Reviewing the Reviews: 'Snakes on a Plane'

9539__snakes_l_6Y’all. Y’all! Our very own Owen Gleiberman has not only viewed the long-awaited Snakes on a Plane–he has reviewed it. I will reveal only two details:

1. It’s not a "B" movie.

2. Both Don Simpson and cocaine are referenced in the first sentence.

Doesn’t look good.

[UPDATE: More critics, most of whom saw the film with paying crowds Thursday night, have weighed in, and the consensus seems to be that the movie offers exactly the kind of dumb fun the title promises, nothing less and, alas, nothing more.]

Some ssssssample reviews:

Kalamazoo Gazette: ”’I’m gonna be disappointed if this is a good movie,’ growled one man as he headed into a theater to see Snakes on a Plane…. Everyone who’s heading to see it knows precisely what they’re getting, and that guy must have gone home satisfied: He definitely did not see a ‘good’ movie.”

Toronto Star: ”The venomous verdict — wait for it — is that Snakes really does suck. It also hisses, bites, chokes, terrifies and amuses far more than anyone had any reason to hope or even suspect.”

Salon: ”I’d urge anyone who’s even remotely interested in Snakes on a Plane to see it this weekend, when the curiosity level will be at its highest, and with the biggest, rowdiest audience you can find. Because while Snakes on a Plane barely stands up as a movie, it definitely qualifies as an event. A fellow critic present at the same showing said that afterward, he couldn’t quite tell if the crowd actually liked the picture. But everyone sure liked being there.”

New York Times: ”All anyone really needs to know about this amusingly crude, honestly satisfying artifact is snakes + plane + Samuel L. Jackson…. Naughty by nature or perhaps more by design, these snakes don’t just dart out of toilets; they also slide up bare legs and under dresses, moving in and out of more bodily orifices than the adult-film star Ron Jeremy did in his prime.”

Baltimore Sun: ”It would have been nice if [director David R.] Ellis had brought a little more visual style to the film, directed with more panache; there’s a workmanlike feel to the movie’s pacing that doesn’t always jibe with its over-the-top vibe. And a cast of bigger names would have enhanced the movie’s sense of outlandish fun. Watching the unseemly demise of a bunch of anonymous extras and below-the-title actors just can’t compare to watching Poseidon‘s roster of former Oscar winners fall one-by-one.”

New York Post: ”You’ll have to wait most of the movie before [Jackson] finally delivers the motherf—ing line of the summer, but when he does, you’ll be proud to be an American. The Japanese may make all the cars, the Chinese all the clothes and the French all the, um, Frenchmen. But damn if we don’t lead the world in catchphrases.”


Comments (11 total) Add your comment
  • Rebecca B.

    The scariest part of the film? That it’s actually going to make money this weekend.
    Why won’t it go awaaaay??? The fall Oscar season needs to hurry up and start already.

  • bootsycolumbia

    Hey, ep sato, where’s your review? I’m waiting for it!

  • Liza

    LOL bootsycolumbia, I thought I was the only one who looked forward to what ep sato had to say.

  • Butterknife

    This is the most awsome movie ever. yes, ever. GO SEE SOME MOTHERF***’N SNAKES ON A MOTHERFU***’N PLANE! Worth every penny and all the hype

  • Happy K

    I went to see it last night and I was actually surprised by how decent the movie was. Samuel L. was perfect, and when he finally gets to his line, we were cheering.
    The best part was the Tenacious D trailer!

  • sam

    Although it is a lot of fun to talk about this movie, I am glad that all of the hype apparently did not translate into dollars at the box office. The media should learn that publicity does not create talent (ie Paris Hilton, Britney’s husband). It is time to recognize talent and quality and not just hype–if this is a good movie, it will do business because people tell their friends to see it.

  • theBigE

    OK, I bought the hype and saw it this weekend. Took the wife. And you know what? It was actually pretty good! Not Oscar material, but I jumped, laughed, and winced at all the right times. My only regret was that the theater was so empty for a Friday night. I honestly haven’t seen much advertising for this film. I guess the internet doesn’t bring out people to films. However, two thumbs up from the Mrs. and me.

  • Tom

    I enjoyed the film for what it is:
    a B-movie with good special effects.
    Perhaps Hollywood should remake
    “Empire of the Ants” with better special effects?
    After this weekend…maybe not. “Snakes” didn’t bring in the big bucks because Hollywood didn’t take into account that just because people are buzzing about the film on the Net does not mean it will be a boffo box-office hit. The buzz on the Net simply demonstrated that the film was nothing more than a cult favorite. But unlike films such as “Napoleon Dynamite”, “Donnie Darko” and “Repo Man”, Snakes became a cult hit BEFORE it was released.
    Hollywood must realize cult films are not blockbusters. They’re cult films for the very nature that they are not blockbusters. Snakes may have come in #1 at the box office, but here was a cult film marketed as a blockbuster, when it should have been marketed for what it was.

  • Kazoo girl

    Definitely sounds like a cult classic to me.
    And, I love that the Kalamazoo Gazette is cited along with the big guys – James Sanford rules.

  • zblmw


  • linshining
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