Anacondas: The Hunt for the... (2004)
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Review Date: August 25, 2004
Director: Dwight Little
Writer: John Claflin, Daniel Zelman, Michael Miner, Ed Neumeier
Producers: Verna Harrah
Morris Chestnut
Johnny Messner
KaDee Strickland
A team of multi-ethnic scientists head into the grungy Borneon waters in order to bring back gaggles of the "blood orchid", a rare flower that apparently holds the secrets to immortality...or some shit like that. While in the jungle, the gang fall prey to bad weather, bad directions and worst of all, a bad screenplay. Where's Owen Wilson when you need him? Shots of a crazy-ass snake ensue!
The one word that I didn't foresee using in my review of this film would have been "boring", considering that the movie is a sequel to one of the cheesiest "monster flicks" to have come out in the last few years and its trailer making it look like Feta heaven. Unfortunately for us, this movie makes the mistake most fatal to a film of its sort and that is to take itself a little too seriously while spending too much time on its inane plotline and worst of all -- for a film entitled ANACONDAS -- not featuring enough damn snakes chomping on people or doing much of anything, actually. The ultimate problem behind that? As per a few of my disappointments from this summer including ALIEN VS PREDATOR, the problem is the dreaded MPAA rating of PG-13, which all but 86s any shots of actual "cool deaths" via snake, or blood or swearing or anything that would make sense in a real-life situation featuring a bunch of dumb-asses up against giant snakes. "Let's get the heck out of here?" No, the line is actually "Let's get the fuck out of here!"...there's a goddamn Tyrannosaurus Rex-a-Snakus on your ass!! In fact, despite the film's trailer featuring two very cool "money shots", the film itself barely registers anything of great impression (other than the aforementioned money shots, as the boat capsizes over a waterfall and an overhead shot of the gang walking through the water, showcases a massive snake slivering around them). Sure, the girls wear less and less as the film moves forward, one of them even looks more and more like J-Lo as it does (minus the fat ass), but at the end of the day, this film just has too much "straight-to-video" written all over it.

And what does that mean? That means uncharismatic no-name actors half-assly delivering crappy dialogue (which it apparently took four peeps to write?) via stereotypical characters who never really get past their accents in terms of development (one's Southern, one's British, one's "street", one's Latino, etc...) The film also features one of the most annoying characters that I experienced in any film this year and that's the "clichéd black guy", as per NOT ANOTHER TEEN MOVIE, who makes every bad move you can think of, and delivers his lines with the proverbial "dawg" and "ayight" snapped to their ends. None of the girls showcase their goodies either, although the only guy with semi-interesting presence (Messner) does salute us with his six-pack, but doesn't help the film much by spottily delivering a handful of his "tough guy" lines. As for the snakes, the CGI is so-so, a lot like in the original ANACONDA actually, but there just aren't enough of them! Even when the snakes do show up, some of the action shots are taken too close and you barely see anything. Bah. You give me a movie called ANACONDAS, I wanna see snakes biting people's heads off and more deaths, man...I don't want to see a bunch of third-rate actors back-and-forthing a lame-ass plot in the middle of an ultra-dark jungle (some shots were too dark...you could barely make anything out). So as much as I really wanted to 'have a blast' with this picture, there simply wasn't enough cheese mixed in with its crapiness, to warrant a recommendation.

Rent it drunk one night (Note: you should already be drunk when you rent it) and take another shot every time the director inserts a shot of a monkey shrieking into the movie. Trust me, you'll be dead drunk by the half hour mark and so will the anaconda in your pants!! (sorry, I just had to)
(c) 2018 Berge Garabedian

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