Synopsis
Sean Jones is enjoying a break in Hawaii before heading for Bali. That is until, while riding his trail bike through the countryside, he witnesses the brutal mob murder of a Public Prosecutor from Los Angeles who has been tracked down by crime boss Chen Leong. Sean keep quiet about what he has witnessed until Leong makes an attempt on his life. It falls to FBI agent Neville Flynn to escort his charge safely from Hawaii to Los Angeles to testify. But in an act of self-preservation, the ruthless crime boss smuggles hundreds of poisonous snakes onto the commercial aircraft in a crate timed to release its deadly cargo halfway over the Pacific. Flynn, along with a frightened flight crew and passengers, must then band together in a desperate attempt to survive the snakes.
What The Critics Say
"One important reason why "Snakes on a Plane" works is "supercool" Samuel L. Jackson. Quite honestly, I don't think the film would be as good if it were Josh Lucas, or Dennis Quaid, or Kurt Russell fighting the snakes."
Mike McGranaghan AISLE SEAT
"It's the funniest thriller of the year, although I'm not sure if everything we laugh at is supposed to be amusing."
Jeff Strickler MINNEAPOLIS STAR TRIBUNE
"Snakes on a Plane delivers exactly what it promises. Nothing more, nothing less."
Cindy White NOW PLAYING MAGAZINE
"It's a relief to discover that Snakes on a Plane actually is what we hoped it would be: a really, really enjoyable bad movie."
Eric D Snider ERICDSNIDER.COM
"There's a certain knee-jerk impulse to bash Snakes, just because of all the ridiculous buildup, but the film delivers on its promise of reptilian fun, with a camp mix of comedy, horror and suspense."
Lisa Rose NEWARK STAR-LEDGER
"Truly, this is the greatest movie about snakes on a plane ever made so far!"
Gregory Weinkauf ÜBERCINé
"I don't know if snakes have a booty, but I know Samuel L. Jackson kicks some in this campy classic! I even thought I saw some Homeland Security guys in the crowd taking notes, just in case."
Willie Waffle WAFFLEMOVIES.COM
"Rational people can agree on two things: Snakes are evil, and nobody swears more entertainingly than Samuel L. Jackson."
Mark Rahner SEATTLE TIMES
"Please ensure that your disbelief is safely stowed in the overhead compartment, as unsecured continuity problems may otherwise hinder your enjoyment of the ride."
Alex Markerson E! ONLINE
"This slitheringly good ode to '80s movie-style inconsequentiality is destined to satisfy anyone willing to leave their brains at the door and go along for the turbulent ride."
Dustin Putman THEMOVIEBOY.COM
On A Plane - Snakes Alive
Samuel L Jackson may be the star of "Snakes on a Plane", but there’s little doubt that the most important person on set was the man responsible for handling the hundreds of snakes used in the production, renowned snake wrangler Jules Sylvester. While his name and face may not be familiar to most cinemagoers he's worked on many popular films as an animal handler and trainer including: "Jurassic Park", "The Lost World: Jurassic Park", "Dr Dolittle 2", "Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events" and "Serenity". And "Snakes On A Plane" isn't his debut film involving snakes he'd already worked on "Committed", "The Education of Little Tree", "From Dusk Till Dawn" and "Auntie Lee's Meat Pies" as a snake handler. Along with his team, which included Canadian counterpart Brad McDonald who supplied many of the pythons and the film’s rarer species, Sylvester ensured that the actors, and the snakes, were safe throughout the production. "When I first met with Craig [Berenson] and Dave Ellis, the director, they wanted the taipans and vipers and some really lethal puff adders," says Sylvester. "Stuff that would knock you dead. But working with an airplane full of people and a camera crew right there might not be such a good idea. These are really hairy animals. They can be used for second unit but otherwise it’s just too dangerous. The safest way to shoot a movie like this is to use a bunch of look-a-likes," explains Sylvester. "For example, the milk snake is relatively harmless but unless you’re an expert herpetologist it looks like a very deadly Brazilian coral snake. The colors are identical, the size is identical, except the coral snake is absolutely lethal. A lot of times a snake’s only defense is that it has the color patterns or behavior patterns of something that could inflict a lot of damage. Another example is the tiger rat snake. It doesn’t have rattles on its tail but it’ll shake its tail in leaf litter. You hear a rattle and you think it’s a rattlesnake, so you stay away from it. That’s pretty much the illusion. The yellow rat snake is about six-feet, and it could easily pass as a coastal taipan. I’ve got some red-tailed green rat snakes — so there’s your green mamba. We’ve got a water snake that matches a cottonmouth. And we’ve got Russian rat snakes; they look very dangerous but they are actually a very gentle snake. We’ve got a bull snake from British Columbia — in California they’re called a gopher snake. They hiss tremendously. Their head flattens out and gives a tremendous strike, and of course they’ve got very sharp teeth. Then we have another 250 garter snakes for background bodies when we don’t have people running around. So no, there aren’t any snakes on set that are venomous except for the mangroves, and we won’t be using those around the actors. Even then, a mangrove won’t kill you. Just make you swell and give you a terrible headache." As for the giant mother of all snakes in the film well the star is Kitty, the Burmese python who featured in a key scene in the film. A snake handler for over thirty seven years, Jules Sylvester has over 300 film and television credits to his name.
On A Plane - The Star Factor
Having seen the film I have to agree with film critic Mike McGranaghan of Ailse Seat who made this telling assessment: "Quite honestly, I don't think the film would be as good if it were Josh Lucas, or Dennis Quaid, or Kurt Russell fighting the snakes." And he's right you know. This is Jackson territory. I mean who else could get away with such a classic line as, "Enough is enough! I’ve had it with these motherfuckin' snakes on this motherfuckin’ plane!" And don't be fooled into thinking that "Snakes on a Plane" is a serious film. This is a film that honours the genre of highly entertaining 'B' grade flicks. The style that never takes itself seriously but is never the less, seriously entertaining. And very funny too. Despite the mass of snakes biting humans in all manner of fearsome strikes there is a decided 'sick' humour here. For example, when it comes to survival, who wouldn't chuck a giant snake a fellow passenger's Chihuahua? But back to the human star of "Snakes On A planes", Samuel L Jackson. Here's what he had to say in a recent interview about his role in the film and on the subject of snakes.
We know you play an FBI agent, but what’s your real role in this film?
"I’m the hero, come on, you know that. I do what heroes do. I act brave, kill snakes, and save the day."
We hear this isn’t the first time you’ve battled snakes?

"You know, when I was a kid, snakes didn’t bother me that much because I just spent my summers in the country and if we saw a snake, the snake was in a lot more trouble than we were. Because we chased it and killed it."
Was it a different experience shooting this movie, or was it just another job?

"Coming to work was kind of like going to a big amusement part and getting on a thrill ride. I mean, we’re on this set and the hydraulics are working the plane and we’re kind of stumbling around. You’re doing stuff and then there’s a snake over here that pops out and you have to react to the snake in the midst of all this smoke and stuff."
What was it like the first time you saw the snakes on set?

"The first day I showed up I went to see the snakes and see how the crew was dealing with them. They were doing the test of when the oxygen masks falls down and they were dumping a big bucket of snakes on a guy’s head. It was fun to watch the snakes hit him and then go into his pockets and down his shirt."
What was your favorite scene to shoot?

"I guess the initial encounter when everything starts to go crazy and the snakes first show up because my partner goes crazy and runs downstairs. But I stay and hear all the screaming, then I go down there and there’s snakes everywhere."
Yes, there's snakes in all shapes and forms doing their best to despatch any poor human they come across. They slither and slide their way through the Boeing 747 and no-one, not even the pilots are safe. And if you think that having a snake on a plane sounds a little far-fetched then consider this real life experience. According to an Associated Press story, West Virginia pilot Monty Coles recently found himself face to face with a four and a half foot black snake that was peering out at him from his plane’s instrument panel as he prepared to land over southern Ohio. At 3,000 feet, Coles grabbed the snake in one hand and made an emergency landing with the other. As he told the control tower: "I have one hand full of snake and the other full of plane." And where did the brilliant idea come from for "Snakes On A Plane"? The real genesis of "Snakes on a Plane" began with a screenplay written nearly a decade ago by David Dallesandro called "Venom". That script, which told the story of one snake that gets loose on a plane, caught the attention of producer Craig Berenson who bought the underlying rights to the material with the idea of one day turning it into something bigger, better, and deadlier. Years later, Berenson’s assistant, John Heffernan, sparked to the idea and penned a new version of the story which would eventually be called "Pacific Air 121" for a brief period of time before settling on its ultimate title: "Snakes on a Plane".
Samuel L Jackson - At A Glance
He was born Samuel Leroy Jackson on the 21st of December 1948 in Washington DC. He was raised by his mother, Elizabeth, and his grandparents, in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Elizabeth had high hopes for her son, wanting him to be a doctor or a lawyer. He studied hard as a child and went on to attend Morehouse University in Atlanta. It was here he would lose the stutter that had plagued him throughout his growing years. A tutor suggested he attend public speaking classes to cure himself. Jackson lost the stutter and joined the universities theatre group. The rest is history. SAMUEL L JACKSON is respectfully labeled as one of the hardest working actors in Hollywood, is an undisputed star as demonstrated in the fact that his films have grossed the most money in box office sales than any other actor in the history of filmmaking. Jackson made an indelible mark on American cinema with his portrayal of ‘Jules’, the philosophizing hitman, in Quentin Tarantino’s "Pulp Fiction". In addition to unanimous critical acclaim for his performance, he received Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations as Best Supporting Actor as well as a Best Supporting Actor award from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts. Jackson most recently wrapped production on the film "Home of the Brave" for director Irwin Winkler. The film tells the story of three soldiers returning home after a lengthy tour of duty in Iraq and their struggles to cope with life after war. Jessica Biel and 50 Cent co-star. Jackson also completed filming on "Black Snake Moan", filmed entirely on location in Memphis, for director Craig Brewer ("Hustle and Flow"). Jackson portrays ‘Lazarus’ a bluesman who attempts to 'cure' a young female, white nymphomaniac played by Christina Ricci. Paramount Classics is distributing the film in February 2007. Jackson most recently starred opposite Julianne Moore in Revolution Studio’s "Freedomland" directed by Joe Roth and based on the best selling novel of the same name. Jackson recently starred as Agent Derrick Vann in New Line’s "The Man" opposite Eugene Levy. 2005 was another busy year for the prolofic actor. In early 2005, Jackson topped the opening weekend box office charts with the success of the Paramount Pictures film, "Coach Carter". Jackson portrayed real-life high school basketball coach, Ken Carter, a dedicated role model and advocate for students succeeding in the classroom as well as on the basketball court. “Coach Carter” was screened as the opening night film of the prestigious Palm Springs Film Festival. Jackson received the Career Achievement Award for Acting from the Festival. Jackson also starred in the independent film for Sony Classics, “In My Country,” based on the best-selling novel, "Country of My Skull", by South African writer, Antije Krog. Jackson portrayed an American reporter who must cope with the aftermath of apartheid as his newspaper assigns him to cover the Truth and Reconciliation Trials, established by Archbishop Desmond Tutu, that expose the worst cases of torture, abuse and violence. Directed by John Boorman, produced by Bob Chartoff and Mike Medavoy, the film co-stars Juliette Binoche Jackson reprised his role as Agent Augustus Gibbons in "XXX: State of the Union" and as Mace Windu in "Star Wars: Episode III – The Revenge of the Sith". To no one’s surprise, “Star Wars: Episode III – The Revenge of the Sith” made an incredible impact at the box office breaking numerous opening day records. In 2004, Jackson 'appeared' as the character Frozone in the Disney animated action-adventure film, “The Incredibles” which was released to record box office results. In 2003, Jackson starred in "S.W.A.T" for Columbia TriStar. Directed by Clark Johnson, it co-starred Colin Farrell and Michelle Rodriguez are also in the film. In 2002, Jackson starred with Ben Affleck and Toni Collette in the box office and critical success, Paramount’s "Changing Lanes". Jackson starred in "Formula 51"; co-starred in the action thriller, “XXX”, and reprised his role as Mace Windu in "Stars Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones". 2001 was a huge year for Jackson. He starred in "Caveman’s Valentine" (the most successful independent film of this year). In 2000 he co-starred opposite Bruce Willis in writer/director M. Night Shyamalan’s suspense drama, "Unbreakable"; starred in John Singleton’s "Shaft" and in Paramount’s courtroom drama "Rules of Engagement". In 1999 he starred in in Warner Bros "Deep Blue Sea" nd made a cameo appearance "Star Wars Episode One: The Phantom Menace". Amongst his numerous credits are "The Red Violin" (1998); "The Negotiator" (1998); "Jackie Brown" (1997) [for which he received the Berlin Film Festival Silver Bear Best Actor Award]; "The Long Kiss Goodnight" (1996) and "A Time to Kill" (1996). He also starred opposite Bruce Willis in "Die Hard with a Vengeance", the top-grossing movie internationally in 1995. Jackson made movie history with his portrayal of a crack addict in Spike Lee’s “Jungle Fever” when he was awarded the first and only Best Supporting Performance Award ever given by the judges at the Cannes Film Festival. He also won the New York Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actor for that performance. Jackson’s career began upon his graduation from Morehouse College in Atlanta with a degree in dramatic arts where he was co-founder of Atlanta's black-oriented Just Us Theatre. He went on to perform in numerous stage plays. He also originated roles in two of August Wilson’s plays at Yale Repertory Theatre. For the New York Shakespeare Festival, Jackson appeared in "Mother Courage and Her Children", "Spell #7", and "The Mighty Gents". While still a student at Morehouse, Jackson made his film debut in "Together for Days".
The Verdict
"This is pure fun. "Snakes On A Plane" stars snakes and Samuel L Jackson. Both are larger than life in a film that will have you jumping, squirming, screamimg and cheering. Don't take it seriously, even if you have a fear of snakes because believe it or not, there is so much humour in this story about an L.A crime boss who arranges for a load of lethal snakes to be part of the cargo on a jumbo jet flying from Hawaii to L.A. and carrying a witness who can send him to the gas chamber. You guessed it. They get out! "Snakes On A Plane" honours the genre of highly entertaining 'B' grade flicks. It's a hoot! 3 1/2 STARS."
Cast & Crew Bytes
"SNAKES ON A PLANE" stars .......
Samuel L Jackson
["Shaft", "Changing Lanes", "Kill Bill: Vol. 2", "XXX 2: The Next Level" and "The Man"]; Julianna Margulies ["What's Cooking?", "The Man from Elysian Fields", "Evelyn" and "Slingshot"]; Rachel Blanchard ["Road Trip", "Without A Paddle" and "Where the Truth Lies"]; Gerard Plunkett ["Rat Race", "Two For The Money" and "Eight Below"], Terry Chen ["40 Days and 40 Nights", "Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever", "I, Robot" and "Chaos"] and Nathan Phillips ["Australian Rules", "Wolf Creek" and "You and Your Stupid"] as Sean Jones.
"SNAKES ON A PLANE" was .......
directed by David R Ellis
["Homeward Bound II: Lost in San Francisco", "Final Destination 2" and "Cellular"]; screenplay by Sebastian Gutierrez ["Judas Kiss", "Gothika" and "The Big Bounce"] and John Heffernan ["Snakes On A Plane"]; director of photography Adam Greenberg ["The Terminator", "Terminator 2: Judgment Day", "Junior " and "Collateral Damage"]; edited by Howard E Smith ["The Abyss", "Point Break", "Judas Kiss" and "Blade Trinity"] production design by Jaymes Hinkle ["Passenger 57", "Varsity Blues", "Hardball" and "Cellular"] with costume design by Karen L Matthews ["Little Criminals" and "Stealing Sinatra"].
Run Time 105 minutes
Rated M [AUST]
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