It promises to take your breath away. But all Anaconda will take away is 89 precious minutes of your life.
Snakes make a lot of people’s skin crawl, but just imagine one that’s 40 foot long. That’s what a ‘national geographic’ film crew has to deal with when they’re taken hostage on their own boat by a crazy hunter and forced to assist him in hunting down a giant man eating serpent in the 1997 film Anaconda.
While trying to shoot an amateur documentary about a small and rarely seen tribe, Terri Flores (Jennifer Lopez) and her film crew find a stranded hunter who’s boat has broken down. They let him on board but his innocent act is soon replaced by a vindictive hunter on a mission to grab himself a huge snake and make lots of money. As you do. Anaconda has a lot of flaws and hasn’t aged too well. The snake itself isn’t particularly scary looking and it attacks so fast that its speed is almost laughable. Who knows, maybe it swallowed a Ferrari in a former life?
The performances are as you’d expect from a cast that includes Jennifer Lopez and a guy named ‘Ice Cube’ (seriously, what’s with that?) and while they’re not altogether that awful, they’re not brilliant either. It’s the kind of mediocre cast that makes a film enjoyable but not particularly memorable. Dancing in the shadow of Jaws, and according to a lot of feedback (mostly negative) Anaconda tried too hard to live up to its success and became one of many attempted creature features that slithered right under the radar. The snake is far less formidable than other creatures because it’s killed pretty easily. Yeah it’s huge, but in comparison to the likes of Jaws its head is tiny, and it turns out that killing it with a gun is fairly easy to do. The amount of times someone has a gun pointed at the snake and fails to shoot slowly becomes ridiculous, to the point where you want the snake to eat every last one of them for being so damn stupid, but alas at least half of the crew survives.
Anaconda is a silly creature feature that’s relatively entertaining for all of about five minutes, until the stupid looking snake and the irritating cast wears thin. Unfortunately it hasn’t aged well, which makes it very difficult to fully enjoy now however there’s very little evidence to suggest that the film was any good in the first place. Not the worst film ever, but it’s really no great loss if you never, ever get to see it.