I don’t know about you, but personally I didn’t get all the hype surrounding Samuel L. Jackson’s latest flick “Snakes on A Plane.” Sure the title is probably one of the goofiest, over the top, and most straightforward film titles in years. But did the movie deserve this much hype?
New Line Cinema has done a brilliant job of marketing this flick, to the point where it became over saturated, I was sick of this movie before I even stepped into the theater.
S.O.A.P. feels like you are watching two different films. It starts off being a “serious” well filmed, but ultimately boring action film. At the beginning of the film we get an over long opening credit sequence featuring gorgeous, sweeping vistas of Hawaii and a guy on a motorcycle who is riding a great day riding his bike on Hawaii’s dirt roads. When he stops for a drink, Sean Jones (Nathan Phillips) witnesses the brutal murder of a government prosecutor by notorious mob boss, Eddie Kim (Byron Lawson).
FBI agent Nelville Flynn, (Samuel L. Jackson) convinces Sean that the only way to save himself is to testify against Eddie, who put a contract out on Sean’s life. They have to fly from Hawaii to LA to testify. Eddie has a scheme to release hundreds of deadly snakes on the plane to bring it down.
That’s the plot in a nutshell, the film it’s part generic action picture, part disaster picture, and part disaster satire – similar in tone to the Airplane pictures with Leslie Nielsen. The generic action picture doesn’t work much at all, the plot is boring and it takes a long time to set up, with no real pay off regarding a resolution or confrontation between Flynn and Kim. But the disaster movie was fantastically over the top, containing numerous jump out of your seat moments. And moments when you scream, “No, no they didn’t!”
The issue with the movie is, it doesn’t know what it wants to be, until midway through, when it finally decides, “to hell with it,” we’re going to go for camp, gross, and fun. And that’s when the film finally kicks into gear and makes sitting through the long tedious set up worth while. We don’t care about Eddie Kim, we don’t care about Sean Jones, all we want to see is Snakes set lose on a plane load of passengers.
When the snakes are released S.O.A.P. kicks into a whole new gear and becomes a totally different movie, apparently with good reason. Responding to the huge buzz generated by the internet, New Line went back and re-shot a lot of the scenes with the snakes to make them deadlier, the deaths bloodier, and a little campier. This was ultimately a great decision.
All the scenes you would expect to see in a film called “Snakes on A Plane,” are here. There’s a moment where a guy is in the bathroom and a snake….Well you have to see it. Then there’s a truly gross moment where a giant python opens his jaws and swallows a guy’s head, again, you have to see it to believe it, there’s a great, cruel moment with a dog, and so many other memorable moments.
The film’s over-hype and trailer pretty much mutes one of the best moments in the film. You all know it, when Flynn gets fed up and yells the class m’fer snakes on this plane line. It pains me to say this, but, believe the hype. Once it gets going, “Snakes on A Plane,” is a pure rush of fun and “oh my god, I can’t believe they did that,” moments.
Final Grade B
by Michelle Alexandria
Originally posted 8/19/06