles to testify. They get on The Plane and immediately make life difficult for flight attendant Claire Miller (Juliana Margulies: GHOST SHIP) when they kick everyone out of first class.

“Yes, yes, “ you say impatiently, “but what about the snakes?”

I was just getting to that. Eddie Kim chooses a very odd way to eliminate the witness. He somehow manages to gather hundreds of poisonous snakes and put them into a disguised cargo container. Well into the flight a timer opens the door and out they slither. But why? If your goal was killing the witness, wouldn't a bomb make more sense? And what about—

Oops. There I go, thinking again. The fact is this movie doesn't stand up to even the tiniest bit of scrutiny. It's nothing but clichés from beginning to end. Bad clichés, as though the writers were stoned high school boys. In fact, imagine Beavis and Butthead as the writers and you'll be able to predict exactly what happens. I can just see them pitching the movie:
"Huh. Huh huh. And then a snake, like, bites a girl on her boob and stuff."
"Yeah! And then, like, a snake bites a guy's weiner! Heh. Heh heh."

I think you see where I'm going here, I just don't think you'll be entertained. It's a funny movie in that sense. Honestly my only real disappointment was Samuel L. Jackson. What he should have done here was played an over the top parody of himself. That would have been perfect for the movie and very funny. Instead, he's subdued and just not his usual persona. And it takes forever for him to deliver the line about how intently he wants the snakes off the plane.

So what did I really think? Well normally I rate good bad movies with negative shriek girls because their entertainment value is unintentional. But this is good bad on purpose which means ... my brain hurts. I give SNAKES ON A PLANE 4 shriek girls.

This review copyright 2006 E.C.McMullen Jr.

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