Snakes on a Plane

By  · Published on August 19th, 2006

Release Date: August 19, 2006

Are you frickin’ kidding me?

Those were the first thoughts that popped into my head once the credits were rolling on the long awaited and highly over-hyped Snakes on a Plane. But it wasn’t an “Are you kidding me? This movie was terrible” as much as it was an “Are you kidding me? I can’t believe they actually made this movie. And to make it worse, I can’t believe I enjoyed it this much!”

In reality I didn’t pay my money to see a film about a South Pacific gangster who tries to off a potential witness by putting deadly snakes from all over the world on the plane upon which said witness is traveling to Los Angeles to put the afore mentioned gangster in prison for murder. Nay, I paid my money to see one thing, Samuel L. Jackson fighting off poorly computer generated snakes and spouting off one (maybe two) memorable bits of bad ass dialogue. For my money though, we got at least three memorable quotes from Hollywood’s original BAMF, and that is worth it in and of itself! But Jackson isn’t the only notable character actor who shows up to add some value to this deviously enjoyable film. David Koechner, who is most recognizable from his performance as Champ Kind in Anchorman, plays the perverted and uninhibited co-pilot Rick. His addition to the movie proves to be one of the more memorable lines; as he nurses a traumatic snake bite wound, he very matter-of-factly explains to Sam Jackson that if the snakes it the wrong wire somewhere, the plane will be “going down faster than a Thai hooker.” Such dialogue can only be realized in a film that just doesn’t take itself that seriously, which is part what people will love about Snakes.

And speaking of the film not taking itself that seriously, that is probably a good thing, as there was a lot within the flick that just didn’t work. The violence, the gore and those slithery computer generated snakes would of course be the most off-putting aspect of this film. The frantic snake attack scenes were as gaudy as they were chaotic, with the filmmakers finding the most raunchy ways to kill off the majority of the plane’s passengers. For example, there were two particularly over-the-top killings that included some biting in more intimate body parts; think of the most painful area a woman could be bitten above her waist and the most feared place for any man to have malicious events occur on his body and you will get the idea. Now that you have those visuals, you can easily imagine how this film keeps the audience writhing in their seats for almost the entire flight.

Though as gratuitous as the “snake on man” action was, the snakes were incredibly hokey. I got the feeling that I could probably create more realistic looking snakes on my computer at home. Perhaps New Line should have dumped a little more money into special effects and less money into the wanton marketing campaign. I mean, did we really need customizable cell phone calls from Sam Jackson telling us to go see this mother*&king movie? On second thought, that was a stroke of genius in marketing so I can handle the dreadfully fake looking snakes. It all added to the effect that this movie has on its already tumultuous legions of cult crazy fanboys who miss the whole Evil Dead phenomenon.

On a par with movies made with serious intent, this film is absolutely terrible. There is no depth to the story, the CG is terribly hokey and the film’s buzz is predicated on the fact that people on the internet got the studio to go back and re-shoot parts of the film, adding their own special touch. Yet while I can think of about a million reasons why this movie should never have been made, I can still think of thousands of reasons why you should go see it. Snakes on a Plane is absolutely hilarious to behold and overwhelmingly uncomfortable to watch; it will hold your interest and keep you squirming in your seat. I recommend seeing it with a large group of friends so that you will have someone to laugh with. And in the end, you will also have someone to look at when the credits roll and say, “Are you frickin’ kidding me?”

Neil Miller is the persistently-bearded Publisher of Film School Rejects, Nonfics, and One Perfect Shot. He's also the Executive Producer of the One Perfect Shot TV show (currently streaming on HBO Max) and the co-host of Trial By Content on The Ringer Podcast Network. He can be found on Twitter here: @rejects (He/Him)