15 December 2010

Snakes on a Train

I think I didn’t like this movie because it wasn’t what I was expecting. Although it was written, filmed, and titled solely to capitalize off Snakes on a Plane, it was nothing like that movie in spirit or execution. I can't be bothered to throroughly pick it apart, that’s how underwhelmed I was.

It’s not like this movie can be spoiled, but be forewarned that I’m not going to keep any major plot points to myself.

It starts with a couple wandering through the desert. My thought: where’s the train?
The girl is clearly very ill and her boyfriend (husband, maybe) has to carry her a lot. They sneak across the boarder into the States and then settle down next to a rusted out abandoned car for the night. My thought: no, really,where’s the train? The guy is some kind of shaman or medicine man. The girl coughs up a snake and I seriously thought she was smuggling snakes into the country. Like, whatever happened to good old cocaine condoms? Now people are swallowing snakes to smuggle? What kind of market is there for that? Eventually it comes out that she’s been cursed by her family who wanted her to marry a rich guy. When she cho-cho-chose the medicine man they gave her some kind of snake curse. At first I thought the curse was that she had snakes inside of her, but I think the curse slowly turned her into snakes, so that her parts of her organs would turn into snakes and then leave her body via her mouth, then her husband would save these snakes in a jar for his medicine man Uncle who was going to “put them back.” I felt really sorry for the actress playing the sick girl. She spent the whole movie shaking and crying and having to spit up foul-looking things. I kind of felt sorry for the entire cast, actually. If you were to ever see someone from this movie in, like, Caillou on Ice, or something, you’d consider it a step up. You're probably thinking: what about the train? I know.

So they get on a train eventually. It’s the stereotype express to Los Angeles. It has maybe 20 passengers (at least 5 of which snuck on) and makes seemingly no stops on the 16 hour trip. How does the train company make any profit on a route like that? It’s also the crappiest looking train I’ve ever seen. Clearly their entire budget went into the unfinished-looking CGI in the last few minutes of the film. They couldn’t even afford extras to populate the train. I couldn’t muster up any interest in the characters on the train because the audience wasn’t given anything to identify with or like. There was a subplot about some drugs and a crooked ex-narcotics cop. At this point I was wishing I was the type of person to drink alone. Then the sick chick turned into a giant snake and ate the train. And it’s not even as if that last scene is so awesome that it makes up for the rest of the movie, as often happens with films like this. The snake-eats-train scene was absurd. Oh! And I forgot that some character – not the medicine man, because he dies, I think – but some character that randomly grew up with the sick girl and just happens to end up on the world's most sparsely populated train at the same time, prays fiercely and the giant snake is swallowed up in some kind of giant mushroom cloud from God. The whole thing makes me wonder if the movie was meant as some kind of anti-immigration message.

Bottom line if you must rent a Snakes on a [Insert Preferred Method of Transportation, Preferably Something Confined That Needs Pressurization And/Or Travels At High Speeds] rent Snakes on a Plane first, and Snakes on a Submarine second.

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