Rating: The very best kind of C.
Summary: Please refer back to title.
The first time I saw this was in theaters upon its release and it was one of the first collective audience experiences I had (not based on a franchise with dedicated fans) where people were hollering and laughing in unison- and those are always special. It wasn’t my plan to rewatch this movie until I stumbled across it on Hulu and found out my partner had never seen it before. I think Snakes is the perfect “watch once for amusement and forget it” kind of movie. It’s simple, straightforward, and extremely creative in it’s own way- and its execution is a lot of fun.
If you’ve read other things on here, you’ll know we’re big fans of movies that embrace or fulfill their absurd premise [re: the James Wan/Aquaman philosophy: “They talk underwater, don’t overthink it”]. I can’t think of another movie that achieves that objective as much as Snake on a Plane, from title to poster to trailer to finished product.
It’s amazing how much of this movie rides on the title alone. I imagine the pitch was met with raised eyebrows until the Internet reacted to it like this:
Then the studio HAD to commit to this 300%. “How the hell do we make this pitch ‘snakes on a plane’ into a good movie?” You literally can’t. And I’m glad they didn’t because summaries that make people react with a “What the actual hell?” should fulfill the expectations of absurdity. And this movie does so well going balls to the wall and staying committed to its premise. It’s similar to Keanu Reeves making a list of stunts he could do for John Wick, but just a list of ridiculous things that could happen if a snake got loose on a plane. Snakes falling from oxygen masks, creeping along in the cockpit, getting thrown into microwaves, being tased by Samuel L. Jackson saying Samuel L. Jackson kind of lines. There’s even SNAKE VISION. Also, surprisingly consistent characters, as underdeveloped as they are- and should be!
There are so many reshoots in this to make it even more wild and I appreciate the dedication. The only thing that would have really made this better is a Danny Trejo cameo as the snake wrangler, calling cobras His Preciousessssssssss and kissing them on the heads.
If you had a rough week like me, or elections got you down like me, or you think the world is off the rails like me, or you miss going to the movies like me, I recommend lining this up to forget all that for a few hours and refresh your energy. At the very least, it will make you feel better about not being stuck in a tube with a bunch of venomous snakes.