Sony // 2004 // 91 Minutes // Rated R
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // September 9th, 2004
Whoever wins, we snooze.
Match-up mayhem has infested the movie world these days, and who says sci-fi and slasher icons should have all the fun? What about a couple of big-ass snakes? Well, Columbia has answered the pleading of the five of you and has pitted two of nature's deadliest computer-generated reptilian foes against each other, where only one will be crowned the ultimate champion in the take-no-prisoners, no-holds-barred, dog-eat-dog, out-of-clichés super-brawl called: Boa vs. Python!
When you've conquered all the hunting challenges that have face you, where do you turn for that next big-game thrill? Look no further than Broddick (Adam Kendrick, The Drone Virus), a mega-millionaire who flies around in a CGI-jet and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sneering and Conniving. By his side his hot little girlfriend Eve, a ravishing beauty with a penchant for soaping up in slow motion in the bath tub.
Broddick is sponsoring the big game of a lifetime for a few stereotypical hunters, who are apparently filthy rich yet show up to the hunt in used cars. A humongous python has been shipped over from the rain forest, and the slithering beastie will be their quarry. But when the python escapes and chows downs on its captors, Broddick's plan has to be adapted; he changes the venue for the hunt, setting loose his squad in the bowels of a water treatment facility where the python is on the prowl.
Meanwhile an FBI agent, determined to prevent the python from claiming any more lives, rushes to seek aid from renowned snakeologist (not the term, I know, but I'm too lazy to leaf through the dictionary) Dr. Steven Emmett (David Hewlett, Cypher). Also along for the ride is Monica Bonds (Jaime Bergman, Son of the Beach), a marine biologist who has developed a prototype camera and monitoring system for sea animals or something.
But the real humdinger is Dr. Emmett's boa constrictor, "Betty," a mammoth snake, prone to violence and "hissy" fits (oh man, that was great!). Taking a page from The Absolute Stupidest Solutions to Exotic Problems: Third Edition, the trio decide to dump Betty in with the python and let the two duke it out.
Somehow, I think this is going to turn out bad.
For a movie proclaiming hot snake-on-snake action, Boa vs. Python sadly lacked the requisite brawling. In fact, the two don't square off until, literally, the last ten minutes of the movie. I'm sorry, but I require significantly more reptilian violence than what I got in a film flaunting two dastardly snake combatants.
This is a B-movie and it embraces its nature. The flick is strewn with some tongue-in-cheek humor, like a goofy hold-your-breath-underwater contest between Monica and some dude and she removes her top (off camera) and to hokey music the guy freaks out and surfaces, or all of the hunting party, including a father-son trigger-happy team ripped straight from Surviving the Game, or the inept FBI assistant who falls face-first into a pile of gore and arises with sinew on his face and the zany comic relief music plays in the background.
The acting across the board is laughable, save for Bergman, who, believe it or not, endeared me with her personality. She came across as funny and charming and came real close to selling me on the fact she played a brilliant scientist. Close.
The award for Most Likely to Rupture a Vein in His Forehead goes to Kendrick for his portrayal of studly-though deadly-Broddick. This guy chews every piece of dialogue he gets and then spits it out in your face. His performance is by far the most uproarious and over-the-top, and culminates in his face-off with the two snakes in a night club. He rips off his shirt (for no apparent reason other than to lull the creatures into a stupefied daze with his oiled-down physique) and goes ape-dirt with a flamethrower, a ridiculous look of testosterone-charged machismo on his face and his coiffure styled and undisturbed, until he's mauled in fun, gory detail.
And finally there are just the colossal logical snafus, common to these low-budget flicks. There's a tie for my favorite: 1) when Doctor Emmett brings Monica Bonds and the FBI agent in to meet Betty, Bonds asks where she is, and the ever-sly doc says "You're standing on top of her," and the girl looks down and notes that indeed she had been resting her foot on a huge snake and not whatever else she thought she was resting it on, and they all gape in awe, despite the fact there's a monstrous boa constrictor eyeing them intently, or 2) as Broddick goes on the aforementioned flame-throwing spree, the authorities just watch him, pistols drawn, as he wreaks havoc and burns a few cops and bystanders to death.
The creature feature enjoys a decent presentation from Columbia, which equips Boa vs. Python with a Dolby Digital 5.1 mix and good widescreen transfer. The audio didn't too much for my ears as the action was primarily front-loaded, and the transfer, though nice enough, really showcased some of the more miserable bits of CGI.
Like old skin, Boa vs. Python sloughs off any extra features. But you do get a free ticket to the new Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid, a gift that may be interpreted in some states as a misdemeanor.
We're promised an all-out monster melee and delivered a slow-building schoolyard snake scuffle. Fangs for nothing.
Guilty of third-degree assault with low-budget computer effects.
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Scales of Justice
* 1.85:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (Thai)
Running Time: 91 Minutes
Release Year: 2004
MPAA Rating: Rated R
* Free Movie Ticket