Snakes On A Plane


Reviewed by: Gator MacReady

Snakes On A Plane
"More Zzzzz than Sssss!"

I was quite looking forward to this film as I enjoyed David R Ellis' previous film, Cellular, and the poster and idea for Snakes On A Plane is just pure high-concept trash. It could have been great, but I was surprisingly bored throughout. I do like popcorn movies, but the popcorn has to taste good and this bucket just has far too much venom in it for me.

After Final Destination 2 and Cellular, David R. Ellis seems to be New Line Cinema's king of B-movies. Since the departure of Ronny Yu from this project, he seemed like the most logical choice. And while he does use some innovative ideas (such as the pretty cool 'snake vision') the film is too darkly shot and edited like a blur. I don't find death to be funny and expected a stronger 'man vs nature' subtext to it. What we get is a man being bitten on the penis and stoners bitten while joining the Mile High Club. And the sudden, stinging attacks never seem to frighten. The first few kills are crass and exploitative and it spoils the mood for the rest of the film.

Copy picture

I know I am being ridiculous criticising a no-brainer film such as this in such a way but even low-grade B-movies like Anaconda and its sequel managed to be more scary and exciting than this. The characters are set-up in the typical horror film way and it's obvious which ones are going to die one by one. And while their deaths appear to be violent, you never REALLY see anything shocking. A film with such an eccentric title really should have gone to crazy, far-fetched extremities and delivered loads of gore. But it never truly seems like it does. The majority of the film seems taped together from various different writers' ideas and some scenes definitely feel tacked on after principal photography.

Films set on panic-stricken planes are abundant (Executive Decision, Passenger 57, United 93, Con Air, Die Hard 2) and scenes of crash landings and decompression are nothing new to audiences. The presence of Snakes doesn't make it much different.

Plus, Trevor Rabin's score is total crap. Plain and simple. Uninspired, generic rubbish completely without theme, melody, excitement our even coherence in its endless bombasticness. I had great hopes for him when he did such brilliant work (actually co-composing) on Con Air and Armageddon, but he's fast proving to be talentless.

Samuel L Jackson is brilliant as always and the under-rated Julianna Margulies is quite bloody gorgeous, more so than more popular Hollywood actresses. Lin Shaye (a popular New Line actress, since her husband runs the studio) has more to do than usual in the role of a heroic stewardess and those of you who like her more comedic roles will find this a welcome change. Though there's not much else I can recommend.

After all the internet-nerd hype surrounding this film, it fails to live up to potential and expectations. Quite a disappointment. Snakes On A Plane ends up being more Zzzzz than Sssss!

Reviewed on: 07 Sep 2006
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Snakes On A Plane packshot
Some snakes. On a plane. What more do you need to know?
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Read more Snakes On A Plane reviews:

Jennie Kermode ****
Chris ***

Director: David R Ellis

Writer: John Heffernan, Sebastian Gutierrez

Starring: Samuel L Jackson, Julianna Margulies, Nathan Phillips, Rachel Blanchard, Flex Alexander, Kenan Thompson, Keith Dallas, Lin Shaye, Bruce James, Sunny Mabrey, Casey Dubois

Year: 2006

Runtime: 105 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: US


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Executive Decision