For snake kickiní action Snakes on a Plane rates 5 reels.
Unfortunately, that only adds up to about 20 minutes of the movie. The rest of the hour and a half running time is spent on the most horrendously, unimaginably bad screenwriting of the year. I would give the rest of the film less than one reel if it was possible.
Okay, I know what you are saying. The film is called Snakes on a Plane. Why should you expect good writing? I am not saying I want this film to be Shakespeare or even Harold and Maude. I just wish it wasnít so painfully awful in-between awesome snake action.
And the snake action is awesome. I was worried they would cheap out on the gore (like Hostel did) but Snakes on a Plane is unforgiving. The snakes in this film go for the jugular and the jugs. The first bite is the bare nipple of an oversexed hottie. Soon after a snake swallows a manís member while heís peeing. They go into eye sockets, latch onto tongues and pretty much bite every sensitive part of the anatomy you can think of. A python even swallows a dog and a man whole.
Snakes on a Plane is a great premise for a film. Just throw in everything terrifying about snakes in a confined space and you should have a rockiní good B movie. On top of that throw in Samuel L. Jackson with some great #@&$! one liners and youíll have Ďem packed in the cinemas.
I guess the film makers thought with that combo it didnít matter if they cheaped out on the script. They could give the actors the most dreadfully painful dialogue. They could make the characters offensively bad stereotypes. They could cast the cheapest, most untalented actors to ever turn out for an audition. They figure the audience will be cheering so loud for Jacksonís last one liner they wonít hear how lame this crap really is.
Look, I did not go to Snakes on a Plane for clever wit (although I ask you why the retorts canít be clever just because there are snakes on a plane?). I didnít expect the film to be deep or touching or revolutionary. I just didnít want to suffer through dung like this while I was waiting to see snakes! I just wanted the whole film to be fun, not just the too far between snake scenes.
Imagine sitting down to watch a porn film and waiting a half an hour through porn level dialogue and acting before you get to the nudity. Thatís what Snakes on a Plane is like. It takes half an hour to get the snakes out and the acting and writing really is as bad as it is in porn. Sure the snakes are fun once they appear but their bits last a very short time and we are back to the porn level performances.
Why didn't they just put in more snakes? That's what I can't figure out. The whole reason we are here is to see the snakes. Why do they take more than 30 minutes to get more than a fleeting glimpse of the serpents? Why do they even bother with the back story. Just give us the damn snakes!
And you know what? Most of the snakes look really fake. There are maybe 2 or 3 good special effects shots in the film. The rest of the snakes look like a high school computer animation project.
Notice I never once criticized the plot. Of coarse itís ridiculous. We expect and even appreciate that. I never once criticized Jackson who is having a lot of fun with this and is fun to watch. I never once criticized the gore; I just wish there was more.
What I am saying is that camp doesnít have to be stupid. When it is done well it can be brilliant. Just falling back on your ass by throwing Sam Jackson and a bunch of snakes on to a plane is just plain lazy. Give us something in-between the snake shots or just give us more snakes.
This movie could have been a timeless camp classic and instead it is just another disposable, disappointing disaster. Jackson and his snakes would get a high rating but the fact they are in this film means I canít give them what they deserve. The whole point of a film like this is that it's fun. How can I say it's a good film when there are 20 minutes of fun (30 if I am being generous) and twice as much time that is god-awful boring? I don't care how much you love snake madness, that's just not a good enough ratio.