|'the 'hero', it is suggested, is going to be Eric Stoltz, now only famous for the amount of times he has found himself the subject of 'where are they now?'-style magazine features'|
Anaconda is a throwback to 1960s creature features, was directed by the man who manoeuvred Tom Berenger through Sniper and holds a distinctly wobbly 4.3/10 rating on IMDb, yet, somehow, it has become the schlocky Animal Horror that it is OK to like. A large part of that is perhaps down to the fact that, somehow, despite all of the odds and the problems with it, it really isn't that bad a film.
The start is, admittedly, a bit wibbly. A scrolling title bar tells dubiously of 'man-eating snakes'. Danny Trejo shows up, promisingly, and then jumps ship pretty damn quickly. The 'hero', it is suggested, is going to be Eric Stoltz, now only famous for the amount of times he has found himself the subject of 'where are they now?'-style magazine features.
Pretty soon though, the film goes through a change in fortunes. The Christian symbolism which started ill-advisedly with Trejo, is dropped. Jon Voight appears attempting an approximation of several accents. Jennifer Lopez and Ice Cube become the film's Riggs and Murtaugh. Somehow, from somewhere, completely not inkeeping with his character, Jonathan Hyde becomes the comic relief.
It makes what threatened to be a drab conflict between Stoltz and Voight's 'experts' something much more fun, as the out-of-their-depth crew battle mutiny and large slithery things with far too much intelligence than they should have. Voight is at his slimy best and Ice Cube and Lopez perform at least adequately. The snakes, meanwhile, actually look good in animatronic form but rather disintegrate when director Luis Llosa has to rely on cheap 1997 CGI. Still, there are worse creature features than this, with worse CGI, being churned out now (I'm looking at you Mega Piranha). Those after that sort of thing could do a lot worse than return to this, if only to play 'guess the accent' with Mr Voight.
Anaconda was showing on Sky Movies.
'Anaconda is a B-movie. It’s not a homage to a B-movie, or a love letter to that type of film. It’s not a nostalgic throwback, or an attempt to capture some of the elements of those old cheesy productions. It actually is a B-movie.' - The M0vie Blog