Snakes on a Plane  

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Snakes on a Plane, 2006

You should know
When Dan first told me that the movie was being edited to conform to the internet hype, I jokingly referred to it as the “wikimovie.” I actually hadn’t wanted to see it opening weekend, but we were bored so… what the hey.

We saw it Friday; it seems most of the hard-core snakeheads (or whatever they’re calling themselves) saw it Thursday. There were no rubber snakes thrown around, no chanting along with “The Line” (note: not all of my links today are safe for work or young kids…), no condemnations of Kel Mitchell when Kenan Thompson’s character did something cool. Oh, there was plenty of inappropriate applause and laughter, and I have no idea what line came after “The Line” because everyone was applauding and cheering so loudly. It was a fun crowd. But I didn’t get the wild and crazy crowd many reviewers are reporting, and let’s face it: if you’re going based on my review, you probably won’t, either, this late in the game.

Now, normally I make sure to avoid or separate the spoilers in these reviews, but let me put it to you this way: Dan ran an online role-playing game based on the concept – not the movie, just the concept - months ago, and we predicted a good 80% of the movie. Everything we missed was filled in by the scene in which the cast is introduced. There are no spoilers, just predictable surprises. So I’ll be careful, but if I seem to give anything away, don’t worry – you would have figured it out during the first act anyway.

When a movie runs its opening credits, it lists the stars, then the title, then the co-stars, then the directors, producers, etc. This was done well: first title, “Samuel L. Jackson.” Applause. Second title, “Snakes.” Wild applause and cheers. Third title, “On a Plane.” The movie has begun, and the tone has been set.

It’s delightfully stupid. It’s mindless and exciting and fun and occasionally scary but more often funny when it’s supposed to be scary. A couple fools around in a snake infested restroom. A snake fools around with a lei. There’s a scene that made me wonder if snakes caused the plane on Lost go down. There was only one person who died that I wanted to live, and only one person who lived that I expected to die.

Oh, and Dan would be disappointed if I didn't quote him: "Two fangs up!"

Skip it.
No, I’m serious. It was a ton of fun, but the mob mentality has probably faded even more in the last few days. Also, if you haven’t seen it by now, you probably weren’t planning to, and if you weren’t planning to see it, it’s probably for the very reasons that it was enjoyable: it was dumb, mindless, and predictable, and totally catered to the public’s expectations. And if that turns you off, nothing I say will change your mind – nor should it. Now, if you haven’t seen it and want to, or are on the fence, I’ll definitely concede that it’s a good time. Just go with a bunch of friends and hope you can get away with yelling back at the screen.

Oh, and if you do see it? Stick around for the music video that plays during the end credits. I still have that song stuck in my head.

The rest of the Internet
The Blanks on a Blank contest.
The parody trailer that inspired "The Line."
The IMDb entry.
Mixed reviews over at Rotten Tomatoes.
Urban Dictionary defines "snakes on a plane."
Fan-designed t-shirts, modeled by Jackson himself.
It was a struggle to review this film without just echoing Jeff at Minutiae.
And Safety Rule 4001 reports on actual snakes released in a theater during the show. Yikes!

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