Snakes On A Plane: The Great Debate


31st August 2006

Frankly, we don't know what to believe any more. Even attempting to review a movie like Snakes On A Plane feels futile, like chasing after a missile after it's already been fired. The people who want to see it, will see it. The people who think it sounds dumb, well, they're right, and they still won't go and see it. But one person's opinion is just not going to be enough for a movie like this, a movie that's embraced its own lunacy to such a degree, conventional reviews will bounce off its outer-coating like bullets off Batfink. So, in a Shiznit first, we give you a three-pronged assault on Snakes On A Plane, with opinions of three of our best regular contributors (okay, one of them is me). Prepare yourself.

Do you remember watching Raiders Of The Lost Ark aged seven? Do you remember sitting down with Airwolf on Saturday Afternoons? Do you miss the fact that you can't go and see films like Cobra anymore? Well, now you can. Snakes On A Plane is the best mega-blockbuster I've seen in years. It is what it is, and it's unapologetic about it. No faux-ironic post-modern, knowing, winking-at-the-audience screenplay. None of that shit. What you see is what you get. Snakes. On A Plane.

Plot? Forget about that: it's flimsier than a Thai Hooker's leggings. Dialogue? Endlessly quotable. Never had the word 'sporks' been so important. NEVER. Snakes On A Plane rocks more than Metallica mudwrestling AC/DC at the Tokyo Budokan during a meteor shower. If a film can be described in one word, this film's word is "Macho." If you like explosions, snakes, planes, danger, breasts, dope, guns, computer games, rappers, and Airport 80: The Concorde, then this film is for you. If you like seeing Samuel L Jackson dispense several thousand snakes in ways too awesome for mere words to describe, this is the film you were born to see. Think of the amount of ways a person can die by snake: however many you can think of it, it's not as many as you will see in this film.

It's both a great comedy, and a phenomenal rollercoaster ride of an action movie. It goes up to 11. Everything gets bitten, eaten, or destroyed. Every cliché is fulfilled and exceeded. Nothing is sacred. The only downside of a film this dumb, this stupid, this brilliant, is that at some point it must end: this is a film that you can only watch for the first time once in your life. Unforgettable, unbelievable, unpossible: Snakes On A Plane is - without doubt - the best action movie I have seen since Red Dawn. Mark

Snakes on a Plane review rating


So here it is, the film United 93 could have been.

There are many who believe that a film can be judged by the trailers that precede it. Before Snakes On A Plane last night I was treated to Little Man, Crank, and Steven Seagal's Orange advert. Clearly, there was no turning back. No review is really going to sway anybody's opinion on this film. From the second the title was announced, the world was divided into believers and non-believers. It is highly unlikely that people who think it's the stupidest idea since Deep Blue Sea will go and see it and have their lives profoundly affected.

The makers, to their credit, are well aware of how stupid the concept is, and are happy to run riot with the goofiest lines their typewriters can throw up. And that Sam Jackson line, when we finally get it, is worth the ticket price alone. David Ellis gets the exposition out of the way pretty swiftly, making sure the baying crowd get their snake fix before attention spans start to give in. And once those snakes get loose, there's a pretty solid hour of frights and laughs.

Even though the CGI can be a bit ropey, these are vicious little guys, and there are some pretty gruesome dead bodies rolling about the plane by the end. Perhaps the best compliment I can pay the movie is that I'm now far more scared of snakes being on my plane than shifty looking types with bottles of Powerade. Dave

Snakes on a Plane review rating


With one of the most hyped (and most shameless) pre-release press campaigns in modern memory, it comes as a shame that the Snakes On A Plane story has a sting in its tail: finally getting to watch the movie isn't half as fun as the web-based parodies or the fan-made songs it inspired. But then, did you ever really expect anything of it? Did anyone?

So, what is Snakes On A Plane? Is it an intentionally campy B-movie, as the studio and the stars would prefer you believe? Or, much more likely, is it just a bad movie elevated to near God-like status by its preposterous title and a willingness to pander to fan demands? It's actually a little of both; a bastard cross-breed between Turbulence and Anaconda, it's far too ridiculous to take seriously but it's equally difficult to watch with a straight face. Sadly, an over-reliance on CGI robs the attack scenes of much of their venom (despite violence added after the reshoots) and the stereotypical passengers are about as appealing as a bite on the arse, but if you're going to over-think anything, you might as well get your coat: checking your brain in at the door is essential if you want in on the joke.

Poor box office will probably do Snakes On A Plane a favour: when the studios realise it wasn't exactly the franchise kickstarter they hoped it'd be, its status as a true cult classic will be deserved and leave future generations of film lovers to enjoy it without irony (you might love it, you might hate it, but I think one thing we can all agree on is that a sequel would bite as much as a pissed off python).

Essentially critic-proof, it delivers exactly what it promises, nothing more, nothing less. Like snakes? Like planes? This just might be your Citizen Kane. Ali

Snakes on a Plane review rating

More:  Action
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