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Judy Thorburn's Movie Reviews

Anacondas – the Hunt for the Blood Orchid

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Judy Thorburn

"Anacondas" - Snake Sequel Is Pit Worthy

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“ANACONDAS” – SNAKE SEQUEL IS PIT WORTHY

Every once and a while a sequel is made that is actually as good or even better than the original.  Movies as diverse as Alien, the Godfather, Lord of the Rings Trilogy, the Terminator, and the more recent Spider-Man 2 are just a few examples of the best movie franchises.  However, on the other side of the coin are the movies that should never spawn another, especially when the first was a forgettable dud.  Case in point – the applicable “Anacondas – the Hunt for the Blood Orchid” is a really bad sequel to 1997’s semi-scare fest, the singular titled Anaconda, which starred Jon Voight and Jennifer Lopez. The original monster snake tale made some money at the box office, with star power as a draw (although I am sure that was one career move these A list actors would rather forget).  But, this new installment, with not one big name in the cast, and an awful script, is even worse than the first.

The only redeeming value was that several pieces of dialogue and scenes are so badly written or acted that they came across as UNintentionally funny.  If you accidentally walked into the screening I attended, you would have thought this was a comedy since the audience spent a great part of the time laughing out loud.  Trust me, I am not exaggerating.  It was hysterical!

This doozy of a tale centers on a group of young scientists who set out on a dangerous boat trip through the jungles of Borneo in hope of finding a rare orchid that could make themselves and their a pharmaceutical employer, a fortune. Known as the blood orchid because of its red color, the flower contains a chemical that can prolong cellular life, making it a virtual fountain of youth and the biggest medical discovery in history.  But, to get to their treasure won’t be so easy, since this eager bunch must endure the treacherous and unpredictable jungle conditions and the appearance of an unknown man eating predator, the huge Anaconda.

Whereas the original tale dealt with one monstrous snake, this time the crew has to endure the wrath of many hungry big buys who are getting ready for their mating ritual, which is always fun, and another jungle inhabitant, a much smaller but just as deadly, spider with the ability to paralyze its victims.  Strictly formulaic, it becomes a guess of who will be the first victim, as one by one they become prey to the creepy creatures. No surprise, there is also the obligatory bad guy, greedy to snatch up the treasure all for himself. Guess what happens to him in the end?

The cast of barely recognizable faces who make up this ethnically diverse crew consists of Karl Yune, KaDee Strickland, Matthew Marsden, Eugene Byrd, Salli Richardson-Whitfield, Nicholas Gonzalez, and Morris Chestnut (probably the most known). They are all stereotyped and boring.  Hunky and gorgeous Johnny Messner, plays the river rat, who for the sum of $50,000, is enlisted to lead the anxious group down river in search of the potential goldmine.  If looks counted, he would score high, but it doesn’t, and his performance is stiff and laughable. It is pretty sad when the best acting comes from his small pet monkey, Kong, a remarkable little fellow that appears indestructible and able to get out of unbelievable predicaments.  He’s the only character I, or the audience (based on their reactions when he was on screen) cared about.

Hardly scary, Anacondas- The Hunt For The Blood Orchid should be headed for the shelf of the nearest Blockbuster shortly.  If there is a “campy classic” section check it out first before going over to the horror titles. The film is mostly a lot of stupid, laughable dialogue and not enough Anaconda action within an awful script. Yet, it took four credited writers to come up with this?   Flower or not, the Blood Orchid is a stinker.

 

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