Sep 3, 2008

Download - Anaconda part 1 part 2

Jennifer Lopez, Ice Cube, Eric Stoltz & John Voight as the insane snake hunter, head an interesting but largely wasted cast in the jungle adventure horror tale of Anaconda (1997).

Explorers in darkest Paraguay are looking for a snake-worshipping Lost Tribe to exploit in their documentary, but are soon sidetracked by a people-eatin' giant anaconda.

The CGI snake is less convincing than the animatronic snake & they never quite match, but that's a minor quibble. Everything that happens is exactly as would be expected of a jungle picture called Anaconda, without anything unexpected thrown in.

Anyone who would bother to check out a film of that title will get exactly what they wanted. Anyone who can't imagine wasting their time on a film with such a title will be missing nothing of great interest.

If a film is workmanlike enough it should be easy to make a sequel that at least achieves the same level of mediocrity. But Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid (2004) manages like so many sequels to be much less effective while attempting to trump the original with not one but gazillions of anacondas. That the original was a B-pic with an A-cast, but the sequel has a B-cast (good lookin' but not hugely talented), is part of the problem, but the main problem is that its attempt to deliver more in the way of snakes increased the cartoony quotient instead of the horror quotient.

Unlike the original, this one's not set in the Amazon where anacondas actually live. It's set in Borneo. The addition of the Blood Orchid which might be super-valuable as a pharmaceutical needed some additional science fiction oomph. Like, make it a man-eating orchid, or actually need it for a pharmaceutical use within the context of the tale. But it's just an excuse to get in the way of big snakes

Still & all, as with the original, if someone is in the mood for a film about giant killer snakes, that's exactly what this one is, not more & not less.

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