Suds

Film The problem with Snakes On A Plane is that its fundamentally audience sensitive. Its probably best seen at midnight with an irony savvy audience; there needs to be laughter during the unintentionally funny moments, laughter during the intentionally funny moments and cheering when Samuel L Jackson says the infamous line about not wanted to see any more cobras. If, as I did, you're watching it at the crappiest of multiplexes, with about ten teenagers who seem more interested in talking to their 'mates' on their 'mobys' than enjoying the filmic experience, what you're left with is quite an average action adventure film that can't decide whether it wants to be a creature feature, a disaster or blaxploitation film, that looks a bit cheap in places that wishes it was good enough to be a B picture. I can't imagine what it would be like watching it on dvd at home.

Actually I'm hoping that the dvd release features this cut and the version that was constructed before the internets began their work. I'd love to know exactly what has been added to the film and taken away - for example whether the actual snakes were set up in much greater detail in the version of the film where the actual threat wasn't so apparent in the title. One of the subplot I'm certain was jettisoned is the antagonistic status of air hostess Tiffany who seems to play most of her scenes in a fairly shifty way as though she's a plant for the bad guy - trying to entice the witness downstairs and 'accidentally' releasing the snakes into the compartment. In fact in places pre-publicity actually filled in plot details that weren?t apparent in the actual film.

The snakes are sporadically good, but the green POV shots are less thrilling than they should be. Samuel L Jackson is good value (as always) and Julianna Margulies gives a better performance than the film probably deserves. The rest of the cast is a who's who of almost familiar faces, particularly Rachel Blanchard who played Cher in the tv version of the film Clueless (and UK?s own Peep Show). But none of this can draw away from the fact that it's a Frankstein's monster of a picture constructed from the corpse of a different film. Watch as characters appear from nowhere just to get killed! Be thrilled as characters change their personality from shot to shot! Guffaw at the wild changes in tone! Glare as you realise which bits of footage came from the most publicized week of reshoots in film history!

What a disappointment.

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