Sunday, September 10, 2006

Why you probably didn't get Snakes on a Plane

Snakes on a Plane is not what you think it is. It is not a campy movie with dialogue and acting unintentionally awful that we could mock it on Mystery Science Theater 3000. It is not a straight ahead gorefest, even though it was directed by the director of Final Desination 2. It is not a comedy of one-liners like Airplane.

Snakes on a Plane is a self-aware genre mashup - a metafilm. It shares more in common with Adapatation than any of the above movies. It starts with a ridiculous premise, but then populates the movie with characters who realize just how ridiculous the premise is, make comments indicating their awareness of media and how it relates to their current situation, and who behave in a suprisingly realistic manner in response to the absurd starting conditions.

You probably didn't get Snakes on a Plane because you went through so many levels of - "Ah, I know what kind of movie that will be" based on the incredible and unforeseen guerilla marketing explosion. And then you decided that you didn't need to see it because the marketing must have been the message. You were probably wrong. The paradox is that, although the movie may be complimented for being, in terms of plot, exactly what it says it is, odds are you will appreciate it more for how it makes you think about movies in general. It's an interactive film. Go watch your 4th Fellini film instead if you want, and you'll find yourself led down the exact equisitely emotional arc that you expect. At the end, you will have been entertained, but will have learned nothing new about why you watch movies in the first place.

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