Snakes on a Plane! I mean, that says it all, right? No wondering what that flick's about, is there?
"Fans" have set up a sight-unseen viral campaign online, making SoaP the Tongue-In-Cheek Blair Witch Project of today. All because of that name... Hell, when they got Samuel L. Jackson to star in the film and shot for a more respectable title (Pacific Air 121), Samuel L. Jackson threatened to quit. He signed up for Snakes on a Plane and by Crackey, he was gonna star in Snakes on a Plane.
And let me tell you... what ever you think of when you hear the name "Snakes on a Plane", that's what it's like, kids! It's cheesy popcorn, filled with over-the-top action, impossible to believe dialogue, goofy scenarios and borderline-sanctimonious music. Yep, this is one hilarious horror flick, wonderfully self-aware and wearing its flaws on its sleeve.
Nathan Phillips is Sean Jones, the only witness to the brutal murder of a Vacationing LA Prosecutor (Scott Nicholson's Daniel Hayes) at the hands of the vile gangster Eddie Kim (Byron Lawson). Enter Kick ass FBI Agent Nelville Flynn (Samuel L. Jackson). The second Kim knows about Sean, Flynn is there with flying bullets and sarcastic quips.
Before long, Alias Flynn and Jones are flying from Hawaii to Los Angeles on one of those flying fortress MegaJets, ready to put Kim away for a snake's age. They have all of First Class boggarted, and now days you can't even bring Contact Lens solution on a plane, much less a gun. So how is the House of Kim supposed to nail Sean Jones to the wall? It's so simple... smuggle a crate full of deadly serpents in a big ass florist's shipment, drive them crazy with sexy (for snakes) Reptile Chick pheromones and let them bite, snap envenom and constrict every passenger until Sean is either dead as Beta Tapes, or the plane has crashed into the ocean, somewhere in the neighborhood of that vacationing couple from Open Water! I mean, you saw that coming, right? It's a no-brainer. Snakes... On A PLANE! Brilliant! Just... Just... Just... Fucking... BRILLIANT!
But, Eddie Kim and his thugs didn't count on one thing... PASSENGER 57!!! Oh, wait... I meant FBI Agent Nelville Flynn!
What follows is a montage of goof balls pantomiming what it might be like to be killed in various creative ways by CGI Snakes to be added later. This is interspersed with an ass-load of real snakes, animatronics reptile doubles and more startling hiss-bites at the screen than Bella Loves Jenna. You can expect huge-breasted nudity, fake-looking snakes biting huge breasted women on their huge breasts, urination humor, a man getting bitten on the hurmpter-hurmpter while taking said piss, grown people being eaten, bitten and poisoned and more ways to kill a snake than there are F-Bombs in Sam Jackson's Dialogue.
Luckily, Flynn isn't alone. There's a take-charge, last-job-before-retirement stewardess named Claire Miller (Julianna Margulies, looking pretty good), an even hotter stewardess named Tiffany (Sunny Mabrey), an even hotter passenger named Mercedes (Rachel Blanchard), the rap star who takes a fancy to her (Flex Alexander's Three G's), his bodyguard Big Leroy (Keith "Blackman" Dallas) and his hilarious sidekick, the Play Station addicted Troy (Kenan Thompson). In a movie that is almost nothing BUT comic relief (the closest thing to a serious character they have is Flynn's boss Hank Harris, played by Bobby Cannavale, from Will & Grace), David Koechner's turn as Rick, the Co-Pilot seems almost superfluous.
Or should I say, gratuitous? Snakes on a Plane is intentionally goofy, but never quite crosses the line into Farce or Spoof. Instead SoaP plants itself firmly in the Summer Disaster B-Movie subgenre. Oh, it's funny as hell, and in many cases its complete silliness (the dialogue varies from obvious jokes to so-serious-its-funny sanctimony) is the most endearing thing about it. However, SoaP is almost too much at times, as if it has become the very type of film it purports to approach in a tongue-in-cheek manner. Many of the frights are just as silly as the dialogue, and the snakes look almost as real as something you might find springing out of a can of fake nuts. They most certainly look cool and scary, but the difference between the shots of real snakes and CGI is so marked, I kept expecting Roger Rabbit to pop out for a funny matted-in shot. Of course there's a method to this madness and it keeps the theme of the intentional goof going. That goes especially for the mock-triumphant score by Trevor Rabin, so incredibly serious you have to laugh
On the other hand, occasionally things get slow. In a film with humor, action and horror but little else to prop it up, it's a wonder why director David R. Ellis spends so much of the film on expository introductory scenes for half the big-ass cast. Strangely, though this goes on and on, the characters still feel underdeveloped. Underdeveloped, that is, if you don't count Crystal Lowe's cameo as "Autograph Girl" because, whoa, Crystal Lowe is DEVELOPED, baby!
But, hey, criticizing this flick is about seven kinds of "Missing the Point". On that note, the hype and fan-influence may work against SoaP. I can see a lot of people influenced by the viral media blitz and walk out of the film disappointed. Kiddos, this is not a film to challenge your brain with... this is a purely fun movie, filled with starts, scares and laughs, all of which are real and rewarding. This isn't for the faint of heart, but it's also not for the snobbish who forget that once in a while, it's okay to just have fun at the movies, especially for a self-aware flick like this one.
Snakes on a Plane may or may not be what writers David Dalessandro, John Heffernan and Sebastian Gutierrez intended. With internet fans embracing this theoretically throw-away flick and making it their own, without knowing much more than the working title, Snakes on a Plane has become something new... and it might be a harbinger of marketing to come. But that's a little too academic... Snakes on a Plane isn't academic. It's silly fun and as such, I say Viva Los Serpentes!!! Three Stars out of Five for Snakes on a Plane, the comfortably popcorn flick that asks little but slithers and soars anyway... provided you turn off your suspension of disbelief, your "OH COME ON" reflex and your snooty impulses. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to think up some cool titles just to sell them on the internet and watch them become A-List B-Movies. I'm thinking "Mongooses in a Toyota Celica" might have marketing potential. Or how 'bout "Hamsters on a Carnival Cruise Ship"? OH! OH! OH! "Turtles on a Schwinn Bike"! Yeah! Cinematic Gold. See you ON the Next Reel! Hey, that's it... "Kneumsi on a Reel"! Brilliant! Just... Just... Just... Fucking... BRILLIANT!
And that's just my Reviews!
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