Anaconda (1997) – Review

3 Stars

Anaconda is a solid example of the sturdy B-movie “creature feature”. Flicks like this have been around since the atomic age, but weren’t perfected until Spielberg elevated the genre with Jaws. The basic narrative plot is so familiar that the only mystery is; in which order the cast gets picked off. But this movie sidesteps these pitfalls and delivers on its simple, goofy premise. And it looks great.

Jennifer Lopez is a documentary filmmaker in search of a mythical Indian tribe deep within the Amazon. Aided on her expedition is a cameraman (Ice Cube), a sound man (Owen Wilson), a production manager (Kari Wuhrer), and an anthropologist (Eric Stoltz), who happens to be Lopez’s former lover. On their journey down the river they come across the sinking boat of Sarone (Jon Voight), a heavily accented man, who claims to be a snake trapper.They take the stranger on-board and before long people start dying.

Anaconda drops all signs of pretension, which elevates it from tacky to great trash. Voight and Lopez give credible performances within the confined mechanics of the rudimentary script. The title reptile looks cheap and fake, even by 1997 standards, but the movie is really about the slithery Voight character. His human-snake is the most lethal of all. Anaconda doesn’t redefine the genre nor embarrass itself. It’s a guilty pleasure for lovers of guilty pleasures.

Director: Luis Llosa
Stars: Jennifer Lopez, Jon Voight, Eric Stoltz

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