The most memorable thing about 1997’s guilty pleasure Anaconda isn’t the giant snake, but the scenery-munching Jon Voight as the rogue hunter who pursues the reptile through the jungle. With his bizarre marble-mouthed accent, macho posturing, and great B-movie dialogue (“It holds you tighter than your true love and you get the privilege of hearing your bones break before the power of the embrace causes your veins to explode!”), he was a greater adversary than any computer-generated monster. Come to think of it, Anaconda benefited greatly from its strong, if unlikely, cast (Jennifer Lopez, Ice Cube, Eric Stoltz, and Owen Wilson). The most glaring problem with Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid is that it’s populated with anonymous, attractive plastic people from the Los Angeles talent pool. Saddled with impossible characters and a cretin’s script, they gamely march along through the jungles of Borneo as a scientific research team retrieving flowers that promise the gift of eternal life. To pad out the running time, director Dwight Little makes exhaustive use of cutaways to crocodiles, spiders, and the supposedly cute little monkey that hangs on the supposedly tough shoulders of tough guy boat captain Johnson (former Guiding Light soap star Johnny Messner, trying really, really hard to be Clint Eastwood). The heroes eventually stumble across the giant snakes and start getting picked off one by one, but by then you’ll be long past caring. Who will the snake kill off first: the African-American comic relief guy, the nerves-of-steel heroine, or the treacherous British professor? Take a wild guess.
- Dwight Little
- John Claflin, Daniel Zelman, Michael Miner, Ed Neumeier
- Johnny Messner, KaDee Strickland, Matthew Marsden, Nicholas Gonzalez, Eugene Byrd, Karl Yune, Salli Richardson-Whitfield, Morris Chestnut
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