Snakes, humor part of `Anacondas' thrill

August 27, 2004|By Chris Hewitt | Chris Hewitt,KNIGHT RIDDER/TRIBUNE

Stop me if you've heard this one ... Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid is a The Thing/Alien knockoff in which a band of adventurers battle a voracious creature.

Centered on the search for a miracle plant, it's a familiar song and it goes a little something like this:

"We are talking about a pharmaceutical equivalent of the Fountain of Youth."/"It only blooms for two more weeks."/"Everything gets eaten out here. It's the jungle."/"That was either the bravest or the stupidest thing I've ever seen."/"It's better to eat than be eaten."/"Aaaargh!"/"The odds against running into another one of that size are astronomical."/"Aaaargh!"/"Are you telling me there's some snake orgy going on out there in the jungle?"

You get the picture. Anacondas takes a crew, whose looks range all the way from foxy to superfoxy, to Borneo on a research expedition and, sadly, many of the men and women die before having a chance to take their shirts off. It's not a great film, but the giant killer snakes are oddly delightful - they have a mean/sexy quality that Pam Grier has.

Plus, Anacondas has a sense of humor about the modest place it occupies on the movie food chain. All it promises is cheesy thrills and, on that promise, it delivers.

Anacondas

Starring Morris Chestnut, Johnny Messner

Directed by Dwight Little

Rated PG-13 (violence, language)

Released by Sony

Time 93 minutes

Sun Score **1/2

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