Samuel L. Jackson, Julianna Margulies
Can any film possibly live up to such a delectably campy title? Snakes does, but only for the first few giddy moments when hundreds of slithering stowaways (smuggled on board to bump off a Mob witness) rain down Old Testament-style on the terrorized passengers. The audience’s euphoria quickly fades, however, with the sobering realization that director David R. Ellis (Final Destination 2) is content to restage the same scenario over and over. Snakes hiss and strike; people scream and drop dead.
Jackson, cruising on cool as an FBI agent, inexplicably remains coiled for far too long. When he finally uncorks his long-anticipated line, venting about blankety-blank snakes on the blankety-blank plane, he does so with a forked-tongue-in-cheek ebullience that Snakes otherwise lacks. (R)