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"Anacondas ... "

THERE AREN'T too many excuses to make for "Anacondas — The Hunt For The Blood Orchids" any more than the one made in the first Anaconda film — where one huge snake terrorised and slithered through the Amazon jungles. Now these CGI reptiles are loose in the jungles of Borneo — where rare orchids grow which can slow human decay.

Naturally pharmaceutical companies are interested what with millions being at stake. One of them actually sends a research team to the hot, moist jungles of Borneo to find the samples. But they have picked the most inappropriate time of the year — for it is monsoon and mating season for the animals, especially reptiles. They don't get too many boat fellows who are willing to take them down the river at a time like this. Except,one macho man (Johnny Messner) who agrees — but for a huge price. The team and captain, on a rickety boat, start their journey into dangerous zones.

The boat's engine breaks down and spirals into a roaring waterfall with all of them crashing and tumbling into the swirling waters. They manage to swim to safety. Only there is no safety on the shore as well.

The heroic captain tries to lead the team to the next boat and sothe trek through reptile-infested foliage begins. One by one, slimy giant snakes lunge out from hidden nooks and trees and gobble up the least annoying members of the team. There is one bad guy — the Chief Scientist (Mathew Marsden). He wants the orchids at any cost even if it means killing one of the members (Eugene Byrd) who wants to call the expedition off. The captain, the company's top researcher (Ka Dee Strickland), the funny man (Morris Chestnut), the skeptic (Salli Richardson Whitfield) not only have to deal with the creatures, but also with the evil, conniving chief scientist.

The rest of the film, directed by Dwight Little, passes in a whirl of screaming, screeching people running between trees trying to avoid the snakes that seem to pop out of every turn

CHITRA MAHESH

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