Snakes on a Plane

Bomb Rating: 

After a whopping 15-million-dollar opening weekend, we now know the main achievement of all the hype received by "Snakes on a Plane": the wide release. Had none of this pre-publicity happened, SoaP would have gone straight to video. It's a pathetic piece of shit.

It's worth pointing out that the central achievement of director David Ellis, prior to this was "Homeward Bound II: Lost in San Francisco," a talking animal film that made me want to take (euphemism warning!) my pet snake and slam its head under the toilet lid over and over again.

The filmmakers appear caught between making a horrible movie with true camp appeal and making an actual watchable action film. They do neither. I mean, how motherfuckin' hard is it to motherfuckin' pick one? Just pick. My assumption is that the filmmakers can't pick because they're simply too stupid to know the difference. In order for the film to be campy fun, there must be at least one battle between one of the characters and what is clearly a rubber snake. Instead, we get tons of special-effects shots with snakes biting people in all kinds of places, which amounts an honest if pathetic effort by the filmmakers to be genuinely scary.

Quite frankly, I would have played up the whole angle of the film being recut and inserted scenes that were obviously out of place. Instead, the line everybody knows is coming, Samuel L. Jackson's "motherfuckin' snake" line, looks like it was spliced in six months after principal shooting was over. Another thing a film like this needs to have is lots of unlikable characters that get killed. That's something you set up: Hey, here are ten people we don't like and we're going to have snakes kill them in fun and interesting ways. Basically, the film takes itself just seriously enough to be boring.

The advance hype has been far more entertaining than anything in the actual film. It's such a lost opportunity that it sickens me to think about what was missed. The only thing that seems likely is that there will be some kind of sequel. Let's hope it involves people with actual talent.

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