Snakes On A Plane (2006. Film Review)

Every so often a film comes along that makes the audience question their own tastes. A film that makes movie-goers stop and analyse themselves. A film that makes cinema fans question their own mental health. Snakes On A Plane is one of those films.

An FBI agent takes on a plane full of deadly venomous snakes, deliberately released to kill a witness being flown from Honolulu to Los Angeles to testify against a mob boss.


On paper 2006’s Snakes On A Plane looks awful. But on screen it taps firmly into that vein of Con Air – It’s so bad that it’s great! The film nestles nicely into a purpose built category of action/horror/comedy. Somewhere between beautiful and brutal. Brutiful. Visceral terror and peril in cinematic glory, which would have been an absolute treat in big screen 3D format.

The cast is a strong ensemble which helps to support the absurdity. You’ve got Nurse Hathaway from ER (Julianna Margulies), Kenan from Kenan and Kel (Kenan Thompson) and Nancy from Peepshow (Rachel Blanchard). They’ve even got Champ Kind from Anchorman (David Koechner) flying the plane and Dick from High Fidelity (Todd Louiso) as a snake expert.

The weight of the film rests on the badass shoulders of Nick Fury himself (Samuel L Jackson) who looks like he was having an absolute ball during filming. His character Neville Flynn is cooler than a snowmans cold bits. The FBI agent barely loses his cool and when he does he gets the job done with sharp one-liners.

The characters are wonderfully two dimensional. You’ve got the horny young newlyweds couple, the rapper, the guy who’s scared to fly, the socialite, the camp flight attendant, the no-nonsence FBI agent, the kickboxer, the kids who are flying alone, the mother and baby, and that one guy who has been bit 67 times.

The RedBull product placement in this film stings my fragile eyes. It’s absolutely painful and on a level with Ryan Reynolds gin placements.

Watching this film i very quickly realised i would be of no help if i was on this flight:

“I’m sorry Mr Jackson, wooooooo. I am of no use.”

“Theres snakes on the plane!”

“Thats great fella, i’ve got this new album i want to listen to while i play plants vs zombies, so crack on with that. Let me know when its sorted.”

An impressive send up of the genre. Simply put, this film is camped up, stylistic, cheesy, action at its finest.

The story doing the rounds is that Sammy Jacko just heard the name of the film, didnt look at the pay, the proposal, anything and stated that he would only do it if he got to say the famous line “I’m sick of all these motherf***ing snakes, on this motherf***ing plane!”.

This spawned one of the greatest bits of dubbing-for-younger-audiences in history where the line was changed to :”I have had it with these monkey-fighting snakes on this Monday-to-Friday plane!”

Despite common perception, Samuel L. Jackson’s agent insisted on the title being altered because Jackson “couldn’t” work on a film with that kind of title title. When Jackson learned of all of this, he made what is now the well-documented remark, “We’re totally changing that back. That’s the only reason I took the job. I read the title.”

Either way, his famous line from the film was voted as #55 of “The 100 Greatest Movie Lines” by Premiere in 2007.

Drinks carts in airplane related films have caused more deaths than sharks in cinema, i’m sure of it.

I love that everything you need to know is in the title. Like with Sharknado or Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus.

Snakes On A Plane : Its a terrifying concept but it could always be worse. It could be spiders or flat-Earthers. Flat-Earthers on a plane sounds genuinely terrifying, to be fair.

The end credits even boasts this gem :

What i love about this film is that the snakes are everywhere. Everywhere. Especially where they wouldn’t logically and rationally be. Like the snake that bites a guy on the penis in the toilet. Or the snake that jumps out of a sick bag as soon as it’s opened. This film doesn’t stop for anyone and it’s completely self-serving.

This film is great and should be protected for future generations to enjoy. It’s truly a big budget homage to low budget horror and that in itself is a beautiful concept. 2006 the summer of snakes. As if flying wasn’t scary enough! Snakes though, seriously, what a pack of pricks.


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