There are plenty of films worse than Anacondas: The Hunt For The Blood Orchid, but few as joylessly mundane. A sequel to J-Lo's big-snakes-in-the-jungle snooze, it ups the anaconda count but can't
increase the thrills. Searching for a priceless plant that could prove
the "pharmaceutical equivalent of the fountain of youth", a gaggle of zero-interest characters (including ex-Corrie actor Matthew Marsden) become serpent bait in Borneo. It's enough to put you right off backpacking. And, indeed, the cinema.
Even if you're looking for a Friday night no-brainer to poke fun at, Anacondas falls sadly short. There's the usual "who's going to buy it next?" appeal, although the snakes are so unconvincingly computer generated, there is little sense of threat. It's also extremely
hard to care about any of the cardboard-cutouts on screen. Marsden is lumbered with playing a villain so one-dimensionally greedy and stupid, he's impossibly dull. Morris Chestnut - a charismatic actor who was excellent in The Best Man - appears almost as bored as the audience. And ruff-tuff boat captain Johnny Messner appears and acts like an
unfortunate cross between Welcome To The Jungle co-stars The Rock and Seann William Scott: big boned and bone-headed.
"NOTHING ORIGINAL, SCARY OR WITTY"
Water-set creature features inevitably make you think of Jaws, but Anacondas is as far removed from Spielberg's classic as Minehead is from New York. There's nothing distinctive, original, scary or witty about it. The Hunt For The Script might be a better subtitle, or, perhaps, The Hunt For The Exit. Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the cinema.