My father-in-law took me to an early showing of Snakes on a Plane today. I had no intention of seeing it in the theater, but my father-in-law has never met a B movie he didn’t like and no one else in the family was willing to go and he hates going to movies alone so I valiantly decided to let him pay my way. I don’t get to see many movies in the theater as it is so I figured I shouldn’t look a gift horse in the mouth, because there might be a snake in there.
Which is pretty much the lesson this movie imparts upon you is that you should never take anything for granted such as the airplane bathroom being free of venomous snakes or even the barf bag they give you. If you’ve seen the trailer—hell if you’ve read the title—then you know everything you need to know about this movie even if you managed to avoid the ridiculous amount of hype it generated on the internet when people who hadn’t even seen it yet still managed to actually influence how the movie was developed. For those of you who need it spelled out the plot is basically thus: Samuel L Jackson plays an FBI agent escorting a witness from Hawaii to L.A. on a passenger flight that the bad guy has managed to arrange a shit load of highly dangerous snakes to be smuggled on board that will be released when the plane hits a certain altitude. To make sure all hell breaks loose appropriately the bad guy has also had souvenirs given to the passengers treated with snake pheromones that’ll make them “hyper-aggressive.” Snakes get out. Lots of people die from being bit in places you really, really would rather not be bitten if you had a choice in the matter. A few people die from non-snake related injuries brought about by people being stupid the way they are often wont to be in an emergency, just to keep things interesting, and Sam goes into Bad Ass Mode and starts kicking snake booty all over the plane.
Shakespeare it’s not. It’s pretty much exactly what you might expect it to be. The plot devices are ludicrous and as long as you can accept that going in you’ll probably have a good time. Unless you’re like my wife and have a snake phobia, then you should stay home just like she did. There’s even a couple of pretty good “gotcha” moments in the film that even made me jump and I’m pretty jaded. If it sounds like the sort of stupid B movie you’d enjoy then you probably will and if it doesn’t then there’s not much about the film that’s likely to change your mind. Your decision on whether to spend a few bucks should be made accordingly. It was actually better than I expected it to be, but then I didn’t have to spend any of my own money to see it so that may have raised my enjoyment factor just a bit.