Saturday, August 19, 2006

Reptiles on a runway - A review

Overheard from my friends yesterday as we exited a (mostly empty) theater Friday night showing "Snakes on a Plane."

"So, did you like it?"
"I don't know. It should have been more over the top."



In the first half hour, we got to see:
• An angry Korean/Chinese/Japanese "mobster," not to be stereotypical or anything, beat a guy to death with a baseball bat, a la Al Capone.
• A snake bite a woman's eye.
• A snake bite a nipple.
• A snake bite a guy's joint while he was taking a pee pee.
• A snake bit a guy's throat.
• A snake come out of barf bag.
• A snake go up a fat, ugly woman's skirt (of course she was fat and angry, the implication being that this was the first action she'd felt in years).
• A "hip-hop" artist who looked like Kayne West and Puff Daddy's offspring. He would later grab a gun and wave it around because that's the solution to all black people's problems.
• My favorite plot point, though, is the fact that simply by dressing up as a baggage handler, a dude is able to sneak aboard dozens of deadly snakes with a timed release that resembles a bomb attached to a cage aboard a high-security airplane. This, of course, means that all those security measures at the airport? The ones that include, but aren't limited to, taking off your shoes, anal cavity searches, making you take off your pants so you don't get beeped, forcing you to dump your shampoo, your water and your baby's juice, answering questions about whether you've seen your baggage the whole time (and God help you if you answer no) and presenting three forms of ID? Those will all be for naught because of a clever terrorist with a baggage uniform.

Later, we saw:
• A monster snake squeeze a guy to death after crashing through some window in the plane (what the hell it was, I couldn't tell you) and start eating him.
• A little kid somehow survive a cobra bite after a woman puts olive oil on it and suck the poison out (which, by the way, doesn't work).
• Samuel Jackson shoot a snake with a spear gun that just happened to be in a person's suitcase.
• The "snake expert" who looks and acts sort of like the guy who says he killed the little Ramsey.

And at the end:
• One of the rapper's thugs (friendly and fat, of course, because all rappers' homies roll that way) land the plane because he played a plane simulator on his Playstation.
• Samuel Jackson and the other star (sorry, I don't know his name, and I don't care) both hook up with the stewardesses.
• We find out that the snakes came from some redneck guy "who lives in the desert."
• The video to the awesome (I'm serious, I love it) "Snakes on a Plane (Bring It) by, get this, Cobra Starship.

Now, I'm not saying the movie was bad. Quite the opposite. It was what I expected, a cheesy, fun summer movie that featured lots of snakes, my favorite animal.

But it was PLENTY over the top.

I think what happens is when you hear so much about a movie - and lots has been said about this one - you go into it with too many expectations. I'm afraid the new "Star Wars" movies, save for the third one, were victims of this, as my expectations were far too high for what turned out to be fairly decent but not great or even that good pictures.
We all expected this one to be so crazy, so wild, so, well, over the top, that NOTHING probably could have lived up to it without it turning into a parody. And clearly the director, screenwriters, producers and star weren't shooting for a parody. They were shooting for a wild horror flick.

As a rolled out, one of my friends pulled up beside me.
"You remember Tremors?" he said.
Yes, I said.
"THAT'S what the movie should have been. Tremors on a plane!"

He was sort of kidding, but I think I knew what he meant. Tremors was over the top, fun and, as a result, a cult classic with some humor and some thrills. It was, in fact, what "Snakes on a Plane" wanted to be and very well could have been.
Imagine if "Tremors" faced that kind of pressure.
"Snakes," I'm afraid, will be strangled by all the blogs, all the press and the Internet chat groups. Do yourself a favor and wait three years, until it comes on late one night, on the USA Network, when you've got a bowl of popcorn and the kids are in bed, and you've forgotten about all the chat groups.
I promise you'll laugh, you'll jump and you'll think, wow, now THAT movie was over the top!


Reel Fanatic said...

It was indeed over the top enough for me, and easily the most fun I've had at the movies in a long, long time!

Jared Fiel said...

Needed zombies!

CarmenSinCity said...

I cannot believe how many people are seeing this movie. hehehehe I'm cracking up over here.

tiltpirate said...

Tremors r000000000lz

HighOnPoker said...

The problem was that you were in a mostly empty theatre. The fun is OOhing and Ahing with the audience.