Anacondas: The Hunt For The Blood Orchid

Anacondas: The Hunt For The Blood Orchid


Reviewed by: David Stanners

Anaconda had some credibility. If nothing else, a strong cast filling the holes in the script and one hell of a novelty snake to boot. Anacondas has neither the script, nor the acting talent, to rescue it from the jaws of certain death. In fact, best performance would go to the snakes, because only when they make their appearance does the action heat up.

A group of elite New York scientists set off to Borneo in search of the Blood Orchid, which they believe contains a chemical that could prolong human life. Inconveniently arriving in the middle of the wet season, they find their requests to head up river thwarted by all reputable companies. Their last resort is renegade skipper Bill Johnson (Johnny Messner), a tough tattooed ex-marine with a gravel voice and an exaggerated opinion of rental charges for his shoddy looking boat. The group take their chances.

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It's a while before the super-sized serpents make their appearance, so in the meantime we are subjected to seriously jaded banter between a group of relatively unknown actors, working from a script so cheesy you can smell it. Dr Ben Douglas (Nicholas Gonzalez), who must have received his PhD from the school of hollow, flirts with Sam Rogers (KaDee Strickland), a cute Southerner, who laps it up; then there's Cole (Eugene Byrd), the small, highly strung African-American, nervous about everything and complaining because he's missing the basketball; then there's Jack Byron (Matthew Marsden), bent on making a killing from the trip, while revealing a few nasty tricks up his sleeve.

Its not until a long way in that we're given a glimpse of the 40ft beasts that will eventually break the monotony, but when they do finally show, things shift up a gear and there are macabre scenes where the snakes have eaten some of the locals whole. Eventually, catching on that the anacondas are taking stock of the much sought after Blood Orchid, in order to give them that extra life-size boost, the crew find themselves up against the odds. Matters aren't helped when their rickety tin can of a boat has a little trouble negotiating a giant waterfall.

As we've heard umpteen times from critics, sequels are rarely as good. There are obvious exceptions to the rule, but this isn't one of them. The story is weak and the acting isn't that much stronger. What can you do with a humpty script, anyway?

Despite this, the scenes with the snakes are at times chilling and although the use of CGI is at a prime, there are some blood-curdling moments that should keep those adverse to big scaly creatures at arms length.

Reviewed on: 13 Nov 2004
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Anacondas: The Hunt For The Blood Orchid packshot
A group of scientists encounter a hostile batch of serpents as they plunge into the jungles of Borneo on a research expedition.
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Read more Anacondas: The Hunt For The Blood Orchid reviews:

Gator MacReady ***
David Haviland **

Director: Dwight H Little

Writer: John Claflin, Daniel Zelman, Michael Miner, Ed Neumeier

Starring: Johnny Messner; KaDee Strickland, Matthew Marsden, Nicholas Gonzalez, Eugene Byrd, Karl Yune, Salli Richardson, Morris Chestnut

Year: 2004

Runtime: 97 minutes

BBFC: 12A - Adult Supervision

Country: US


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