It all started out as a joke on the Internet. Someone dubbed over actor Samuel L. Jackson in his upcoming movie by making him say a dirty word in a scene that didn’t need it. The joke then spread across the Internet gaining a lot of popularity. Everyone laughed at this short scene and upon hearing the premise of the film, they laughed at that as well. The movie was finally released in the late summer of 2006 with the title of “Snakes on a Plane”; you know you want to laugh. But surprisingly, a lot of people, despite the movie being a flop amongst all of the hype, has gained a somewhat cult following. Is this just a movie that deserved its 15 minutes of fame, or is it something else? The answer is that it deserved the 15 minutes of fame and the film needs a more critical overview. “Snakes on a Plane” is just your average modern B-movie that the Internet hyped way too much over.
The plot has a vacationer named Sean Jones (Nathan Phillips) who unexpectedly stumbles upon the murder of a local politician by gangster Eddie Kim. After that unfortunate mishap, Sean is then interrogated by a federal agent (Jackson) who says that he will testify in court against Kim. Eddie Kim, on the other hand, realizes the danger that he is in, seeks compensation for there being a witness to his horrible crime. So, Eddie decides to put a bunch of crates filled with snakes on Sean’s next flight to Los Angeles; once released the snakes cause chaos and havoc on the plane. And that’s pretty much it.
There’s a reason why “Snakes on a Plane” lasted for a short period of time at the box office: it is a prime example of a low-budget B-movie. But then again, maybe that was the intention of the filmmakers; perhaps they wanted to make it like that. Yet the film still has flaws, big ones. The story is stupid, laughable, and moronic, and considering that this was released just a few years ago, the plot feels like a Roger Corman picture done in the 1950s or 1960s. The acting is bad and over-the-top, save for Jackson’s performance, and the characters are unlikeable. Going back to the story, the premise is just silly. Everything about this movie doesn’t work: the direction is dumb, the pacing can get real slow at times, and it overall feels boring.
Finally, the special effects are lackluster to say the least. While the film reportedly used real snakes on the set to stimulate fear amongst the actors, most of the time, everything is computer generated. Because of this, it makes it to see which snakes are real and which are fake. In fact, that’s the perfect word to describe the whole movie: fake. Nothing’s real, and nothing feels accomplished at the end. And yes, this is supposed to be a work of fiction, but there is no real danger on the screen and what is being shown. While the acting is intense, the special effects are particularly boring and, for lack of a better word, lame.
In conclusion, what started out a little joke on the Internet, quickly became an over-hyped movie that in reality is just a stupid movie, that while some people might like it, others will not because of how dumb it is.