Every so often a movie is made that shatters Hollywood pretenses and leaves audience members with a feeling of awe and inspiration. “Snakes on a Plane” is not one of those movies. What “Snakes” does do, however, is combine an over-the-top plotline with fantastically terrible dialogue to create one of the most ridiculously amusing movies of the summer. ?The absurdity begins when a laid-back surfer Sean Jones (Nathan Phillips) witnesses the bloody assassination of a Los Angeles district attorney by mob boss (and martial arts expert) Eddie Kim (played by Byron Lawson). Queue Nelville Flynn (Samuel L. Jackson) who must take the reluctant Sean to Los Angeles so that he can testify against Eddie Kim and bring down his criminal enterprise.
Everyone knows that mob bosses have a flair for dramatic, nefarious plots, but Eddie Kim gets the lifetime achievement award for the most creative (and least efficient) assassination attempt in history.
And that is really all there is to it.
It’s best not to look into the plot any further than that, but if you are still wondering “Snakes? On a Plane?” Kim explains it all before the snakes and the movie bust out: “Accidents happen. You don’t think I didn’t exhaust every other option?”
This absolutely ridiculous line sums up the entire illogical plot. But an in-depth story line is not what “S.O.A.P” is all about.
The idea of the film is simple: Everyone is afraid to fly, so what can be done to make it even more terrifying? Snakes. Duh. From there the movie probably just wrote itself. The characters are almost perfectly killable.
From the pot-smoking, horny couple that decides to join the mile-high club seconds after takeoff, to the obnoxious Brit who hates Americans almost as much as he hates flying coach, each gruesome death -is meant to be cheered on by the audience.
There is some one-line, sum-it-all-up character development that slithers in perfectly between each gruesome death and gigantic plot hole adding to the cheesy factor. For instance, when flight attendant Clair Miller (Julianna Margulies) mentions that she is on her last flight before going to law school, the audience automatically knows that the flight is doomed, but there may be one flight attendant savvy enough to outsmart the serpents.
Samuel L. Jackson’s performance is perfect. He is able to subtly subdue his signature, aggressive acting style until the movie climaxes with what will undoubtedly be marked as one of the most classic lines in the history of cinema. (“I have had it with these mutha-f****** snakes on this mutha-f****** plane!”)
What is pleasing about “S.O.A.P.” is that the sick people who made the movie had enough respect for the story not to make it tongue-in-cheek.
Each overused clich‚ (“I need you to be strong right now”) and laughable line (“Time is tissue”) is acted out with complete seriousness, delivering exactly what the audience wants when they go see a movie called “Snakes on a Plane.”
So, if you are still asking yourself “Why snakes? On a plane?” you should be asking yourself “Why not snakes on a plane?” God Bless America.