Anaconda (1997)

Rating: **
Review Date: 2/7/15
Cast: Jennifer Lopez, Ice Cube, Jon Voight, Owen Wilson, Kari Wuhrer, cameo by Danny Trejo

Stupid and formulaic, but worth watching for a delightfully strong and sexy performance by Jennifer Lopez. It's a shame she never pursued a career as an action actress, as she definitely has the strength, conviction, and physicality to pull it off. The story begins with poor Danny Trejo being attacked by a giant snake only three minutes into the film. From there, film director Terri Flores (Jennifer Lopez) takes a small production crew into the Amazon Jungle to film a documentary about a remote tribe of natives. Along the way, they rescue a stranded man named Paul Serone (creepy Jon Voight), who harbors an unhealthy interest in snakes. He coerces the crew into helping him hunt a giant anaconda, and disaster naturally befalls them.

Admittedly, the only reason I watched this was because of Jennifer Lopez and the lovely and underappreciated Kari Wuhrer. Ms. Lopez is wonderful throughout and a sheer joy to watch. Unfortunately, while Ms. Wuhrer is quite pretty, she has very little to do and her character is weak and uninteresting. Lovable Ice Cube gives a solid and entertaining performance, and Jon Voight makes a very creepy, dangerous, and resourceful villain. The snake effects are laughably bad and outrageously ridiculous. The dialog is awkward and often cringe worthy, and the pointless romantic interludes just add silliness to the nonsensical plot. That said, it pretty much lived up to my expectations.