Cast: Johnny Messner, Matthew Marsden, Morris Chestnut, Salli Richardson
Director: Dwight H. Little
Call me crazy, but I actually enjoyed this cliched but briskly-paced action adventure. Sure, most of the characters are one-dimensional and the situations are stripped right out of the usual ‘horror get ya’ tales, but there are a few new twists and at least the scenery is very pretty. The plot: a few businessmen bring a scheme to a big drug company to rake in the dough: a newly discovered flower down in Borneo that can halt the aging process. The Fountain of Youth in a pill, to quote one of the characters. The trouble is, the flower only blooms for a few weeks every seven years or so. The partners are told to go, baby, go and they head down to Borneo, with various assistants and the one drug-company exec in tow.
The flower time table keeps things moving at a brisk pace and gives reasons for many of the decisions that the characters make. I can’t fault them for most of their decisions, a surprise for horror flicks. You know, the slasher ones where the doofballs go off on their own and make stupid mistakes, just so their characters can get the axe (literally in some of those flicks). But the people were actually believable in this movie. That’s not to say some did not make stupid mistakes, but mostly the snakes had to work for their meals. I could note that anacondas are not native to Borneo, and the monkey is probably the smartest character in this flick, but those are minor quibbles.
All in all I was surprised. I expected to like Hero more than this one. But the artistic posing and the not-so-hidden message of Hero spoiled it for me. In Anacondas, there is no hidden message. Fast-paced, fun, and shot in a beautiful rain forest, this is just what you’d expect a movie about giant snakes eating people to be. Not more, but certainly not less.