Franchise Weekend – Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid (2004)

Director: Dwight H Little

Writer: John Claflin, Daniel Zelman, Michael Miner, Edward Neumeier (Screenplay) Hans Bauer, Jim Cash, Jack Epps Jr (Original Screenplay)

Starring: Morris Chestnut, KaDee Strickland, Eugene Byrd, Matthew Marsden, Johnny Messner, Karl Yune, Nicholas Gonalez

 

Plot: A scientific expedition sets out for Borneo to seek a flower called the Blood Orchid, which could grant longer life. Meanwhile, they run afoul of snakes and each other.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Nice Story, Average Acting

 

Story: Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid starts and Dr Jack Byron (Marsden) and Gordon Mitchell (Chestnut) have discovered that the blood orchid could offer a natural fountain of youth and have convinced a medical board to let them travel to Borneo to complete their research.

Putting together their team including Sam (Strickland), Dr Douglas (Gonzalez), Cole (Byrd) and Gail (Richardson-Whitfield) they find a rag-tag captain Bill Johnson (Messner) and his first mate Tran (Yune) the only man who will travel to the location in the rainy season.

When the ship is destroyed, the group must travel through the jungle to rendezvous with another boat, but they must face up against a group of deadly oversized anacondas.

 

Thoughts on Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid

 

Characters/PerformanceBill Johnson is the captain that will do anything for money, risk his life and go on the missions no one else would. He does also take responsibility if anyone is killed on his boat. Sam is the best researcher on the expedition who does know that life is more important than the research once the team come under threat. Dr Byron is the one who will do anything for money even risk his teams lives. The rest of the characters are Cole who panics too much, Gail who panics too much, Tran who is locally smart knowing how to survive. Gordon also in it for the money.

Performance wise, this is harsh to say but I feel nobody does anything that good in the acting side of this film, we are have a mix of plain acting or completely overacting nothing comes off convincing.

StoryThe idea that doctors and scientists have discovered a plant that could offer a cure for endless number of diseases and the group are going in search in unknown area comes off very well, this give us a good reason why these characters are there and certain actions they take. Add in the snakes you get survival horror 101 so this isn’t the worst story.

Adventure/HorrorThe adventure is good because you could see this happening, but the horror just doesn’t reach the levels it could.

SettingsMoving the setting was a risk because the first is on the Amazon river now we are in Borneo, the truth this does work as it helps the story as we need to see our characters go to an unknow location.

Special EffectsThe special effects are not good in this film as you can tell this is a CGI snake from start to finish.

Final ThoughtsThis is a solid sequel, it has a believable reason for going into the jungle and risking everything but the poor acting and bad CGI don’t help this one out.

 

Overall: For a good drunk creature feature this is a lot of fun.

Rating

 

 

American Assassin (2017)

Director: Michael Cuesta

Writer: Stephen Schiff, Michael Finch, Edward Zwick, Marshal Herskovitz (Screenplay) Vince Flynn (Novel)

Starring: Dylan O’Brien, Michael Keaton, Sanaa Lathan, Scott Adkins, Shiva Negar, Taylor Kitsch

 

Plot: A story centered on counterterrorism agent Mitch Rapp.


Tagline – Assassins aren’t born. They’re made.

Runtime: 1 Hour 51 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Hard Hitting Action Blast

 

Story: American Assassin starts as normal American Mitch Rapp (O’Brien) sees his fiancée gunned down by terrorists and himself left for dead, 18 months later he has trained himself to eliminate the men responsible but little does he know that CIA agent Irene Kennedy (Lathan) has been watching his action.

When Kennedy arranges to save Mitch from a certain death, she recruits him for a special section of the CIA working under Stan Hurley (Keaton) who trains agents to go undercover but if caught or killed no one will come for them.

The first mission is to locate nuclear weapon components before former agent Ghost (Kitsch) can use or sell them giving somebody in the world a nuclear bomb that can wipe out millions.

 

Thoughts on American Assassin

 

Characters – Mitch Rapp is an American that loses everything at the hands of terrorists, he learns combat and language skills to go undercover in the terrorist cell for revenge, he gets recruited by the CIA where he must learn discipline but this is where he struggles because he always wants to go after the criminal. This character does feel like a young Jack Bauer because of his rule breaking attitude for the right reasons. Stan Hurley is the off the grid trainer who takes Mitch as part of his unit, he gets tired of the Mitch’s lack of discipline but knows he needs him to capture his former student. Irene Kennedy is the deputy director of the CIA, she sees the potential in Mitch forcing Hurley to take him on, but also falls into the standard CIA director figure that will risk their reputation to prove others wrong. Ghost is the former trainee of Hurley that is using all the skills gained to stay one step ahead of him while collecting the nuclear components.

PerformancesDylan O’Brien is an actor that got into the young adult films but this role showed an adult character, showing he could go onto action films without looking like the complete actions star. Michael Keaton looks like he did enjoy the mentoring role while also getting the action role he isn’t known for. Sanaa Lathan is good in her role even if the character is very generic. Taylor Kitsch does seem to be on the recovering his career tour showing everyone just how talented he is in the villainous role.

StoryThe story does play out like an origin story for Mitch Rapp in the CIA, we see what motivated him to accept the offer, we see what makes him different from other potential agents. We have the standard level of threat, potential nuclear weapon and a story of needing to learn discipline to become a top agent while keeping his unique traits. This is an easy to watch but could easily be an over the top pilot for a television show.

Action/ThrillerThe action starts out brutal with the terrorist attack, we also fall into the car chases, fights and shoot outs which are fun to watch, the final action sequences is just popcorn wow.

SettingsThe settings take us on a tour of Europe which is fine and is giving us an iconic location moment, which is easy to locate for us.

Special EffectsThe effects in the opening sequence are brutal but then it just becomes by the book stuff.


Scene of the Movie –
Speed Boat fight.

That Moment That Annoyed Me While it started with violent level, it did turn into Jack Bauer origin feeling.

Chances of Sequel: Easily could have one.

Post Credits Scene: No

Final ThoughtsThis is an action film that is fun but not one of the greatest of the year.

 

Overall: Fun action packed blast.

Rating