Anaconda (1997)

anaconda poster 1997 movie
3.0 Overall Score
Story: 4/10
Acting: 4/10
Visuals: 2/10

So-bad-it-is-good

Horrible visuals, acting, and story

 
Movie Info

Movie Name:  Anaconda

Studio:  Columbia Pictures

Genre(s):  Action/Adventure/Horror

Release Date(s):  April 11, 1997

MPAA Rating:  PG-13

anaconda-1997-movie-review-snake-jennifer-lopez-ice-cube-danny-terri

It’s so real!!! (Not really)

Professor Steven Cale (Eric Stoltz) is leading an expedition into the Amazon find a legendary lost tribe called the Shirishama.  With his girlfriend and director Terri (Jennifer Lopez), Cale has assembled a team to head into the Amazon.  When they encounter a stranded boat and a hunter named Paul Serone (Jon Voight), things begin to go wrong.  Serone is after a legendary massive anaconda and he is willing to risk anything to find it…even the crew.

Directed by Luis Llosa, Anaconda was a horror action-adventure.  The movie was largely panned by critics and nominated for Razzie awards for Worst Picture, Worst Director, Worst Screenplay, Worst Actor (Jon Voight), Worst Screen Couple (Jon Voight and animatronic anaconda), and Worst New Star (also for the anaconda).  Despite the pans, the movie was a box office smash.

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Bummer dude…I’m like dead

I saw Anaconda in the theater in college.  It was a packed house and everyone, though they knew it was bad, had fun with the film.  That is the type of movie Anaconda is.  It is bad, but so-bad-it-is-good…and it really is pretty bad.

The movie is very campy.  Anaconda was the rebirth of the giant monster movie.  It showed that a movie about a giant creature could make money…and SyFy has lived off the Anaconda effect since.  The story is pretty paper thin and even the characters question plot twists (Ice Cube questions when they all the sudden became anaconda hunters instead of headed back to civilization to save Stolz character).  The last act of the film just becomes a mess with Lopez and Ice Cube running from Voight and the anaconda.

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Presenting Academy Award winner Jon Voight as Leering Guy

The cast is surprisingly strong for the movie.  Jennifer Lopez wasn’t high on the list to play the lead (Gillian Anderson and Julianna Margulies were allegedly the first choices), but she was just hitting her peak popularity as the movie was released.  Ice Cube and Eric Stoltz were already quite popular and Owen Wilson was also on the rise as an actor.  Danny Trejo has a small role and legendary voice actor Frank Welker provided the “voice” of the anaconda.

The real stand-out (not for a good reason) is Jon Voight who is so over-the-top and has become a joke as an actor.  He’s horrible in the movie but keeps you watching just because of how bizarre and unrealistic his character is.  It is obvious that he is the “snake” and the character makes no attempt to hide it.

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Please just eat him and end this…

The visuals for the movie are also quite awful.  You have a really bad computer animated snake or a terrible animatronic snake…neither is good and neither is realistic.  It is simply laughable.  The movie waits so long to really show you the anaconda, you expect much more.

Anaconda is just bad but it doesn’t matter.  You get a lot of laughs and a lot of a really big, fake snake.  The movie isn’t very suspenseful, and it devolves into a really bad creature feature fight.  Don’t go into Anaconda expecting much and you won’t leave disappointed.  Anaconda was followed by Anacondas:  The Hunt for the Blood Orchid in 2004.

Related Links:

Anacondas:  The Hunt for the Blood Orchid (2004)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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