Movie Review:Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid (2004)

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Anacondas The Hunt for the Blood Orchid 2004tt0366174.jpg poster

  • IMDb page: Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid (2004)
  • Rate: 4.3/10 total 11,592 votes 
  • Genre: Action | Adventure | Horror | Thriller
  • Release Date: 27 August 2004 (USA)
  • Runtime: USA:97 min
  • Filming Location: Deuba, Fiji
  • Budget: $25,000,000(estimated)
  • Gross: $70,992,898(Worldwide)
  • Director: Dwight H. Little
  • Stars: Morris Chestnut, KaDee Strickland and Eugene Byrd
  • Original Music By: Nerida Tyson-Chew   
  • Soundtrack: Chapow! Part 2
  • Sound Mix: DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS
  • Plot Keyword: Blood | Orchid | Borneo | Flower | Anaconda

Writing Credits By:

  • Hans Bauer (1997 screenplay) and
  • Jim Cash (1997 screenplay) &
  • Jack Epps Jr. (1997 screenplay)
  • Hans Bauer (story) and
  • Jim Cash (story) &
  • Jack Epps Jr. (story)
  • John Claflin (screenplay) &
  • Daniel Zelman (screenplay) and
  • Michael Miner (screenplay) &
  • Edward Neumeier (screenplay) (as Ed Neumeier)

Known Trivia

  • The First Hollywood movie to have its premiere in Fiji.
  • Nerida Tyson-Chew’s score was nominated for Best Soundtrack Album at the 2005 Screen Music Awards (Australia).

Goofs: Errors in geography: In the opening sequence, Borneo tribesmen are seen hunting a tiger. Tigers have been extinct on Borneo for 11,000 years. They exist on nearby Sumatra, but the tiger depicted was a Bengal tiger native to the Indian subcontinent.

Plot: A scientific expedition sets out for Borneo to seek a flower called the Blood Orchid, which could grant longer life. Meanwhile, they run afoul of snakes and each other. Full summary » |  »

Story: In New York, the ambitious Dr. Jack Byron and his associate Gordon Mitchell present the research of his assistant Sam Rogers to the CEO and board of directors of a corporation to sponsor a scientific expedition to Borneo. The objective is to find a flower, Blood Orchid, that flourishes for a couple of weeks every seven years and could be a fountain of youth, prolonging the expectation of life of human beings. They are succeeded and once in Borneo, they realize that it is the raining season and there is no boat available to navigate on the river. They pay US$ 50,000.00 to convince Captain Bill Johnson and his partner Tran to sail to the location. After an accident in a waterfall, the survivors realize that a pack of anacondas have gathered for mating and their nest is nearby the plantation of Blood Orchid, which made them bigger and bigger.Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil  

Synopsis

Synopsis:

 

FullCast & Crew

Produced By:

  • Verna Harrah known as producer
  • Jacobus Rose known as executive producer

FullCast & Crew:

  • Johnny Messner known as Bill Johnson
  • KaDee Strickland known as Sam Rogers
  • Matthew Marsden known as Dr. Jack Byron
  • Nicholas Gonzalez known as Dr. Ben Douglas
  • Eugene Byrd known as Cole Burris
  • Karl Yune known as Tran
  • Salli Richardson-Whitfield known as Gail Stern
  • Morris Chestnut known as Gordon Mitchell
  • Andy Anderson known as John Livingston
  • Nicholas Hope known as Christian Van Dyke
  • Peter Curtin known as Lawyer
  • Denis Arndt known as CEO
  • Khoa Do known as Lead Lopak Hunter
  • Aireti known as Lopak Hunter
  • Andre Tandjung known as Bartender

..

 

Supporting Department

Makeup Department:
  • Jason Baird known as creature supervisor
  • Kate Birch known as hair stylist
  • Nik Dorning known as prosthetic manufacture
  • Megan Dwyer known as hairdresser: second unit
  • Megan Dwyer known as makeup artist: second unit
  • Sean Genders known as special makeup effects artist
  • Paul Pattison known as key makeup artist
  • Claire Rutledge known as hair artist: second unit, Fiji
  • Jennifer Stanfield known as makeup artist (as Jen Stanfield)
  • Zeljka Stanin known as key hair stylist

Art Department:

  • Brett Bartlett known as construction manager
  • Carl Braga known as screen graphics designer
  • Jo Carter known as art department accountant
  • Martin Crouch known as screen graphics designer
  • Richie Dehne known as property master
  • Craig Fison known as miniatures
  • Jenny Hitchcock known as set designer
  • Julia Holden known as storyboard artist
  • Anson Jew known as storyboard artist
  • Miriam Johnson known as assistant art director
  • Peter 'Babylon' Owens known as art director: second unit
  • Andy Robinson known as head scenic
  • David Russell known as storyboard artist
  • Kino Scialabba known as concept artist
  • Dilys Tan known as art department coordinator
  • Rudi Tuisk known as assistant vehicle/boat coordinator

..

 

Companies

Production Companies:

  • Screen Gems
  • Middle Fork Productions

Other Companies:

  • Cameraquip Australia  camera equipment provided by
  • Chapman/Leonard Studio Equipment  dollies
  • Light Odyssey  t-lights rental
  • Motion Picture Lighting  lighting
  • Studios 301  orchestra score recording facility
  • Varèse Sarabande  score album released by

Distributors:

  • Screen Gems (2004) (worldwide) (theatrical)
  • Sony Pictures Releasing (2004) (USA) (theatrical)
  • Buena Vista International (2004) (Switzerland) (theatrical)
  • Columbia TriStar Film Distributors International (2004) (Singapore) (theatrical)
  • Columbia TriStar Film (2004) (Germany) (theatrical)
  • Columbia TriStar Films (2004) (Spain) (theatrical)
  • Columbia TriStar Films (2004) (Netherlands) (theatrical)
  • Columbia TriStar Films de Argentina (2004) (Argentina) (theatrical)
  • Columbia TriStar Italia (2005) (Italy) (theatrical)
  • Columbia TriStar (2004) (Austria) (theatrical)
  • Falcon (2004) (Czech Republic) (theatrical)
  • Gaumont/Columbia TriStar Films (2004) (France) (theatrical)
  • Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment (2005) (Netherlands) (DVD)
  • Columbia TriStar Home Video (2005) (Netherlands) (VHS)
  • Columbia TriStar (2005) (Brazil) (DVD)
  • Columbia TriStar (2005) (Brazil) (VHS)
  • LK-TEL (2005) (Argentina) (DVD)
  • LK-TEL (2005) (Argentina) (VHS)
  • RTL Entertainment (2008) (Netherlands) (TV) (first national airing) (RTL7)
  • Sony Pictures Home Entertainment Nordic (2009) (Finland) (DVD)
  • Universal Pictures Finland Oy (2005) (Finland) (DVD) (VHS)

..

 

Other Stuff

Special Effects:

  • Animal Logic (opening titles)
  • Makeup Effects Laboratories (orchids creation)
  • Photon VFX (visual effects)
  • Photon (visual effects)
  • Studio Kite (animatronics)

Visual Effects by:

  • Tim Ahern known as computer effects
  • Ben Ambrose known as assistant visual f/x supervisor
  • Pippa Anderson known as visual effects producer
  • Miles Bellas known as modeler
  • Miles Bellas known as texturer
  • James Bennett known as animator
  • Marten Blumen known as digital compositor
  • Paul Booth known as visual effects editor
  • Andrew Butler known as visual effects
  • Angus Cameron known as digital effects supervisor
  • Tom Davies known as head model maker
  • Sylvan Dieckmann known as 3D technical supervisor
  • Dale Duguid known as visual effects supervisor
  • Simon Dye known as compositor
  • Patrick Felgueras known as digital effects artist
  • Belinda Griffiths known as digital artist
  • Belinda Griffiths known as matte painter
  • Michael Halley known as senior 3D artist
  • Sean Heuston known as digital compositor
  • Nicky Ladas known as IT manager
  • Nicky Ladas known as film scanner operator
  • Evans Mark known as digital artist
  • Damon Milman known as technical director
  • Tony O'Loughlan known as motion control camera assistant
  • Kim Pearce known as senior system administrator
  • Eric Person known as digital film supervisor
  • Paul Raeburn known as digital compositor
  • Michael Sarkis known as lead motion control operator
  • Murray Smallwood known as digital compositor
  • Sean Steinmuller known as creature animator
  • Michele Stewart known as assistant to visual effects producer
  • Randy Vellacott known as digital compositor
  • Donna Wallace known as visual effects production accountant
  • Steve Cronin known as digital compositor (uncredited)

Release Date:

  • USA 25 August 2004 (Westwood, California) (premiere)
  • Hong Kong 26 August 2004
  • India 27 August 2004
  • Indonesia 27 August 2004
  • Jamaica 27 August 2004
  • Mexico 27 August 2004
  • Trinidad and Tobago 27 August 2004
  • USA 27 August 2004
  • Philippines 1 September 2004
  • Singapore 1 September 2004
  • Panama 3 September 2004
  • Taiwan 3 September 2004
  • Bahrain 8 September 2004
  • Malaysia 10 September 2004
  • Kuwait 15 September 2004
  • United Arab Emirates 15 September 2004
  • Brazil 17 September 2004
  • Turkey 17 September 2004
  • Egypt 22 September 2004
  • Australia 7 October 2004
  • Poland 8 October 2004
  • Venezuela 8 October 2004
  • Argentina 14 October 2004
  • Chile 14 October 2004
  • Czech Republic 14 October 2004
  • Slovakia 14 October 2004
  • Estonia 15 October 2004
  • Iceland 15 October 2004
  • Norway 15 October 2004
  • South Korea 15 October 2004
  • Thailand 21 October 2004
  • Israel 28 October 2004
  • Slovenia 28 October 2004
  • New Zealand 31 October 2004 (V 24 Hour Movie Marathon)
  • Denmark 5 November 2004
  • Kazakhstan 5 November 2004
  • France 10 November 2004
  • Hungary 11 November 2004
  • Netherlands 11 November 2004
  • Ireland 12 November 2004
  • UK 12 November 2004
  • Portugal 18 November 2004
  • Greece 26 November 2004
  • Spain 26 November 2004
  • Belgium 1 December 2004
  • Germany 9 December 2004
  • Austria 10 December 2004
  • Sweden 10 December 2004
  • Italy 28 January 2005
  • South Africa 18 February 2005
  • Finland 2 March 2005 (DVD premiere)

Followed or Connected by:

Anaconda III (2008) (TV)
Anacondas: Trail of Blood (2009) (TV)

References

King Kong (1933)
 -  the pet monkey is named "Kong"
Jaws (1975)
 -  One of the characters hums the Jaws theme music right before he gets killed.
Anaconda (1997)
 -  "I had this friend, who had this friend who shot documentaries, and he and his whole crew went down to the Amazon, and they were all eaten by snakes."
"Survivor" (2000)
 -  There's a line where one of the guys says "I'm going to vote you off this island"

Referenced in

The International (2009/I)
 -  movie posters seen outside
Anacondas: Trail of Blood (2009) (TV)
 -  the blood orchid from part 2 is mentioned
"Phelous & the Movies: Anaconda 3 (#2.40)" (2010)
 -  Phelous refers to the second part at some point
"Shameful Sequels: Lake Placid 2 (#3.6)" (2011)
 -  mentioned as a poor sequel
"Bad Movie Beatdown: BMB Spoony Experiment: Tekken (#3.21)" (2011)
 -  other films directed by Dwight Little

Featured in

"Siskel & Ebert: Episode dated 28 August 2004" (2004)
 -  Clips shown for the review.
"Bad Movie Beatdown: Far Cry (#1.15)" (2009)
 -  "Hard drive's ruined."
"Shameful Sequels: Anacondas (#2.9)" (2010)
 -  movie is reviewed

MPAA: Rated PG-13 for action violence, scary images and some language

..

 
 

Filmography links and data courtesy of The Internet Movie Database

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10 Responses Review Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid (2004)

  1. Bring the crackers because mama, this movie is bringin’ the cheese! If there
    has ever been a more culturally diverse group of no-name actors to brave the
    jungles of Borneo then I’ll end my movie reviewing career right now (future
    users of the Alan Smithee pseudonym applaud). All right, I’ve kept this
    secret, but I actually sat in on a production meeting for Anacondas and
    here’s how it went down:

    "Annoying black dude who just screams the whole time?"

    "Check. But let’s put a tough black dude in there as well. Don’t wanna be
    accused of stereotyping."

    "Good idea. Who is Morris Chestnut?"

    "Well, we thought it was a brand of chewing tobacco, but he’s actually who
    we’re gonna use as our tough black guy."

    "Oh, OK. How about a Latino woman with an unnecessarily bad
    attitude?"

    "You mean the J-Lo wannabe? Check."

    "Good. Did y’all find that tough-looking Asian guy?"

    "Check. It wasn’t easy, but we found one with a mullet."

    "Perfect. That’ll alert everybody that he’s not one of those brainy Asians.
    How about a blonde babe with a thick, fake Southern accent?"

    "Check. She’s from Georgia, but her accent sounded too realistic. We told
    her to fake it up."

    "Good job. And I saw that you found a white European male, but how about the
    protagonist?"

    "Oh, you mean the muscular white guy with a 2-day beard growth and husky
    voice? Check. He’s in wardrobe right now having the sleeves on his tight
    shirt rolled up."

    "Perfect. Just don’t forget the tattoos. Now how about somebody who’s
    actually famous?"

    "Um, well, we don’t exactly have that. But hey, we’ve got everything else!"
    And that, my friends, is your cast. Some other guy of some sort of foreign
    descent was thrown in there as well. He looked like Gregg Rainwater from The
    Young Riders. He died soon enough, so it doesn’t really
    matter.

    My money says you really won’t care about anybody involved in this
    production. Well, I did like the southern girl. She was pretty hot. But why
    do producers insist on accents being so fake? Her accent dwindled as the
    movie went along. She eventually was only accenting about one word per
    sentence, but by the climax she started fakin’ it up with reckless
    abandon!

    And I’m sure plenty of girls will think Johnny "Five O’Clock Shadow" Messner
    is pretty hot, but for the most part you’ll spend the first 10 minutes of
    the movie picking which characters you want to see swallowed whole by a
    giant anaconda. My first choice was the Jennifer Lopez wannabe. When B-movie
    characters like her prance around with a huge chip on their shoulder, I
    usually pray for some sort of creature to sneak up and bite that chip right
    off. Along with the entire shoulder.

    This is one of those movies that relies on every cliché in the B-movie book.
    In other words, you can expect a whole lot of stuff like a door opening
    slowly and then something jumping out while a loud noise is made. And since
    this is a "creature feature," by definition a lot of the action takes place
    at night, in dark caves and in water, with only flashlights to light the
    way.

    Dialogue is expectedly bad. We’re treated to such intellectually-challenged
    exchanges as: "What’s wrong with this picture?" "You’re in it." And it’s
    mostly dominated by Messner’s Michael Paré-esque line delivery and Eugene
    Byrd’s banshee-like screeching. It’s funny up to a point, but eventually you
    start looking at your watch and thinking, "OK snake, it’s time to eat this
    kid."

    The CGI looks a little goofy at times, but most of it is well done thanks to
    the wise decision to hide the flaws with darkness and water. If you’re
    wondering how this compares to the original Anaconda, well, the two really
    have nothing to do with each other except for presence of an anaconda. The
    first movie had famous people in it, this one doesn’t. However, this one
    does have more anacondas! It’s been 7 years since I saw the original, but
    I’m pretty sure it’s the better of the two.

    My biggest complaint is that Anacondas wasn’t cheesy ENOUGH! If you’re gonna
    be bad, then go as far out on the cheesy limb as you can go! Instead of a
    blood orchid, their research should’ve discovered a rare, Indonesian banana
    that held the secret to long life. Then once it was discovered the anacondas
    were eating these things and living forever, one of the bad actors could’ve
    deadpanned, "What are these things? Bananacondas?" BWAHAHAHAHA! Man, I
    really need to start writing screenplays for intentionally bad
    movies.

    And I’ve said this before, but I’ll say it again. Since "versus" movies are
    the current sequel trend, they should’ve dug up Harrison Ford (it’s been
    four years since the guy had a hit), given him the Jack Ryan moniker again,
    and given *us* Jack Ryan Vs. Anaconda: The Hunt for the Blood Red Orchid in
    October. He could’ve been the guide for the scientists, and when one of them
    started whining he could’ve cracked, "Traveling through Borneo ain’t like
    dusting crops, boy." Then he would’ve looked into the camera and winked.
    It’d have been awesome and you know it.

    Oh, and let me leave with a word of advice. If a bad guy is standing near
    the edge of an anaconda pit, and he’s holding a gun on one of your
    colleagues, but his back is to you, then please, for the love of all that is
    holy, instead of whimpering like someone forced to sit through a post-1987
    Corey Feldman movie, stand up and kick the guy in the pit.

  2. Rating: * 1/2 out of ****

    As if further proof that I am in serious need of better taste, I was
    actually looking forward to seeing this movie, not so much because I
    was expecting anything great but because I’m a sucker for big-studio,
    jungle-set adventures. The fact that it’s got giant snakes can only
    help, and heck, this movie’s own predecessor wasn’t half-bad. All
    things considered, Anacondas was about on par with what I expected:
    cheese, but reasonably watchable cheese.

    In the hopes of becoming millionaires, a group of young, "attractive"
    researchers hire a boat, whose captain is expectedly hard-boiled and
    hunky, to take them into the jungles of Borneo in search of the rare
    Blood Orchid, a flower with the ability to prolong life but the catch
    is that it blooms for only a six month period every seven years, and
    they’re approaching the last few weeks of that time span. The
    expedition’s boat sinks in a mishap involving a waterfall, leaving the
    group stranded and easy prey for the freakishly large anacondas in the
    vicinity.

    The title Anacondas suggests probably a bit more than even the movie
    can deliver, with the first genuine snake attack (barring the opening
    credits) not even occurring until the forty-minute mark, and even then,
    it’s not for another half-hour until someone from the same group is
    munched on by one of those slithery reptiles. There’s a surprisingly
    bare minimum utilization of the titular creatures, though I suspect
    that has a lot to do with budgetary limitations.

    If there’s anything I expected to be a vast improvement upon the
    original, it’d be the visual rendering of the anacondas, but they’re
    actually a few steps backward from the already spotty work in the
    original. For cost-effective purposes, virtually all the effects are
    CGI, and they’re only a tiny bit better than what one would expect from
    a Sci-Fi Pictures Original. Making the snakes larger also works against
    the effects, making them goofier and harder to take seriously as a
    genuine threat.

    Worse, the snakes themselves seem a lot wimpier despite those
    "advancements." The anacondas have been essentially mutated by the
    Blood Orchid, so they’re understandably larger (at least twice so) than
    the snakes in the original and probably a lot longer as well.
    Unfortunately, they’re also inexplicably much easier to kill this time
    around. One whack from a machete (used by someone who’s never wielded
    one before in her life) is enough to hack off one of these
    monstrosities’ heads clean off. One of the snakes even manages to
    explode after being set alight by gasoline and a flare. And correct me
    if I’m wrong, but when did anacondas actually have teeth?

    The movie’s various roles and characters are as stereotypical and
    obvious as one can expect from the genre. There’s the hunky male
    American with his haunting past and he’s got a hunky Asian
    sidekick/first mate. There’s the "serious" black guy and the comic
    relief black guy, the latter of whom is probably the most obnoxious
    character I’ve seen in film all year. There’s also the serious chick
    with "depth" and the whiny chick. In performing these roles, the cast
    is almost all terrible (especially Johnny Messner as the lead), the
    only modicum of acting talent coming from Morris Chestnut and the
    promising Kadee Strickland.

    While I’ve done nothing but harp on the movie, the biggest praise I can
    shower it with is that it’s rarely boring. From the lush jungle scenery
    to the splendid visuals of the snakes right under the surface of the
    water, Anacondas is at least a movie that’s always nice to look at.
    Even if it’s never genuinely exciting or suspenseful, there are a few
    cheap thrills and a fast pace that doesn’t let up. I suspect very
    undemanding and forgiving genre fans might even like it and it’s to
    them I would even consider recommending this movie. Everyone else
    should first set their expectations straight.

  3. Series note: Although this is the second film in the Anaconda series,
    there is no need to watch the films in order. They are merely thematic
    companions, sharing some similarities of plot and structure. They are
    not constructed as chapters in a novel.

    When it is discovered that an exotic flower found only in Borneo and
    blooming only every seven years may hold the key to life extension, a
    large pharmaceutical company sends a team of researchers to acquire
    samples for study. Making the task thornier, the samples must be
    obtained while the plant is in bloom, and as the film begins, it will
    only be in bloom a few more weeks. In increasing layers of difficulty,
    it’s rainy season in Borneo and only Bill Johnson (Johnny Messner) is
    crazy enough to take the team upriver in his ramshackle boat before the
    season ends, despite the fact that they’re offering $50,000, and as
    they make their way upstream, of course the team runs into giant
    anacondas of the type found in the first film.

    Like Anaconda, Anacondas has been getting a fairly bad rap and I can’t
    quite figure out why. Sure, some people have complained about
    inaccuracies in the films when compared to facts in the actual world,
    but seriously, what’s wrong with anyone who’d expect fictional films
    like Anacondas to be educational or largely a documentary? The films
    are basically monster flicks, with the degree of predictability that
    usually entails, but what would one be expecting otherwise? Both films
    are certainly internally consistent, with captivating stories, fine
    performances and well executed technical aspects–directing, editing,
    production design, cinematography (particularly beautiful in this
    entry, and the Fijian landscapes are often breathtaking), and so on.

    And in fact, Anacondas has much more than just competent artistry. From
    the first frames to the last, this is one heck of a thrill ride, with
    plot twists and turns around every corner mimicking the river and the
    coils of the titular beast. It has basically nonstop suspense, it
    cleverly incorporates horror elements from psycho humans to haunted
    houses (the caves and the village they come across near the climax are
    basically haunted houses in structure and tone). A number of sequences
    will stick in your mind for a long time, such as the intense waterfall
    scene and the great "wading" scene. There are also poignant subtexts
    about materialism and the desire to be immortal versus emotional and
    pragmatic concern for fellow humans. The new writing team even manages
    to insert thought-provoking dilemmas related to utilitarianism.

    There are a number of interesting parallels to Anaconda (1997), with an
    equally interesting and capable motley crew of characters played by a
    skilled cast. It may be a different locale, but the gist is still an
    Apocalypse Now (1979)-styled trip up a river where the complexly
    interacting crew must encounter and overcome various obstacles, not the
    least of which are members of their own group, including initially
    veiled villains who are as much of a snake as the more literal,
    reptilian villains.

    Director Dwight H. Little also gives us an amusing alternate world take
    on Anaconda’s Paul Sarone (inimitably performed in that film by Jon
    Voight) in Anacondas’ short lived John Livingston (Andy Anderson),
    whose name ties us in to famed 19th Century African explorer David
    Livingstone, and the many filmic depictions of the same, including The
    Lost Jungle (1934) and Stanley and Livingstone (1939). That’s not the
    only references to classics, as Bill Johnson’s boat, "The Bloody Mary",
    a character in its own right, has stylistic similarities to Charlie
    Allnut’s African Queen (from the 1951 film of the same name) and the
    overall journey has resemblances to Disney’s Jungle Cruise.

    While the attack scenes may not be quite as clearly filmed and smoothly
    cut as the first film, Little and his editors make up for it by
    increasing the number and quality of gradually building suspense
    sequences where we see a snake through water or in other environments
    while our protagonists initially overlook them. The digital effects are
    probably better than the first film and the mechanical/animatronics
    effects are close in quality. In addition, Little incorporated many
    shots of real anacondas.

    If you at all enjoyed the first film, you should enjoy this one, as
    well. It’s important to watch films like Anacondas without
    inappropriate expectations. In my view, Little and crew have
    accomplished exactly what they set out to do–create an intense
    thrill-ride of a monster flick with touches of humor and deeper
    subtexts that’s a worthy stylistic and thematic successor to the first
    film.

  4. No one really wanted, or asked for, a sequel to the seriously stupid
    1997 creature feature Anaconda. But it was a hit (somehow) and you know
    how studios are when it comes to milking something for all it's worth -
    yes, Halloween 9 is currently in pre-production! Surprisingly,
    Anacondas is actually quite good for what it is.

    Originally meant to be a direct-to-video production, Sony was so
    impressed with the dailies that they more than doubled the budget and
    elevated it to a theatrical release. The budget constraints still cramp
    its style, compared to A-list studio stuff, but it's the best film it
    possibly can be.

    With a touch more plot, involving a search for an ultra-mega-massively
    rare flower, called the Blood Orchid, that only blooms every seven
    years and can unlock the secret to everlasting life, there is a
    sophistication to the script, rather than plain old slither'n'slash.

    So we have a bunch of scientists on an expedition to the unknown depths
    of the Borneo jungle and it's not off to a good start. They can only
    afford a ramshackle boat; it's the rainy season and the rivers are
    mighty treacherous. Also, their boat captain (Johnny Messner) is a
    gruff ex-Special Forces American, with the cutest pet monkey ever.

    Everyone seems to be okay about their perilous quest until they are
    attacked by big crocs, go over a waterfall and become shipwrecked.
    Then, when things can't get any worse, one of them is gobbled up by -
    you've guessed it – an anaconda.

    Instead of the traditional one-by-one deaths story, like the first
    film, there is more conflict and interaction. These characters may not
    be the best, or the most well written, but the actors do what they can
    with what they've been given. Messner is especially good, keeping a
    cool head as snakes prey upon them from every shadow. J-Low-IQ, the
    hammy John Voight and Ice Cube may be gone (there is a quick reference
    to them), but fellow Boyz N The Hood alumni Morris Chestnut and E.R.
    star Salli Richardson are offered up as potential reptile food.

    And it just so happens that it's mating season. And the snakes are all
    up for a big orgy. And guess where the Blood Orchids are? Right above
    their shagging pit. Oh bloody hell! Luis Llosa made Anaconda in the
    most simplistic and static way possible. This time Dwight H. Little,
    the very man who gave us Halloween 4, the epic Steven Seagal movie
    Marked For Death and err… Free Willy 2, brings strong direction and
    integrity. It's a darker, more complex film that seriously promises to
    deliver the goods, but comes up a bit short. If it had been taken a few
    steps further, then it would have been great. As it is, it's more
    atmospheric and professional, but still, a bleaker ending, with more
    gobbled-up characters, would have suited me better.

    The snakes themselves look okay, nothing special. Little keeps them
    hidden for as long as possible, only offering brief glimpses here and
    there. A snake is an awkward looking villain, so keeping it hidden is
    probably wiser. There is also, thank heavens, no dodgy animatronics.

    Incredibly dumb and unnecessary it may be, but Anacondas is easy,
    inoffensive entertainment that will surely appeal to some part of
    everybody's taste.

  5. Along with "Catwoman", here’s another summer movie that really wasn’t
    bad at all. In fact, I think I liked it a little better than the first
    one. The plot had a few unexpected zigs and zags, some chills and quite
    a bit of genuine humor. Everyone’s a little too pretty (even the guys)
    to be believed as a representative cross-section of humanity but that’s
    Hollywood for you.

    The fact that there are no anacondas in Borneo mildly detracts but I
    guess that’s a minor squabble (someone really should have either done
    more research or simply placed the movie back in South America). If
    you’re looking for a light summer entertainment, it’s perfect.

  6. ANACONDAS: THE HUNT FOR THE BLOOD ORCHID (2004) * Johnny Messner, KaDee
    Stickland, Matthew Marsden, Nicholas Gonzalez, Eugene Byrd, Karl Yune,
    Salli Richardson, Morris Chestnut. (Dir: Dwight H. Little) SSSSsuper
    Ssssize Sssssnakes Redux!

    While it is hard to believe that there was an actual clamor – albeit a
    7 years later one – for a sequel to the marginal hit ‘Anaconda’
    starring Jennifer Lopez and Ice Cube it is even harder to believe that
    the film is a near-virtual remake only substituting a documentary
    film-making crew with a scientific expedition that none-the-less winds
    up the river without a paddle in this rudderless display of new
    ineptitude.

    When a pharmaceutical conglomerate giant decides to listen to a panel
    of young, go-getting researchers to extract an extremely rare blood
    orchid from Borneo that may have the key to eternal youth (you can
    practically here the ka-ching! of millions of cash registers and saliva
    foaming at the corners of their mouths with greed) they are pressed for
    time since the flower only blooms once every seven years (of course!)
    and literally have days to procure the bounty that awaits in the thick
    no-man’s jungle that only offers rogue boat captains (you’d think a
    multi-gazillion corporation would have their own fleet of ships at the
    ready but NOOOOOO!!!) in questionably seedy bars with an appropriately
    slap-dash vessel at the wait.

    So begins the journey into fear since not one character in this unknown
    cast emerges with a unique thought as to maybe that this is not a good
    idea with the fact that it is monsoon season and they have not a clue
    as to the dangers that lie in waiting (cue the giant deadly snakes!)

    Captain Bill Johnson (can he be a more blandly named ‘hero’!?!?- played
    by Messner, who resembles a deflated, charisma-less version of The
    Rock) skippers the team – with his Asian first mate, Tran (Yune) and
    cute monkey Kong (who gets the most close-ups, I kid you not then the
    entire cast combined!) in tow – with a few problems that derail them
    over a waterfall and eventually trekking through the treacherous
    tropical thicket where one-by-one they become prey to a 40 foot
    anaconda and several of his buddies (we learn that it is mating season
    – How convenient! – and it seems a booty call for the cold-blooded
    reptiles is in order , but first one must eat and the international
    food court (that would be the untalented cast) is tops of the menu.

    The sequel’s biggest problems is that there is no one to truly root
    for, with its cardboard characters : Richardson, the bitchy idiotic
    company woman who actually whines she’s lost her phone after being
    rescued from a crocodile (!); Marsden the Rico Suave of Doctors Without
    Frontiers program (I kid you not!); Byrd, the black sacredy cat ala
    Bill Paxton’s Hudson in ‘Aliens’; Marsden as the not-to-be-trusted
    British scientist and Chestnut – the only real name actor and
    substitute ‘Boyz N The Hood’ alum for Cube – basically doing a
    variation of Samuel L. Jackson’s gig in ‘Deep Blue Sea’. However
    Strickland’s mousy administrative assistant proves to be the film’s
    wild card as she gets in touch with her inner Sigourney Weaver mid-way
    through the slogging mess (literally) that is this lame, dunderheaded
    horror flick that elicits very few scares no thanks to the pedestrian
    direction by hack Little.

    The CGI critters do in fact look more authentic than its predecessor
    however they are barely on screen long enough to get worked up over but
    should note that they are effectively quicker in their kills. Wish they
    could’ve done the same to the bonehead who greenlit this loser.

  7. This movie in my opinion is critically underrated and for that matter
    it is a superb movie.The first movie in the anacondas series was so
    pathetic that I hoped the second would be much better,and I was
    right.An orchid with a unique chemical that can transcend ones life is
    being protected by bloodthirsty anacondas and those that are looking
    for it are thrust into a battle for survival. The acting is great and
    the setting is even better.The reason this movie is so underrated is
    because it may be inaccurate but movies are made to entertain and are
    in a world of their own and unless they are based on true facts,they
    shouldn't be compared to real life situations and for that reason,I
    rank this movie as a superb adventure/thriller that will be enjoyed by
    many.

  8. In New York, the ambitious Dr. Jack Byron (Matthew Marsden) and his
    associate Gordon Mitchell (Morris Chestnut) present the research of his
    assistant Sam Rogers (KaDee Strickland) to the CEO and board of
    directors of a corporation to sponsor a scientific expedition to
    Borneo. The objective is to find a flower, Blood Orchid, that
    flourishes for a couple of weeks every seven years and could be a
    fountain of youth, prolonging the expectation of life of human beings.
    They are succeeded and once in Borneo, they realize that it is the
    raining season and there is no boat available to navigate on the river.
    They pay US$ 50,000.00 to convince Captain Bill Johnson (Johnny
    Messner) and his partner Tran (Karl Yune) to sail to the location.
    After an accident in a waterfall, the survivors realize that a pack of
    anacondas have gathered for mating and their nest is nearby the
    plantation of Blood Orchid, which made them bigger and bigger.

    I saw "Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid" with a very low
    expectation based on the IMDb User Rating, but I liked this
    entertaining adventure a lot. The story is full of action and humor,
    and I laughed a lot when Cole calls Sam of "Lorena Babbitt" when she
    cuts the head of one anaconda. There are the usual clichés of this type
    of predictable B-movie, but I had a good surprise in the end. My vote
    is seven.

    Title (Brazil): "Anaconda 2: A Caçada Pela Orquídea Sangrenta"
    ("Anaconda 2: The Hunt for the Bloody Orchid")

  9. Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid. The sequel that no one asked
    for. I guess since the Sci-fi Channel plays a giant snake movie EVERY
    weekend, studio execs figured there must be an audience for this tripe.
    Plot: an attractive cast of almost famous people go for a boat ride in
    the middle of the jungle and are attacked by giant snakes. Yeah, it’s
    pretty much just like the first film, except J-lo is no where in sight
    so I guess that makes it a little bit better. I felt sorry for Jon
    Voight for making an appearance in the original. This time I feel sorry
    for director Dwight Little. He directed the underrated Halloween 4 and
    his older films are far superior to Anacondas. The script is by the
    numbers so don’t expect any surprises. The only surprise I found was
    that the computer-generated snakes have come a long way from the
    original film. Stay tuned for Anaconda vs. Boa vs. Python.

  10. A conglomeration of every silly jungle B-movie ever made, ANACONDAS features
    a monkey sidekick, a rickety boat, Borneo, headhunters, a crocodile attack,
    rare poisonous spiders, waterfalls, a Brave Captain With a Terrible
    Mysterious Past, a Scientist Who Only Cares About Science, an Urban Guy Who
    Doesn’t Belong in the Jungle, Alcoholic and Crusty Riverboat Captains, and a
    couple of attractive women getting all sweaty and grimy. And a bunch of
    snakes. ANACONDAS had the good sense to realize that if one giant killer
    snake is good, a bunch is a whole lot better. Ends happily with a snake
    orgy, which is one of the reasons one goes to movies like this.

    Not a great film by any stretch of the imagination, but very fun. Catch it
    at a drive-in or a cheap matinee.

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