Anaconda is a 1997 action adventure horror film directed by Luis Llosa and stars Jennifer Lopez, Ice Cube, Jon Voight, Eric Stoltz, Jonathan Hyde and Owen Wilson.
A "National Geographic" crew are taken hostage by an insane snake hunter and forces them along his quest to capture the world's largest - and deadliest - snake.
- The first act of the movie is very slow paced.
- The movie feels like its ripping off elements from Francis Ford Coppola and Steven Spielberg films, especially Apocalypse Now and Jaws.
- Some cringeworthy dialogue, such as Owen Wilson's line "Is it just me, or does the jungle make you horny?".
- The acting is subpar, especially from veteran actors such as Jon Voight and Danny Trejo (the latter only appears at the beginning of the movie).
- Several bad special effects, especially the backwards waterfall.
- Most of the characters are one dimensional and flat.
- The CGI effects while fine at times, look really cartoonish.
- Some of the death scenes can be pretty disgusting such as a panther having its eyeball squeezed out and Paul Serone being regurgitated by an anaconda.
- The film has some plot holes such as how did Paul Serone put a wasp in Steven's scuba regulator.
- There is a cringeworthy and juvenile scene of Westridge talking about picking leeches off his scrotum.
- Numerous moments that make the film unintentionally funny.
- The direct-to-video sequels are even worse.
- Jon Voight's performance as Paul Serone can be pretty entertaining at times.
- Jennifer Lopez as Terri Flores is fantastic.
- Ice Cube's performance is passable.
- Jonathan Hyde as Westridge can get a few good laughs.
- Its tongue-in-cheek humor is well executed.
- The score composed by Randy Edelman is a nice blend of adventure, action and suspense.
- Great amazon location filming.
- "There's snakes out there this big?"
- Several action scenes, such as the battle at the abandoned lumber mill, are intense and decent.
- The animatronics for the anacondas are well-done.
- The ending is pretty bittersweet.
Anaconda received generally mixed-to-negative reviews upon its release. Some critics did praise the film's effects, scenery, and tongue-in-cheek humor, but many criticised the acting, forgettable characters, inaccuracies and boring start.
On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds a 39% "rotten" rating with weighed average of 4.71/10. The critical consensus reads, "Anaconda's pulpy pleasures are constricted by its own absurdity, but creature feature fans may enjoy its brazen silliness". On Metacritic it holds a score of 37 out of 100.
Roger Ebert of The Chicago Sun-Times awarded the film 3 1/2 out of 4 stars and called it a"...slick, scary, funny Creature Feature, beautifully photographed and splendidly acted in high adventure style."
Despite the lukewarm reception of the past, it has become a cult classic among audiences and fans of the genre, often viewed as so-bad-it's-good.
The film opened up at #1 with $16.6 million on its opening weekend and remained at the top spot in its following weekend. In total, Anaconda went on to gross $136.8 million worldwide against its $45 million budget.
Awards and Nominations
The film was nominated for six Golden Razzie Awards including Worst Picture, but lost to The Postman. It was also nominated for two Saturn Awards including Best Actress (for Jennifer Lopez) and Best Horror Film.
- The CGI shots for the anacondas cost $100,000 per second.
- There is a scene where they blow up a bridge and small snakes are seen lying all over the boat. The snakes were provided by a local animal handler in Brazil.