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Boa vs. Python (August 12/04)

For a film called Boa vs. Python, there's precious little snake-on-snake action. The movie's obvious low budget has evidently forced director David Flores to emphasize the stock human characters over the two titular beasts, a decision that's bound to leave viewers disappointed (let's face it, about the only thing one demands out of a film like this is a lot of violence - something Boa vs. Python just cannot deliver).

The film features an appropriately absurd storyline, which kicks off when an eccentric tycoon named Broddick (Adam Kendrick) has the world's largest python flown in for the purposes of a hunt. When said python invariably escapes, the lead FBI agent on the case (played by Kirk B.R. Woller) decides to fight fire with fire and calls upon a scientist (David Hewlett) who just happens to own the world's largest boa constrictor. Also thrown into the mix is Monica Bonds (Jaime Bergman), the inventor of a device that - when implanted into an animal - allows the user to see exactly what the wearer sees.

For a movie about a pair of gigantic snakes, Boa vs. Python spends far too much time on character development - which would be fine if Jeffery Beach and Phillip Roth's screenplay actually moved beyond the level of pure cliché. Instead, we're presented with characters that behave exactly the way you might expect them to - and as a result, it's not all that difficult to pinpoint exactly when each of them is going to die.

Gorehounds hoping to revel in the sight of two snakes feasting on their prey are bound to be disappointed, as the majority of the kills are offscreen (people are either dragged away by a snake or we're treated to a snake-POV shot while the camera zooms into a screaming victim). As for the snakes themselves, they're not quite as fake as they could've been - though it's clear that the technology still hasn't advanced to the point where smaller special effects houses are able to manufacture convincing creatures.

If nothing else, Boa vs. Python provides a rare opportunity to see noted Canadian scene-stealer David Hewlett in a starring role (why'd it have to be this, though?)

out of

About the DVD: Columbia TriStar Home Video presents Boa vs. Python with a crisp letterboxed transfer, along with several trailers (Boa vs. Python, Anacondas: Hunt for the Blood Orchid, Boa, Kaena, Resident Evil 2, and Starship Troopers 2).
© David Nusair