The first warning sign that something dreadful is lurking on a DVD is the sign on the package promising a free ticket to the new snake movie “Anacondas”. How good can this film be if it’s using a free ticket to a different film as a selling point? The sad verdict is not very good at all.
“Boa vs. Python” opens with a giant python being brought into the United States by an eccentric millionaire to be used as prey in an illegal hunting party. Unfortunately the python escapes, kills its captors, and slithers off to lay low in a water treatment plant somewhere in Pennsylvania. There, an FBI agent investigating the goings on proposes a radical thesis that recent, unexplained events are caused by a giant snake. The government, fearful of harming the water supply, decides to use a genetically modified boa to stop the loose snake. To ensure control, the boa has been equipped with sensors to allow its handler to see what it sees.
The most enjoyable thing about “Boa vs. Python”, aside from the occasional gratuitous nudity, is the DVD case art. It depicts two giant snakes battling in a city while being fired upon by a helicopter — something that never even comes close to happening in the actual movie. Still, the artistry is well done and is something to look at as an alternative to the cinematic atrocity being perpetrated onscreen.
The computer-generated effects, made under the supervision of Ulysses Agetta, look far from realistic. They don’t blend in well with the live action background, and at times their movements don’t seem as fluid as they ought to be. Usually terrible special effects would be the death of a monster movie. In “Boa vs. Python” it really doesn’t matter. Fixing the film’s special effects would be like curing acne on a leper.
The script is credited to Sam Wells, but it feels like a committee of 12-year olds wrote it. The dialogue, even when it’s trying to be intentionally funny, is awful, and the characters are one-dimensional and paper-thin. The entire idea itself is so stupid that it’s amazing anyone had the audacity to pitch it to a studio. Why sent a snake to fight another snake in the first place? Snakes aren’t exactly renowned for hunting each other down. And why are they so worried about the water supply? Speaking as someone who lives in Pennsylvania, if all we got from our water supply is tear gas and biological agents, we’d be celebrating.
The direction by David Flores is adequate in the sense that it gets the film from the beginning to the end. That’s really it. There isn’t even any visual flair or nifty scene changes to be slightly entertained by. Flores seems to have realized what he’s got himself into, and just resigned himself to his fate. It shows.
And since the cast’s performance is nothing to crow about, why delve into it any further? These poor people have suffered enough by appearing it this film and having it on their resume. There is no reason to add to the pain of the experience by having their performances raked over the coals.
“Boa vs. Python” is the best film of 2004, or it would be if all the other films released in 2004 suddenly vanished. It may have, at some point, been conceived as a project with greater ambition, but with the obviously limited budget on hand, the film turns into a train wreck stretched over 94 minutes. Avoid this movie, no matter how desperate you are to get a ticket to “Anacondas”.
David Flores (director) / Sam Wells (screenplay)
CAST: David Hewlett …. Dr. Steven Emmett
Jaime Bergman …. Monica Bonds
Kirk B.R. Woller …. Agt. Alan Sharpe
Adam Kendrick …. Broddick
Angel Boris …. Eve