Saturday, September 06, 2014

Penny Thoughts ‘14—Anaconda (1997) *

PG-13, 89 min.
Director: Luis Llosa
Writers: Hans Bauer, Jim Cash, Jack Epps Jr.
Starring: Jennifer Lopez, Ice Cube, Jon Voight, Eric Stoltz, Jonathan Hyde, Owen Wilson, Kari Wuhrer, Vincent Castellanos, Danny Trejo

For a moment, I actually considered giving this a half star more for the guilty pleasure factor of the film. But, like the ridiculously successful SyFy flick “Sharknado”, bad just doesn’t make it good.

One difference between this movie and that one is that they aren’t trying to make a bad movie here. With the talent involved, that really is too bad, because this cast could actually pull off the camp that “Sharknado” is trying for, if they were trying to be campy. Instead, they are trying to make another “Jurassic Park” but don’t have the talent behind the camera to pull that off. I don’t know who this Luis Llosa is, but Steven Spielberg he is not.

I don’t really need to do a synopsis here. Just know that a bunch of people are on a boat in the Amazon for some reason and they are being hunted by a giant snake. Some of the people are bad, some are good. It is interesting to see a then unknown Owen Wilson playing some standard horror movie fodder role. He puts none of his Owen Wilson spin on his delivery and just does his job, which is also too bad.

You’ve got to wonder, however, why a mainstream movie at that time with Ice Cube as the second billed that wasn’t titled “Friday” was expected to have any success. Nothing against Ice Cube there, but he isn’t exactly a mainstream action star. Anyway, I’m not really surprised by my disgust with this movie. I’m just reporting my thoughts.

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