snakes: the aftermath
August 20, 2006
Confession: I saw Snakes on a Plane again last night, and while the mayhem wasn’t quite as fresh as before, it was still an absurdly good time (particularly with entertaining suggestions of a handy viewers guide). Now that the “opening-weekend euphoria”, as Slate‘s Dana Stevens characterizes it, has subsided somewhat, we can begin to take stock of the film’s critical reception. Lacking box office numbers, it is impossible to accurately gauge the popular response, but the reviews, at least, have been remarkably positive, particularly considering the low-brow appeal.
The current score on Metacritic.com is a middling 60, still better than, say, Accepted (another new release). Looking at the extremes of the spectrum of opinions, LA Weekly‘s Scott Foundas calls it “the most exuberantly trashy delight of this summer movie season or last,” while Onion A.V. Club reviewer Nathan Rabin demeans the film’s fad appeal, likening it to the 1975 Pet Rock craze. Most, thought, fall somewhere in the middle; Empire’s Kim Newman notes that the “serious” buzz, Internet-centric and otherwise, divided moviegoers even before the film’s release. Now that it’s here, she declares that it’s a film that you will “either queue all night in the rain to see twelve times or avoid like a Wayans Brothers Retrospective for the rest of life.” She’s probably right.
As should be evident from my review, I place myself in the former category (though two viewings provided more than enough snakes to sate my appetite). Like-minded fans would undoubtedly enjoy owning one of the various Snakes t-shirts that are on offer from various independent companies. Mr. Jackson’s wardrobe shirt is even available on eBay, for those with deep pockets. Now that is something to tell the grandchildren about.
–D. S. W.