The title alone should be enough to tell anyone if they will love or hate this movie. It lives up to it’s explanatory title with no shame or half-measure and to it’s credit, delivers a lot on the promise of deadly creatures in a confined space. To many people this would be an absolute nightmare and the movie effectively conveys this, with a healthy dose of tongue stuck firmly in cheek.
That is the best aspect of the movie of course, the blockbuster budget (albeit a minor one) with a B-Movie premise. This feels like something you’d see on the Sci-Fi channel at 11 o clock (and many rip-offs have tried to emulate this movie’s simple but effective plot). Of course, it is much more than that and doesn’t suffer from the low budget effects that plague late night B-Movies. The snakes on the plane are well realised and come in many different shapes and sizes. Luckily, the film also uses some of the best aspects of the B-Movie and has gore a plenty and some fairly inventive ways, although quite disturbing to watch, for a snake to finish someone off.
Any good film needs a hero though and Snakes on a Plane is no different. Always up for a cheap, low-budget bargain bin film is Samuel L Jackson. Here he plays classic Jackson, very cool, action-focused and full of choice phrases all beginning with F. To his credit he throws in his all and does manage to elevate the film at points, although he isn’t required to do much in the way of heavy-lifting.
This is down to the rest of the classic B-Movie cast, which contains future stars, has-beens and nobodies. From The Good Wife star Julianna Margulies to Kenan Thompson of “and Kel” fame. This should be an issue but still manages to keep the B-Movie feel to the proceedings even if moments feel like they are reaching above their station.
The whole movie is one huge novelty. The idea is a clever one, the budget enough to make you take notice and that one star name enough to get you invested. Soon though, the snakes have attacked, the budget offers nothing new and Jackson is clearly cruising. The novelty wears off and it becomes a B-Movie like any other, just one that has a catchy title and a Jackon’s very famous line.
Overall, Snakes on a Plane can be applauded for trying but for little else. It is flashy enough, uses it’s unique pull to good effect and Samuel L Jackson does what is needed but scratch above a quite glossy surface and it is soon apparent that this is the same old, tired B-Movie like any other.
Rating – 3
(1 – Awful, 2 – Average, 3 – Good, 4 – Great, 5! – Must See)