After two movies about idiot teens being killed by another teen and an off screen monster I wanted to change it up a notch to dumbass adults being killed by a giant CGI snake.
I did have another movie planned for this week, but I saw this pop up on Netflix and I do not regret the change. Anaconda is a very special movie and after the first five minutes you immediately realise you have just struck a gold mine.
The first golden scene shows Danny Trejo fearing for his life as the anaconda starts smashing the floor boards beneath his feet. It’s quite dramatic and tense as the cowering Danny Trejo climbs up the mast thing to safety, only to then kill himself. The scene is so perfectly paced that it received a well deserved wild cackle from yours truly.
Cut to the main plot and we follow braless documentary director Jennifer Lopez as she and her crew go on a lovely cruise down the Amazon River in search of some obscure tribe that worships snake gods. She is of course joined by cameraman Ice Cube, another chick too hot for their job, an annoying old British narrator, some disposable snake bait and wow, it’s Owen Wilson, the sound guy! Our crew of clueless documentarians don’t have much of a plan for their film, just to film it, have the narrator go unscripted and hire a crappy boat with shifty crew members to get across the Amazon.
You’ll get a taste of some of the cringey dialogue and bad acting this movie offers but will more likely also get a laugh out of it. We reach our peak when Jon Voight enters the movie as this ultimate badass with the strangest South American accent I have ever heard. Paul Serone is the funniest character in the whole movie because of his bizarre accent, his weird facial expressions and some of the stunts that he pulls off which just amaze me.
The drama is kicked off when one of the main crewmen swallows a wasp under the water while trying to remove a rope that I presume was attached to the river floor. Serone opens up his neck and saves his life. Just before this we were comforted with the talk of a little fishy that can go up your urethra and the crazy hunter guy who would happily cut it out for you!
No anacondas yet, but at least they still trust Serone who keeps telling them about this short cut. Unfortunately that part of the river has been walled off, apparently to keep anacondas in. They blow up the wall, but they lose most of their fuel that they just keep on the deck in giant cans.
They stop at Danny Trejo’s place and we know the anaconda is not far away. It is as long as a school bus and as thick as a log and it’s killing method is quite gruesome, but the CGI hasn’t aged well. Our first victim got separated from the pack by exiting the house out the side door. Too bad no one sees it nor is really concerned about it.
J. Lo finally puts two and two together, figures out Serone tricked them into taking this detour so he could hunt the anaconda and make a lot of cash. Despite almost everyone being completely against Serone’s desires, Owen Wilson convinces them their nature documentary could use a reptile capture and plus it will make them rich! They stay up all night preparing for the anaconda to come and when it arrives they’re completely annihilated and Owen Wilson dies, which honestly sucks.
After that disaster J. Lo seduces Serone and they managed to dupe him long enough to knock him out. The next day arrives and their boat gets stuck on the rocks. Ice Cube has a brilliant plan to winch the boat out, which involves himself and J. Lo tethering a rope to one tree while the cowardly Brit goes alone to tie up another tree while the chick who just lost her boyfriend guards the guy who’s responsible for his death. What could possibly go wrong?
The girl wants to kill Serone, but he says no don’t do it because it will haunt you forever. He springs up and strangles her to death. Meanwhile Brit is chased up a waterfall by the anaconda giving Ice Cube and J. Lo enough time to escape. The man jumps, but the snakes springs in to save his life, which is pretty damn hilarious. Then the tree that the anaconda was attached to falls on their boat.
The death of their dear friends is quickly forgotten when the anaconda attacks Ice Cube. J. Lo guns down the anaconda, but, uh-oh, Serone tries to kill them. Luckily the guy who’s been sick for the whole movie and can barely stand shoots a tranquilizer dart at Serone leaving him to sink into the river below. You thought that was an epic finale, that was only a warm-up as the last 20 minutes are freakin’ insane!
I think we have established that J. Lo and Ice Cube have plot armour and the conflict has been resolved, but I’m guessing the writers didn’t think that was enough because this next part is more action packed. They stop at an old hut for some fuel, but what are the chances they’ll be ambushed by another anaconda and Serone returning from the dead?
Another epic finale ensues where Serone is quickly killed for good by the snake. You see it snap his neck, but you see him squirming as he’s being swallowed. His final moment alive solidifies him as one of the best characters in a horror movie. The anaconda spits him out, but gets the chance to wink at Jennifer Lopez before dying. I was on the floor by that point.
The rest of the fight involves Ice Cube keeping the anaconda distracted so she can climb up the chimney to freedom. It goes according to plan as they use the fuel to blow up the chimney which engulfs the snake in fire. Don’t worry, it doesn’t kill it, it’s only when Ice Cube drives an axe into it’s head three times that it finally dies. It ends with our survivors finding the tribe of snake people they have been looking for and, The End.
This is such an easy recommendation for me as it is pretty terrible, but it was so much fun that I can forgive it. Anaconda features some really funny but awful lines, it’s the best for capturing facial expressions particularly on the older characters, clueless idiots, the action, Jon Voight’s character and the perfectly placed unintentional comedic moments. Check out this action comedy, I guarantee you’ll have a great time!