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Snakes On A Plane   rating

Review: written 2007

Over the top 60's spy movie

Samuel Jackson's worst movie..?

I truly hoped that as some had indicated, this would have some broad pulp "popcorn-movie" appeal. Alas, this turns out to be the most exploitive and gratuitous mainstream movie I can remember seeing in some time.

The plot is simple and amply suggested by the title. An everyday guy becomes a witness to a mob killing and must fly from Hawaii to LA without the mob getting to him.. so the mob try an assassination by err... yes, putting lots and lots of poisonous snakes on a plane, and spraying liberally with pheromones to get round the plot hole that snakes are not normally inherently aggressive. So far, so B-movie popcorn-fun.

Alas, the execution is everything you might hope it would not be. Let's take the first victims as an example (apologies for the mild spoiler, but frankly so many people are bitten that it does not reveal much..). A couple go to the lavatory to become members of the mile-high club. Cue one gratuitous flash of breasts for the teenagers in the audience, and the snakes strike - one bites her on one nipple, the other on his penis. He thrashes away with his.... long snake...yelling, while the lady bounces her ample breasts to release the snake. This sets the scene for all the gratuity and non-stop activity to come.

Despite a build-up which suggests some thrills like we had in the altogether superior Arachnaphobia, the director goes for ALL-OUT-ACTION. Cue unlikely scenes of snakes biting everywhere in sight, the plane being saved by a guy who learned how to fly on a Playstation, snakes somehow managing to destroy all the avionics just by sliding past the wiring, and Ms Margulies’ acting career credibility going down the pan.

Now I know it is all supposed to be somewhat tongue in cheek.. but the gratuity and nonsensical nature of the direction just fail to captivate or even give the occasional guilty thrill.. it just made me cringe for the most part. Every time you want to see one thing (oooh! The plane is diving towards the ground! Wonder what is happening in the cockpit!), the director takes you somewhere infinitely less interesting (oooh! The fat guy got bit on his ass!).

My guests were staggered that I paid for this DVD.. I urge you not to make the same mistake, and curb your curiosity.

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