Fox // 2002 // 89 Minutes // Rated R
Reviewed by Judge Patrick Naugle // January 17th, 2003
The terror will swallow you whole!
Apparently the US and the Russians are getting along very well in 2002. The American government is paying the Russian government $50 million to deport a 57-foot acid spitting, bulletproof python from their country. When the plane carrying the enormous cargo crash lands in war-torn Chechnya ("Visit beautiful Chechnya! See the sights! Have your plane shot down!"), the only thing that survives is the nasty python that I'll affectingly refer to as "Fluffy." When some curious Russian scientists accidentally let Fluffy out of its holding pen, all hell breaks loose! Enter Greg Larson (original Python holdover Billy Zabka, National Lampoon's European Vacation), a CIA agent in charge of getting Fluffy back to the states. Greg has also enlisted the help of Dwight Stoddard (Dana Ashbrook, The Return of the Living Dead Part II), his hottie girlfriend (Simmone Jade MacKinnon), and their truck to help transport Fluffy once he's been captured. Soon the Americans and the Russians are working together towards one common goal: to incarcerate Fluffy and make some nice boots out of his hide.
In the annals of giant killer snake movies, Python II takes the cake as being...oh, who are we kidding? There are no "annals of giant killer snake movies." Except for the so-cheesy-it's-good Anaconda, there hasn't been a decent movie featuring a killer snake since O.J. Simpson in Earthquake (n'yuck, n'yuck, n'yuck). In my review of the original Python, I'm actually quoted as saying "I honestly don't have a lot of negative things to say about Python." I was apparently on crack when I wrote that review. I have a lot of negative things to say about Python II. This film is a jumbled mess that features an animated snake with all the realism of Super Nintendo game. Apparently Fox wasn't even willing to splurge on a good DVD case -- the cover snake looks like he was pulled directly from a demo of a 1991 computer game. Then again, maybe I'm being too harsh on Python II; after all, the makers had to have known they weren't making Citizen Kane II: Snakes Alive! As a straight-to-DVD feature you could do far worse, though not by much. The acting ranges from mediocre (Billy Zabka) to really bad (Dana Ashbrook) to really, really bad (uh...anyone else). There are a few cheap looking explosions for thrills, and gorehounds will be sorely disappointed by the lack of any true horror or violence. I don't consider a badly rendered computer generated snake swallowing a man whole as true "terror." Python II is rated R for "language and creature violence," though I can't imagine any child over the age of seven finding this film even the slightest bit scary. I'd sit here and draw comparisons between Python II and the original film, but do you really, honestly care? Let me put it this way: Python II makes the original Python look like The Godfather. It may be that in my cantankerous old age I'm becoming less and less tolerant of schlocky crap disguised as honest-to-goodness entertainment. The only entertainment value viewers will take from Python II is watching the disc burn inside their oven. Happy cooking!
Python II is presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen. For a straight-to-DVD title, I was fairly impressed by this image quality on this disc. Yes, it's not great -- there's a noticeable amount of grain and softness in the image. Then again, what were you expecting from a movie that stars the bully from The Karate Kid Part II and a snake that appears to have been created on a 1987 Apple computer? Overall the colors are bright and bold and the black levels solid and dark. The soundtrack is presented in a decent Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround track, along with a Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround mix, both in English. The 5.1 mix on this disc is a solid effort with a few surround sounds and directional effects punctuating the track. Though this won't give your home theater system a humongous workout, overall it's a better than expected effort when compared to the film it's supporting. Also included on this disc are subtitles in English and Spanish ("Hola señor, there's an el grande snake in your trousers!")
For some reason I wasn't overly surprised to find out Python II was void of any meaty extra features. Why Fox decided not to throw millions into a "special collector's edition" of this film is beyond me. What fans do get are some cast and crew filmographies, a trailer for the film, a trailer for Fox Flicks, and a pointless photo gallery of images from the production.
Review content copyright © 2003 Patrick Naugle; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2014 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
* 1.85:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround (English)
Running Time: 89 Minutes
Release Year: 2002
MPAA Rating: Rated R
* Theatrical Trailer
* Photo Gallery