2006 Certificate: 15

Synopsis

Samuel L Jackson plays the FBI agent facing a plane-load of poisonous snakes released as part of an elaborate assassination attempt on a key witness (Nathan Phillips) being flown from Hawaii to Los Angeles. Never was the subject of a movie so obvious - it does exactly what it says on the tin. Ophidiophobians (those with a fear of the slithering reptiles) may find themselves checking under their chairs... the rest will find this B-movie on steroids absolutely fangtastic.

Director

  • David R Ellis

Cast

  • Samuel L Jackson

  • Nathan Phillips

Review

It's often said that the simplest things are the best...and so this proves in grand B-movie style.

Snakes on a plane. There's not much room for confusion. This is a thriller about a crate-load of toothsome reptiles being released onto a 747.

Why, you ask? Well, on board the LA-bound plane is beach bum Sean Jones (Phillips), a key witness to a mob murder by a ruthless gang boss.

He's being escorted by veteran FBI agent Neville Flynn (Jackson), who rightly suspects that there's a few people who'd prefer it if Sean didn't make it to court.

Nev's convinced they've given the bad boys the swerve...but what he doesn't know is that hidden in the hold is a crate-load of vicious vipers primed to be set free by a timing mechanism.

And just to make things interesting, they've been sprayed with pheromone by the resourceful killers to make them extra aggressive.

As Nev comments when he learns about the menace he's facing: "That's great news - snakes on crack!".

At the allotted time, the scaly little (and big) fellahs slither out, wriggle along the fuselage and slide into the passenger cabin via the ventilation shaft.

One particularly resourceful reptile manages to drop down on a randy couple seeking membership of the Mile High Club, considerately managing to gouge the panting teen queen's breast in the process.

Pretty soon, all hell is let loose as the roll call of passengers find themselves bitten in the arm, the groin, the eye....and one poor chap eye-wateringly regrets his decision to take a leak.

Victims include a Jo Brand doppelganger, a pompous rapper and the pilot while Nev and a spiky trolley-dolly attempt to get the upper hand with their scaly nemeses.

This above-average thriller has been the big screen phenomenon of the year by virtue of its firestorm of internet buzz and its no press-screenings rule.

The truth is that it's a movie that is precisely pitched at a target audience it knows intimately and - for this reason - is set to wriggle its way to the top of the box office charts.

If you ignore plot holes a family of boa constrictors could wriggle through and a raft of gaping implausibilities, then this is poisonously addictive.

All bad movies should be this good.

Tim Evans