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Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid
2004 - PG-13 - 93 Mins.
Director: Dwight Little
Producer: Jacobus Rose, Verna Harrah
Written By: Daniel Zelman, Michael Miner, John Claflin, Edward Neumeier
Starring: Morris Chestnut, Matthew Marsden, KaDee Strickland, Eugene Byrd, Johnny Messner
Review by: Joe Rickey
Official Site: www.sonypictures.com/movies/anacondas/
   

Snake bait.
Doctors Gordon Mitchell (Morris Chestnut) and Jack Byron (Matthew Marsden) have made what they believe could become the greatest medical discovery of this century: an exotic flower by the name of the Blood Orchid native to the jungles of Borneo that could hold the secret to the fountain of youth. After some discussion, they are able to convince their employer, Wexall-Hall, to fund an expedition to the aforementioned locale in order to bring some Blood Orchid samples back to the U.S. for further research. In short order, a team comprised of students is arranged and a boat is booked for a hefty sum because of the rainy season in Borneo. You see, the Blood Orchid blooms only once every seven years and then only for a six week period.

After heading down the river in the captain’s (Johnny Messner) boat he calls “The Bloody Mary” for a few uneventful days, the rain picks up and the team is soon shipwrecked. They now must trek through the rainforest all the while avoiding the myriad of poisonous bugs, leeches, and, of course, anacondas in heat as the rainy season is also mating season. Numerous chase scenes and explosions ensue.

‘Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid’ is about as good as one can expect a film about giant snakes eating people to be, no less a sequel to a film about giant snakes eating people. What the film does right is, first off, director Dwight Little (‘Murder at 1600’, ‘Halloween 4’) knows the type of film he is making and the comic trappings exist right from the beginning as he must realize that such films taken seriously are a disaster waiting to happen. As a result, don’t go in expecting to be frightened in the least but do expect a film that expertly sets the mood right from the get-go as Little takes full advantage of the scenery and the inherent dangers of a foreign territory unfamiliar to most.

The film’s action sequences are average, mostly unmemorable but competently staged and directed nonetheless. Also, as mentioned, the film is full of one-liners and barbs between characters. While some of the lines are dreadfully outdated (i.e. “If you don’t shut up I’m gonna vote you off this island”) a fair share are successfully amusing.

Meanwhile, the performances too are about what one could expect from a big budget B-movie. In the lead, Marsden is genial. As the most intelligent member of the group, Morris Chestnut is effective as he possesses his fair share of charisma and screen presence and utilizes both to hold one’s attention while the rest of the group kind of blends together into one amalgam of personalities.

‘Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid’ is a perfectly average late summer offering and the best result that could have ever come out of such a project.





 
Movie Guru Rating
Below Average.  Mediocre. Has substantial flaws, but is watchable. Below Average.  Mediocre. Has substantial flaws, but is watchable. Below Average.  Mediocre. Has substantial flaws, but is watchable.
  2.5 out of 5 stars

 
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