Saturday, June 18, 2016

Snakes On A Plane

I'm thrilled to be invited to join Barry Cinematic's Nature's Fury blogathon. If you get a chance, stop by Barry's entertaining and exceedingly well-written blog Cinematic Catharsis. It's an honor to be asked to contribute. I find it fitting to contribute to this particular blogathon because I'm often furious about nature.

Well, I'm often furious about nearly everything, but I really hate nature.

Nature is that annoying, bothersome stuff one speeds past on the way to the nearest coffeeshop. It's boring and bug-filled, and it often results in excessive sweating and sunburn. I avoid it at all cost. Forests and meadows, while picturesque in film, are often sorely lacking in boxes of snack cakes or fried vegetable dumplings when you're actually out in the tedious midst of it, so I really can't be bothered. Exactly how does one get an order of red curry with tofu delivered to the wilderness? I don't know, and I never want to find out. Against their better judgement, nature enthusiasts often try to convert me to their ways, explaining that there's fun and exertion to be had out in nature, but I'm unconvinced. I had fun once, and I can almost guarantee it was indoors, although I can't remember what it was. Anyway, deep sea fishing, rock climbing, jet-skiing, or any other noxious outdoor activity usually involves dangerous tools and machinery far from the nearest hospital, and nature has it out for you anyway. The Earth will eventually see you dead, buried six feet underneath it for all eternity. No need to provoke it.

Speaking of provoking, maybe I should review the film. I should admit that I've seen Snakes On A Plane before. That didn't make it any easier to sit through. I should also admit that I attempted try to review Snakes On A Plane as though it was a romantic comedy, focusing on the relationships between the characters and refusing to mention the word 'snake'. Unfortunately, Snakes On A Plane thwarted that attempt, since there are few memorable characters and almost no relationships of any kind.

Here it is:

Samuel L. Jackson and two dozen or so disposable minor characters attempt to jettison unconvincing snakes from an unconvincing plane in this dreary action/adventure film.

A man witnesses a mob hit on a prosecutor. After the mobsters come for him, an FBI agent saves the day. They escape the gunmen, and the FBI agent convinces the witness to fly to LA to testify and to endanger his life, which of course he does, otherwise the film would end seconds after the opening sequence because there's very little else going on in Snakes On A Plane other than snakes on a plane.

Aboard the flight are the usual disaster film characters, all of whom are written solely to provide conflict; a germaphobe rapper and entourage, a spoiled, pampered woman and her miniature dog, several flight attendants, one of whom is soon becoming a lawyer and another mere moments from retirement, a mean British businessman, two young boys flying sans parents, and a young newlywed couple, one of whom is anxious and uses a lot of decongestant. None of them are particularly compelling.

Providing the plot device that powers the entire film, the mobster fills the plane with deadly snakes that have been jacked up on snake pheromones. Meanwhile, everyone watches that flight safety routine that starts every flight. Since no one pays attention to those while on an actual flight, I'm uncertain why the film makers devoted so much time to it since the film is an already mind-numbingly long 1 hour and 45 minutes. Some time later, boxes of floral arrangements explode below deck, releasing seemingly thousands of computer-generated snakes because of course they do.

After about 30 seconds of character background and development, the bathrooms are all suddenly occupied by corpses. Amidst jump scares, POV snake-vision, and an allergy to leis, snakes with the ability to plot out their human victims' deaths and somehow kill nearly instantly drop from every luggage compartment, which seems unlikely. 90% of the plane's occupants are either bitten, unconscious, uninteresting, or killed, and there's still an hour to go in this film.

After periods of running, screaming, and convenient turbulence, one of the flight attendants kills a snake in an unlikely airplane microwave with a pre-programmed setting for 'snake'. In an effort to contain the snakes, the remaining passengers build an unlikely luggage wall to keep the snakes out, although the creatures had just minutes before somehow maneuvered their way from the cargo hold to the overhead luggage compartments. I'm not certain how Samsonite deters serpents while metallic plane fuselage, ductwork, avionics, or whatever material separates three unlikely floors of airplane doesn't, but I'm not an expert in luggage or aircraft. Everyone argues, and the aircraft plummets a few times. Things collapse, crash, or break. Snakes climb stairs and swallow grown men. Someone uses a hairspray called 'Spray N Run' as a torch. Samuel L. Jackson comes up with an unlikely way to rid the plane of snakes that also conveniently endangers everyone on board, and the film comes to an abrupt halt on the runway. The remaining passengers decide to keep in contact with one another, and I'm uncertain why. Maybe it's because of snake-induced trauma-bonded co-dependency, but I'm not an expert in snake-related plane mishaps or interpersonal relationships.

While not as awful as a majority of the likeminded films churned out by The Asylum since its release, Snakes On A Plane is overlong and ridiculous, but watching and reviewing it kept me indoors and away from nature, so it has that going for it. Snakes On A Plane bores between scenes of snake attacks. However, it's mildly recommended if you like stuff that sucks.


  1. Thanks so much for participating in the Nature's Fury Blogathon, and for the kind words (and yes, the check is in mail). Somehow, I've managed to avoid Snakes on a Plane up until now, and based on your review, that's a good thing.

    I agree with your comments about nature. I like the concept of being one with nature, rather than the actual practice. Several failed camping trips can attest to that.


  2. Snakes on a Plane is a movie I thought about watching, but never could convince myself to partake. Maybe if it was 90 minutes long...maybe.

    Entertaining review that makes me believe I chose wisely.

  3. This I love: "...but watching and reviewing it kept me indoors and away from nature". Brilliant! I am a nature lover, but nearly spewed my tea on my keyboard when you talked about the lack of snack cakes in a meadow. Great stuff!

    As for this film, I haven't seen it and I'm in no rush to see it, but I enjoyed your review very much.