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Anacondas II; More Snakes, No J-Lo

August 28, 2004 – You know the drill. A bunch of attractive young people in tight clothes, sweat beads dripping into their low-cut tops, enter a dangerous situation and disappear one by one.
Because this is a sequel (to 1997's "Anaconda"), you even know why the victims are being snatched.
But that doesn't mean you should stay away from "Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid." It's so formula it squeaks, but the formula works.
Some "scientists," apparently just released from their contracts as underwear models, seek the legendary blood orchid, reputed to be the secret of eternal life. They meet up with a modern Charlie Alnutt (remember Humphrey Bogart in "The African Queen"?) who ferries them through the jungle river in his rickety boat toward untold riches – and a bunch of really huge and angry, if obviously computer-generated, snakes.
After the boat tumbles down a waterfall and breaks apart one of the guys teases a woman as they wade to shore.
"Daaaa-dum! Daaaa-dum!" he says, imitating the shark theme from "Jaws."
She berates him, but as soon as her back is turned he is satisfyingly yanked back into the water with a big splash, and we can check off a victim.
That's the drill. The only surprise is why Jennifer Lopez, who starred in the original, failed to recognize that "Anacondas" would have made a better vehicle than "Gigli."
Buy a bunch of popcorn, enjoy the theater air conditioning, and giggle through this cheesy late-summer thriller.
Directed by Dwight H. Little ("Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers") and starring Johnny Messner, Matthew Marsden ("Helen of Troy"), Morris Chestnut ("Confidence," "The Brothers"), Salli Richardson ("Antwone Fisher"), Eugene Byrd ("8 Mile"), Nicholas Gonzalez and Karl Yune.
93 minutes, rated PG-13.
Anacondas is currently playing at Sunny Isle Theaters. Click here to check schedule.

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