Twitter Plot Summary: The Hoff rocks up to take on the giant anaconda snakes to help a billionaire develop a cancer cure.
Before we get started, be forewarned that this is a film starring David Hasselhoff, so you should know what quality to expect from just that one piece of information. However, the caveat there is that it’s nowhere near as bad as you might expect simply, because it knows exactly how bad it is and revels in its own cheesy tone. It even goes so far as to rip off two key scenes from Predator, specifically where they shoot blindly into the forest at an invisible enemy, and where Arnie gets covered in mud and becomes invisible to the Predator’s sensors. Both scenes occur here, and whilst they are pale imitations of the original it’s still fun to spot such blatant homaging/stealing from far better films.
As for the Anaconda franchise, after a couple of ill-advised excursions into the jungle where various groups of people encountered giant killer snakes, this time the action takes place a bit closer to home as some modified giant anacondas escape from the lab and cause havoc in the forests of Romania (not so much mentioned in the film but that’s where it was filmed). Except there isn’t very much havoc caused at all, not unless you count the hunters tasked with tracking the snakes down and the deaths that ensue when they get a little too close for comfort.
The opening features a CGI snake that takes a backward step when compared to the first two films, if that was ever considered possible. It looks like most sub-par CGI in that it hasn’t had textures correctly applied and when set against a real world background it stands out like a particularly sore thumb. There’s no question that the snake has been added afterwards, which spoils the immersion no end.
Meanwhile Jonathan Rhys-Davies demonstrates that his career didn’t quite take off following his role in the Lord of the Rings trilogy by playing a man who wants to partake in the blood orchid’s life-giving properties, before his own is cut short by illness. He clearly relishes the fact he’s asked to overact to an outrageous level and attacks the role with gusto.
David Hasselhoff, despite your preconceptions over his acting ability, proves to be an enjoyable presence in a supporting role as a cocky animal tracker who has some dubious ideas as to how best to take the snake down. Does he have a hidden agenda of his own? Probably.
It is in fact Crystal Allen who takes the lead as scientist Amanda Hayes, a woman who is responsible for at least some of the experimentation on the snakes and whose conscience gets the better of her as she realises the magnitude of her past decisions. Don’t take this as an indication that there is some heavy duty character development going on – there isn’t. But then while Anacondas: Trail of the Blood Orchid couldn’t find the right tone, Anaconda 3 has fun with its low budget and hits exactly the right spot by acknowledging its own faults and embracing them. It helps make what would otherwise be an unbearably bad film a moderately acceptable one.