Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Snakes on a Plane - The Review

CAUTION: POTENTIAL SPOILERS!

I went with a mate to see Snakes on a Plane (official site or IMDB) over the weekend. Well, what can I say?

I'd previously heard mixed reviews about this movie, some saying it was as cheap as the title made it out be, while others saying that it was actually a jolly good flick. This movie had the ability to be a well produced, well acted, suspenseful work of art. Unfortunately, it failed on almost all counts.

Samuel L. Jackson's character is made out to be the hero of the story, when in reality Nathan Phillips ("Sean Jones"), Kenan Thompson ("Troy McDaniel"), Julianna Margulies ("Claire Miller") could each have been the hero, as they all play a more valuable role in the movie than Jackson. (According to my mate, the original scripts were titled "Snakes on a Plane" and when the producers went to rename it, Jackson refused and asked it to be left with the crummy title.)

As usual, Rachel Blanchard plays a dizzy blonde ("Mercedes Harbont", another Paris Hilton), while Flex Alexander plays a professional musician ("Three G's"). Neither of these characters have any depth, nor do they perform any useful role in the story line, apart from perhaps Mercedes' dog.

The computer graphics were obvious (the boa constrictor scene is a perfect example) and the plot lines were flawed:
- How did snakes manage to get into the cockpit at the same time that they entered the rear cabin, without any appearing in the forward cabin or first class?
- How did the boa constrictor start off in the light fitting? After the boa gets out, there is a scene that shows quite clearly that the light fitting is a sealed unit.
- Surely pheromones would just make the snakes amorous, not angry?
- Isn't it a coincidence that the lifeboat is EXACTLY the same shape as the stairwell?
- Blowing a whole in the side of the plane would not be high on my list of suggestions as a possible way to resolve the snake situation. Not only would it reck the structural integrity of the plane, but the passengers would be unable to hold themselves in, and there would be no air to breath!

Nathan Phillips ("Sean Jones"), Kenan Thompson ("Troy McDaniel"), Julianna Margulies ("Claire Miller") clearly produced the most polished performances in the whole movie and they deserve congratulations for bring some real believability to the whole thing.

While the movie has some unexpected surprises (ie: snakes jumping out from seemingly innocuous places), it is very predictable and amateurish. I don't know what the budget was, but I'd hazard a guess at $1.95 (ooo, enough for a Big Mac!). With movies costing $14 to view these days, I came out feeling very short changed...