Snakes on a Plane (Review)

Snakes on a Plane


2006
Starring
Samuel L. Jackson as Nelville Flynn
Julianna Margulies as Claire Miller
Nathan Phillips as Sean Jones (Red Bull Boy)
Rachel Blanchard as Mercedes
Flex Alexander as Three G’s
Kenan Thompson as Troy
Directed by David R. Ellis

“I’m tired of these motherfucking snakes on this motherfucking plane!”

And with that, Snakes on a Plane became one of the greatest movies of all time. Cementing itself into cult status before it even finished filming. The above line was added in during reshoots, inspired by the fan buzz generated on the internet solely from the title of the movie. The producers wisely switched from a PG-13 to an R rating, giving the fans the line they wished for and some nudity and more gore to boot. Riding the Internet buzz even further, the producers went so far as to have a song writing contest where the winner would have his song played during the closing credits. This was an unprecedented example of audience participation in the making of a film. Samuel L. Jackson was one of the first to recognize the brilliance of the title, signing up for the movie after hearing it, and threatening to leave the project if they renamed it the proposed Pacific Air 122. The main question as the release date approached was would the movie live up to the Internet hype? The opening weekend where it barely edged into first place (thanks to some Thursday night pre-screenings) was called disappointing, but it should be noted that it is probably far more than the movie would have achieved under other circumstances. The hype inflated it’s box office numbers from dismal to “meh”.

The main good feature of the hype was the reshoots to R, which helped increase the cheesy factor and made the movie more fun. The gore comedy was hyped up, as PG-13 would have just looked horrible. Running a recap while the movie is still in the theater can be dangerous, as I might just overlook some important detail due to faulty memory and lack of notes. But we are going to soldier on regardless, and hopefully every major point and minor cheese is dually reported. That’s what Sam Jackson would do, and that’s what we’re gonna do! (Yeah, like Sam Jackson would be writing movie reviews on the Internet…) No promises will be made as the the amount of snake jokes, as this is a snake movie and puns are easy to write and will slither all over this recap like….snakes….on a plane!We start out as all airplane movies do, panning over a Hawaiian beach as not very good “alternative” music plays. We zero into a motocross biker riding around the Hawaiian dirt roads, zipping around like the movie was called Snakes on a Motorcycle. Motorcycle Boy stops to drink himself some cool, refreshing RED BULL ENERGY DRINK! Drink Red Bull Energy Drink today, the official Energy Drink of Snakes on a Plane. He’s interrupted by the falling body of a guy, who we find out is a District Attorney for Los Angeles, and the fallen DA tells Motorcycle Boy to run, for goons are coming to finish DA off. They do, as the main goon is notorious criminal Eddie Kim, who beats the DA until Kim is covered with blood. After instructing his goons to clean up the mess, the group is distracted by the sound of a motorcycle engine racing away, as Motorcycle Boy had gone to escape what he witnessed, somehow thinking they wouldn’t hear his engine. The fire at him, but miss. Later, Motorcycle Boy is back in his hotel room watching the news, with cases and cases of RED BULL ENERGY DRINK sitting on the dresser. I hope the Red Bull here doesn’t mean what it means in Cyber Seduction, because that would be just gross. As Motorcycle Boy listens to reports on how Eddie Kim is very brutal, kills witnesses, and all the cops are corrupt, Kim’s goons start to pick the lock of his door. Motorcycle Boy (character name: Sean Jones, but we’re going to switch and call him Red Bull Boy from now on) Red Bull Boy runs toward the back exit, but someone is there as well….it’s Sam Motherf**king Jackson! Grabbing the kid, Sam says “If you want to live, do what I say!” Federal Agent Sam precedes to cap some of the goons, then grabs Red Bull Boy and they hightail it out of there. During the drive away, Sam questions Red Bull Boy as to why he didn’t go to the police, Red Bull Boy stating that he saw on the news the police were corrupt. Sam calls him smart, but as Red Bull Boy just saw the news report a few seconds ago, he is lying and was going to be perfectly happy to not report a murder.

Red Bull Boy gets interrogated by Sam and his partner, John Sanders (Mark Houghton). RBB reluctantly decides to testify against Eddie Kim, and now the problem is getting him to LA alive. That will require a plane. Thus begins the airport scenes as all the passengers and crew are introduced at breakneck speed. We get all the stereotypes, because having actual personalities to the characters would be a waste of writing skills in this flick. We have the flight attendant who is on her last flight before leaving for law school, Claire Miller, played by Julianna Margulies. Joining her is fellow flight attendant Tiffany (Sunny Mabrey, recently seen here in Species III). Travelers on the plane include Paris Hilton-type Mercedes (Rachel Blanchard) and her pet Chihuahua Mary Kate (no Ashley? Shame!) We get the newlywed couple returning from their honeymoon, the husband pulling double duty as the “afraid to fly” character. There is famous rapper GGG or Triple-G or Three G’s, who signs a fan’s breast (outside of shirt) as well as telling a 12 year old white kid to “Stay Black.” White kid: “Hell yeah!” GGG’s two bodyguards are constantly around him, one of which is played by Kenan Thompson of Kenan and Kel and SNL fame. So it’s Fat Albert on a Plane! On the plane, Stewardess Claire is surprised by a goodbye party by her other two fellow stewards, The Gay Guy and the Older Lady (Lin Shaye from Kingpin.) The pilot who is indistinct and the horndog copilot get passing mentions, guess which one will live longer based on which one has any character traits! Horndog co-pilot also calls the stewardesses “sky candy.”

The cops in Hawaii all think a special plane is what will take Red Bull Boy to LA, but it’s all a trick to try and slip the wool over Eddie Kim’s eyes. The real flight will be the public plane all the passengers shown before will be on. The Feds take over all of first class, forcing everyone to be in coach. This is one of those special planes with two levels, first class being to themselves on the second floor. Translation: A plane that doesn’t exist. In reality, there would be nowhere to run from snakes on your plane, but thanks to Hollywood inventing new types of aircraft, there is somewhere to run. The Airbus A380 and a few others notwithstanding, the odd design puts the cockpit and first class up above, while coach is located behind them both one deck below. The plane is not sloped oddly, but somehow there is an extra deck for the first half, with unused space everywhere after it, which seems to be the cargo area. The shape does allow for a pit in the cockpit (the cockpit pit if you will) that heads to all the electronics. The movie also takes place in some sort of fictional world where airlines aren’t in trouble and can regularly run flights with less than half full, and with cargo areas mostly empty. Ignoring airline profit figures is the least offensive thing ignored by SOAP. The real plane is scoped out by Eddie Kim’s man in the air crew, who spots the police dogs sniffing the real plane. The mysterious package is loaded onboard the cargo area, and the air crew goon is spraying leis with a snake pheromone that will make the snakes go nutso. Sexually excited nutso. Horny Snakes on a Plane. These leis are given to all the passengers as they leave. At this point I’d like to mention that I have both been to and left Hawaii, and never got those kind of leis. These leis are lies!

Everyone is being shoved in coach, which our unfortunate stewardesses have to explain. One particularly irate Brit hates America and the airlines for doing such a horror. He hates all sorts of things, but really loves complaining. He should have spent time complaining to his hair plugs surgeon; thankfully the real actor (Gerard Plunkett) doesn’t sport them. After his angry tirade, Paris clone Mercedes has a question of her own about coach: “Is it safe?” For you, baby, anything. She sits near the obnoxious British man, who complains about her dog Mary Kate barking, then follows up with complaints about the baby sitting on his other side. Basically, Obnoxious British Guy’s job is to make you hate him so much you cheer when he gets snaked. And you do, because it’s hilarious. But that’s for much later in the recap. Triple-G is also dumped into coach, he takes a whole row to himself as his bodyguards sit in front of him, thus allowing GGG the room he needs to give eyes to Mercedes, who is giving eyes back. The movie forgot to introduce the children traveling alone characters earlier, so they get introed now, two brothers whose dialogue seemed ripped directly from Zathura, but they didn’t get the same actors like they should, that would have been an awesome movie connection. Finally, the token good Asian guy is Muay-Thai kickboxing Guy named Chen Leong (Terry Chen).

Flight instruction time, as we get some gags as they run through the safety training video, while in first class, Stewardess Tiffany is making eyes at Red Bull Boy. He’s probably wearing Axe Body Spray, the official body spray of RED BULL ENERGY DRINK! In the cargo area, the official snake timer is set to go. Don’t be fooled by it’s 2 hour time set, that’s so the plane is far into the air when they get released, preventing it from stopping down anywhere nearby. That’s why it’s not Snakes on a Landing Strip. Some character development happens with Sam Jackson talking about him and his partner, phoning his fellow agent in LA, Hank Harris, who has become an eBay freak, and meeting Flight Attendant Claire. Meanwhile, Stewardess Tiffany is chatting with Red Bull Boy, thinking he’s a Bad Boy, and then talks about how she saw a special on TV where Eddie Kim horrible mutilated someone who was going to testify against him, just before Red Bull Boy has to announce that’s what he’s doing. Sometimes old jokes are the best jokes, but this isn’t one of those times. Enough of that, because:

It’s time for the snakes to break out! Two hours passes pretty quickly, thanks to the magic of video editing! The timer hits zero, and the luggage rack smashes open, releases the dozens of poisonous snakes inside. The snakes slither all over the cargo area, and use their “snake vision” to zero in on a cat also stored in the cargo area. The poor kitty doesn’t make it out alive. Snake Vision shows us that snakes see primarily with the color green. As a biologist, I can tell you for a fact snakes do not see in only the color green, but instead see only in the color vermilion.

The snakes are creeping and crawling around the cargo area (well, not crawling, what with the no legs. Slinking. Glissading. Squirming. Whichever verb you want to use. You make the call!) This lack of snake knowledge is probably why an amorous couple decides to visit the restroom at the same time. Their wish to join the Mile High Club looks like it will go off without a hitch. They disable the smoke detector, which doesn’t give off the warning alarm all real airline smoke detectors do (again, alternate universe) so they are able to smoke pot as well as get to second base. Just to make sure we know it’s second base and the movie is R rated, they pan down for extended boobage. Sadly, the blonde (Samantha McLeod of Insecticidal fame) seems to be packing fake mammaries, which lessons the enjoyment for me. The hole in the ceiling where the smoke detector was (do smoke detectors get inserted into holes in the ceiling in airplanes?) is the perfect place for a snake to slink down. The snake takes a few seconds to gather in what he’s seeing with his snake vision. Sadly for the couple, the snake is an ultra-conservative who is deeply opposed to premarital sex, and quickly offers his summary judgment of death, and strikes. He hits them both, but the woman gets the worst, as the snake strikes directly on the woman’s nipple! We got Snakes on a Nipple! Snakes on a Boob! Two Flight Attendants listen outside to the sex, not knowing they are also hearing death by snakebite on the boob. To be fair, 9 times out of ten, I can barely tell the two apart myself!

Not to be outdone, the next snake decides he wants to kill someone in a more outlandish way! The other bathroom is unoccupied, so a normal-looking dude (well, normal for this movie) steps in and pulls out his “big snake” to take a pee. He’s not paying much attention where he’s aiming, because how else would you miss the huge freaking snake that pops it’s head out of the toilet! The snake tires of getting a golden shower (some pee even hits it on the mouth!) and strikes back at the Peeing Man’s trouser snake! Snakes on a Trouser Snake! Snakes on a Wang! The Peeing Man freaks out and manages to bust his head open on the mirror before getting venomed to death. No one hears anything unusual from the bathroom to check on him, including him yelling “Snake on my D**k!” and the sounds of a smashed mirror. The greatest menace on the flight might not be the snakes, but the idiot passengers!

Snakes are now sliming along on the floor of the plane, and there are a few near misses as they go to try to strike various exposed feet. One snake even crawls up the front dress of water buffalo in a dress…I mean a fat ugly woman. She’s asleep, but her dream seems to become a tad bit more pleasant. Snakes wandering around the fuse boxes set off a short that knocks out some of the plane’s instruments, and the captain has to step down into the cockpit pit to make repairs. He succeeds, but then gets bit right afterwards. He’s down for the count, and his copilot Horndog thinks he had a heart attack. This brief emergency is quietly hushed up, and Sam Jackson is notified.

Snakes keep causing problems, but now it’s money shot time! A snake emerges from the controls in the cockpit, and the copilot starts hitting wildly at it, knocking a switch on the control panel. This causes the oxygen masks to deploy, which normally would be of little problem, except the areas above the passengers are full of poisonous snakes! The oxygen masks bring death from above as dozens of snakes drop on the people below! It’s snake pandemonium, and we’ve now got our money’s worth! The snakes start biting like it’s going out of style, with extras getting chomped all over. Sam’s partner hears the screams and heads down, only to get bit himself. Sam gets up to help, and whips the snake against the stairs, killing it. The movie fails to capitalize by playing a sound bite of Devo “Crak that Whip!” for extra cheese bonus points. The whipping is too late, though, as Sam’s partner dies in a few seconds, his last words being “Good luck.” Downstairs, people get bit everywhere, one lady grabs a vomit bag to use and a snake inside bites her on the tongue. GGG and his two bodyguards get snakes all around them, and start beating them with tray tables from the seats. GGG’s non-Fat Albert bodyguard gets bit on the behind, by a non-instantly fatal snake. He is less than pleased, as you can imagine. The youngest of the two kids also gets bit on the arm, and the panicked mother with baby gets knocked unconscious and cannot escape. Because getting knocked unconscious is the cool thing to do, rich girl Mercedes also gets knocked out, her dog not getting knocked out but still yapping. The slimy snake wiggles out of the bosom of the hippopotamus…I mean the fat ugly woman, who it then bites in the face. You could say it’s an improvement.

Sam whips out a taser and starts tasering the snakes one by one. He climbs on top of the seats and directs everyone to move forward to the front cabin away from where all the snakes are. People are rushing forward, and one poor guy gets knocked down and trampled on. This would be bad enough, but he quickly gets a high heel lodged in his ear, which breaks off, causing his head to ooze blood and gives us the first of a few horrible non-snake related deaths. This extra gore is a nice bonus to the continual snake bites, which are happening still. A snake tries to chomp on the gay steward, but he grabs it (I will avoid making jobs about how he is an expert in grabbing snakes of the one-eyed variety) and tosses it in the microwave, turning it on. Soon we have Snakes In A Microwave which soon becomes Snakes In An Urban Legend as the snake explodes inside. So far: Snakes 50, Humans 3. Most of the surviving passengers make it to the forward section, where they build walls to protect themselves from the snakes with all the carry-on luggage. Finally, carry-on is good for something besides making me wait longer to get out of my seat on the plane. Mercedes comes to and realizes she’s trapped by the snakes on the plane and can’t get to the front area. Is this the end of Mercedes and Mary Kate? No! She’s saved by…Kickboxer Guy! Kickboxer Guy is a snake-fighting badass who can grab snakes in mid-strike. Don’t mess with Kickboxer Guy, who takes her to freedom.

The snakes aren’t as stupid as they look, and realize they can climb over the luggage. Sam Jackson grabs a fire extinguisher to start spraying them with, and also he and attendant Julianna Margulies try to look for more weapons. Finding only sporks (“Sporks?” is the quote) they resort to breaking beer bottles and taping the broken ends to sticks that luckily were just lying around waiting to become anit-snake weapons. These makeshift spears help keep the snakes at bay for a bit. But, in the danger area, older attendant Grace hears the baby cry whose mom was knocked out. She goes out to try to rescue the baby, and finds him loose playing with a rattle, as a large snake is creeping nearby. Grace manages to get the baby, but is bit on the back just as the mom wakes up. The mom helps Grace get back to the safe area, but the damage has already been done. Sam calls the LA office and tells Agent Hank Harris “You know all those security scenarios we ran? Well I’m smack in the middle of one we didn’t think of.” Agent Harris commands the team with him to find the biggest snake expert in the time zone and get him there in 20 minutes, and they set to work to try to ID the snakes and come up with a plan.

The only doctor on board is snake food, but the mother of the baby is from an area where snakes are found, and helps the bitten young boy take care of his wound, draining out some of the poison. The bodyguard of GGG had earlier refused some sucking treatment of the poison in his butt by the gay flight attendant, but is aroused (as is most of the male population of the plane) by the mother sucking out some of the poison. In real life, her mouth would be getting numb and she’d be in no condition to be doing anything horny with these gentlemen, nor would someone with snakebites on his butt be in condition to take advantage of the situation, his snake will be staying in the cockpit, if you catch my drift. The doctor who likes snakes is found, and he at first comes off as some sort of out of it intellectual, but once he realizes the situation he becomes a much better character. He is Dr. Sean Jones (Dr. Jones, huh?) and can help locate places where anti-venom is stored. He also talks on the phone with Sam Jackson, in an attempt to find out what snakes are on the plane. Sam asks why the snakes are going crazy, and some are very interested in the leis. Dr. Jones figures there must be pheromones on the plane, probably in the leis, that are making the snakes go nuts. Sam: “Great, Snakes on Crack!” Sam then tells Dr. Jones that there are several kinds, but they need to describe the dead snakes to him. Sam says he’ll get some, and the doctor tells him to hurry, because “Time is tissue” That is true, but it’s also weird, which Sam notes. Sam tells the passengers to try to grab some of the dead snakes. Sadly, older attendant Grace passes on in one of the few slower death sequences.

Sam is trying to describe a snake to Dr. Jones, but can’t get the shade of green correct. Mercedes offers to take pictures of the snakes, when Obnoxious British Guy starts his usual scoffing, asking her how she plans to send the pictures out. “Ever heard of email, dickwad?!” she tells him, thus giving her a good dig, the audience the satisfaction of seeing the British Guy getting one upped, and plundging the plane into the ocean due to signal interference by her Blackberry. Okay, maybe not the last one. Dr. Jones gets the photos, and realizes that there are snakes from all over the world, and only a few places in the world would have the proper anti-venom. He also realizes that only one person could have gotten all the snakes for an order for Eddie Kim and done it quietly, and he leads Agent Hank Harris to him.

Everything seems to be going along swimmingly, (well, as swimmingly as can be considering they’ve just been attacked by snakes on a plane) until the copilot gets bit! Unbeknownst to everyone else, as well. They realize the plane is beginning to slope downward and head into the ocean, so Sam Jackson and Julianna Margulies rush to the cockpit. The grab on to the controls and try to pull upward, but to no avail. They’re also constantly getting yelled at by the air traffic controller in LA who is watching the plane plummet. The plane’s rapid descent is doing wonders for allowing the tray tables to roll forward, causing them to smash through the luggage barriers and let the snakes in. The newlyweds get trapped behind a cart and soon get bitten by four or five snakes, thus beating the divorce odds and actually staying married until death did them part.

The people are panicking, and Red Bull Boy hops into action herding people upstairs to the first class section, just as a rather large anaconda makes it’s presence know by weighing more than the overhead lights can handle, thus breaking through to the ground. This Anaconda is not some oversized monstrosity from the land of bad snake horror films, but is still pretty large and 100% CGI. He also is packing many extra teeth that would be useless for anacondas since they don’t chew their food. It sure makes him look nastier, which is the impression, so we’ll just go with that he has some snake dentures he bought at the local Petco. His proximity to the Obnoxious British Guy makes Obnoxious British Guy upset (I think Obnoxious British Guy gets upset at blue skies, the letter E, oxygen, reruns of Small Wonder…) so he grabs dog Mary-Kate and whips her at the snake, which grabs it for a snack. This horrifies Mercedes and causes the British Guy to yell “You’d do the same thing!” Maybe, but I’d probably move afterwards instead of staying put justifying my animal homicide, because the anaconda didn’t want none because Mary-Kate had no buns, hon! British Guy’s got back, so he gets the wrap-around as the anaconda prepares to give him the old squeezeplay move. Some nice close-ups as British Guy gets his ribs cracked, then the gratuitously awesome shot of anaconda beginning swallowing motions! A fitting end for a character you can’t help but to cheer at his death. That snake should be careful, as he could burst if British Guy is too fat.

The remaining people are running up the stairs, but the railings break and people fall onto the floor below, one man is stabbed in the neck by a broken beer bottle, and blood begins to run everywhere as he dies in minutes, a second man dies even faster as he falls so he’s speared in the heart by something sharp. Everyone else gets upstairs, and they need a way to block off the entrance. All of this is going on while Sam and Julianna Margulies are still trying to pull the plane up. The passengers pull out the life raft and inflate it, the raft being just the right size to block the entranceway, and the preceding scenes showing us why there were stairs on the plane, we needed some falling deaths and raft-sized holes. I guess it’s easier to write around pre-conceived ideas than to problem solve as you write. These ideas probably existed for whatever generic “monster on a plane” movie the studio was going to go with, either snakes or scorpions or jackalopes, and were just carted out of the vault. Rest assured, if snakes ever invade a Greyhound Bus, it will be a double-decker Greyhound complete with a robot and cricket bats, for the scene where the robot uses the cricket bats to hit snakes and say some sort of terrible robot pun. At least some sort of breach was made in this script warehousing in that SOAP actually got farter along than a wild pitch.

Back to the actual movie, the plane is about to crash, but pulls up at the last second and they come out of the dive. Sam and Julianna Margulies are relieved, even more so when the co-pilot wakes up ready to take the controls again. He’s down one arm, as it’s too poison-infested to be useful, but is ready to fly. Julianna Margulies asks if he’s okay to fly using only one arm, so the Horndog Co-pilot can tell her “you’d be surprised what a man can do with just one arm!” thus giving us some great dirty lines to chew on for a bit. Sam and Julianna Margulies leave the cockpit, having no idea that there was another snake massacre while they were busy. But, it’s cool, and everything seems solved for the time being. Out in Arizona, Dr. Jones and Agent Hank Harris catch up with the snake handler, who answers their helicopter with shotgun blasts until being hit himself, and falling into some snake cages, one of which bites him. Before Dr. Jones gives him the anti-venom, Agent Hank gets all the information about how Eddie Kim hired him, and they will be able to use the anti-venom from the snake handler’s storage. This should solve all the problems, right?

We’ve always spoken too soon, as the air in the plane is getting stuffier and hotter. Sam Jackson: “I’m from Tennessee, I hadn’t noticed.” The snakes have knocked out the air recirculation circuits, and if it isn’t fixed, everyone suffocates. Guess who has to go fix it! Yep, Chewbacca, in a surprise cameo appearance! Just kidding, we sadly don’t get Snakes on a Wookiee and instead stick with Sam Jackson fixing every problem the Sam Jackson way: kicking ass. Julianna Margulies gives him a lighter and a spray can, so he can shoot flames at any encroaching snakes that get in his way. Fried Snakes on a Plane. Luckily for them and us, the airplane has a convenient door to get to the cargo area, which is above the coach section of the plane. Inside, the cargo area is mostly empty, with plenty of space that should be filled with things being shipped to lower transportation cost. Were that true, Sam Jackson wouldn’t be able to get anywhere, and everyone would die. Thank goodness for convenient plot development. Sam heads back, with only a few snakes in the way. He gets to the control panel, but the lever is stuck. Things look bad, when snakes try to attack from above. They’re soon turned into Kentucky Fried Snakes, and Sam forces the lever down, recirculation the air and saving the day. The snakes seem upset over that development, and begin to close in on him. He fights a few off, but they keep coming. Sam looks into the luggage in the area and finds a harpoon (was someone illegally poaching in Hawaii?) and loads it, then fires and impales a snake against a cargo box. Sam Jackson is +3 against snakes when equipped with range weapons. Sam makes it back to the main area, and everything is hunky dory, right?

HA! Passenger GGG begins to flip out, demanding answers as to why there are snakes on the plane. Sam tries to calm him down, and GGG grabs Sam’s gun, and begins waving it around while threatening everyone. Red Bull Boy explains that the snakes are there to kill him, and then GGG’s boy Fat Albert Kenan tells GGG that he’s not acting like himself. No wonder, he’s on a plane, full of snakes! It’s surprising no one freaked out earlier! GGG is distracted and Sam Jackson grabs the gun back mid-sentence, but no one notices and they continue having the tender moment where GGG realizes he isn’t keeping it real, and must correct his behavior. Well, now it’s time for the next problem to arise! Pilot Horndog isn’t answering from the cockpit, it seems he’s dead due to massive amounts of poisonous snakes have bitten him. How could that ever have happened? Well, now the passengers are screwed over. Sam Jackson gets to utter the now infamous line: “I’m tired of these motherf**king snakes on this motherf**king plane!” and everyone cheers! They are short a pilot, until we find out Kenan Thompson has logged 2000 hours of flight time, so he can take over. Now they can implement Operation Snakes Off A Plane, which consists of everyone strapping in, and Sam Jackson shooting a hole in the side of the plane, which will suck out all the snakes as the cabin pressure releases. Sam and Kenan will then land the plane, and everyone will be happy. After everyone is strapped in, and Kenan and Sam are attached to ropes leading to the cockpit, Sam shoots two holes in the windows. The air immediately begins to get sucked out, and the hole gets bigger as debris begins leaving for it’s eventual fate at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean. Soon, snakes start flying out the hole, though a few are particularly nasty and try to grab on to something, but get picked off by watchful passengers.

Kenan and Sam Jackson make it to the cockpit, and contact LAX as they are ready to land. The Air Traffic Controller questions Kenan’s experience and Kenan lets loose that he’s piloted F-15s, F-17s…all on the Playstation 2! The Air Traffic Controller balks, but Kenan’s the best they got for the landing, and Sam yells at him until he accepts it. The ATC gives the vectors (Victor), but it’s a Western direction landing and Kenan refuses to turn the plane around, as people are sick and need medical attention. For a few seconds, he sounds like he actually knows how to fly. They continue to head towards the closest landing strip. In the passenger section, snakes are still flying out the window, including a rather large snake with a Obnoxious British Guy-shaped bulge in it’s stomach. Flight Attendant Tiffany is almost sucked out as well, but Red Bull Boy grabs her. Why the Attendants aren’t tied down isn’t really explained, but we need drama about people almost getting sucked out. We could have used someone actually getting sucked out as well, but I guess Sunny Mabrey has a better agent than the director.

The air pressure begins to stabilize as the plane starts descending, so now all the drama takes place in the cockpit. The Air Traffic Controller is screaming directions at Kenan and Sam, and Sam is screaming them at Kenan, who is way over his head. The plane is hard to keep level, hard to get down quick enough, and hard to slow down for approach. All hopes of seeing Leslie Neilson pop in and tell them “I just want to tell you both good luck. We’re all counting on you” is a futile as Borg resistance. Kenan, by some miracle, lands the plane without tipping it over, but it’s going very fast and is soon running out of runway, and Kenan veers right, causing it to soon be assisted to it’s stop by a building. The plane manages to not explode and kill everyone, and Kenan celebrates because even though his brother has the high score, Kenan landed the real plane. “I know he’s my brother, but f**k him!” Sam Jackson: “All praises to the Playstation!”

The plane drops the inflatable exit slides, and the passengers disembark, where medical aid is waiting for them just below. Dr. Jones saves the bitten boy thanks to a picture of a cobra drawn by his brother. The rest are saved as well, and soon only Jackson and Red Bull Boy are left on the plane. Suddenly, SNAKE ATTACK! as the last remaining snake strikes from above biting Red Bull Boy in the chest. Sam pulls out his gun and SHOOTS THE SNAKE WHICH ALSO SHOOTS RED BULL BOY IN THE CHEST! Red Bull boy slides down the exit slide, not moving. But then he moves, thanks to the bullet-proof vest cliché that’s been in dozens of better movies, and dozens of worse. I think the film would have been much better if he had just killed him. The twist is Sam Jackson IS Eddie Kim, and a tale of The Usual Suspects proportions unfolds. The writers’ vision and mine do not meet, so we are stuck with the happy ending. Sam gets Julianna Margulies’s number. Red Bull Boy gets Flight Attendant Tiffany’s number. Heck, I think even the baby gets a phone number from one of the female passengers. Nothing turns on chicks more than surviving Snakes on a Plane! The gay flight attendant then meets his hot girlfriend, which surprises everyone except people who were expecting that joke from the second he was introduced. Thanks to the bullet proof vest, though, that’s not the most overused gag in the finale.

The bad writing is rank, but son it gets even ranker, and the ultimate “Huh?” ending happens next, with Red Bull Boy teaching Sam Jackson surfing. Yeah, it was from a brief conversation from early in the film, but “Huh?” These writers need to be shot, they cannot begin or end a film properly. If it wasn’t for the snakes on the plane, this would just be “Random kid who should have starred in SUPERCROSS: THE MOVIE witnesses murder, then surfs, it’s extreme, Red Bull and Mt. Dew.” How bad that sucks, and thank goodness the snakes were on the freaking plane.

So that’s the story of a bunch of legless varmits and their adventures in the air, and the one cop who takes them down. Does the film live up to the hype? The problem is there was waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too much hype, to the point of impossibility. Does the film deliver what it promises? Snakes are on a plane, Sam Jackson cusses, people are bit, gore humor is gored, and everything is saved by the end. So, yes, Snakes on a Plane is a success. It will be guaranteed a cult status position, even if it will never grow into a RHPS situation (and based on some of the terrible suggestions for audience participation, I hope it never does!) Still, I had a great time in the theater, and was thouroughly entertained, even if the film was a let-down at several points. The beginning and ending weak parts can easily be taken in stride, as the film is not called , but Snakes on a Plane. And that’s all we ever need.

Rated 8/10 (Sam, Sam, Sam, Sam, Sam, Sam, Sam, SAM!)


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Written by Tars Tarkas

Tars Tarkas

Runs this joint!