BOA VS. PYTHON
Directed by David Flores
Produced by Jeffery Beach & Phillip Roth
Written by Sam Wells and Chase Parker
Director of Photograpy Lorenzo Senatore
Music by Jamie Christopherson
Cast: David Hewlett, Jaime Bergman, Kirk B.R. Woller & Adam Kendrick
2004/91 mins/Color/5.1 Dolby Digital
1.85:1 anamorphic/English/USA/NTSC Region 1
Review from the Columbia/Tri-Star Home Entertainment DVD
Movies featuring giant snakes on the lose are nothing new and have been around for a long time, even dating back to the huge serpent in 1933's KING KONG. In the 80s, we got such entries as JAWS OF SATAN (1981) and SPASMS (1983). With the advent of CGI technology, giant snakes have made a huge comeback, starting with the 1997 stinker ANACONDA (the only movie that I've ever walked out of). From there, we've seen several direct-to-video offerings, such as PYTHON (2000), BOA (2002), and PYTHON 2 (2002). And of course, there's the upcoming theatrical release ANAONDAS: THE HUNT FOR THE BLOOD ORCHID. Now that those snakes have all had their own individual films, it's time for a grudge match with another direct-to-video snakefest, BOA VS. PYTHON. Can you handle this much snakiness?
To its credit, BOA VS. PYTHON gets off to a weird start. As the film opens, Broddick (Adam Kendrick) and his girlfriend, Eve (Angel Boris) sit ringside watching two wrestlers named Boa and Python grapple. This footage is intercut with a scene in which a truck carrying a large container is forced to stop. The container is breached and a giant python escapes from the truck, killing everyone in the convoy. We soon learn that Broddick is a millionaire playboy who likes to organize illegal big-game hunts -- this python was to be his latest prey. When he learns that the snake has escaped, he re-organizes the hunter to try and catch the snake.
Meanwhile, Agent Sharpe (Kirk B.R. Woller) is investigating the scene of the truck accident. Finding a giant scale, he realizes that a large snake is involved, so he seeks out two scientists. Monica Bonds (Jaime Bergman) has worked with dolphins and has perfected implants which allow the user to see and hear what the animal is experiencing. Emmett (David Hewlett) has bred a giant boa constrictor in his laboratory. Sharpe's plan is for Monica to fit the boa with the implants and then follow it as it hunts for the python. (Apparently, snakes hunt one another. I didn't know that.) The boa has the implants applied and is taken to the water treatment plant where the python was last seen. Soon, the hunt is on as Sharpe, Monica, and Emmett track the boa and Broddick and his team search for their prey. When all of these parties cross paths, all hell breaks loose.
Long ago, I learned to never trust home video cover art, but I was really hoping that BOA VS. PYTHON would at least resemble the really good graphic which shows the two snakes fighting in a cityscape while a helicopter fires on them. Well, there's nothing even remotely like that in this movie and if you expected BOA VS. PYTHON to be awful, then you'd be right. And that's quite a shame, because the movie has an interesting premise, but it's low-budget nature keeps it from taking those ideas too far. Despite the fact that they are simply CGI creations, the snakes get very little on-screen time. And when they are on-screen, they don't fight. When the two giant do finally face off, one realizes that there is less then five minutes left in the film, so we aren't in for any grand battle.
So, since the snakes are AWOL, we are left with the human characters, most of which are annoying. Broddick, with his cigar-chomping bravado, takes the prize as being one of the cheesiest villains in recent memory, and the rest of his hunting party are stereotypical anti-characters. Sharpe, Monica, and Emmett are all OK, and it's nice to see Leon from PIN... getting some work, but they don't make the movie any better. From start-to-finish, BOA VS. PYTHON is hackneyed and cliché, and by the end, the viewer will only be entertained when someone's Bulgarian accent slips through.
BOA VS. PYTHON slithers onto DVD courtesy of Columbia/Tri-Star Home Entertainment. The film has been letterboxed at 1.85:1 and the transfer is enhanced for 16 x 9 TVs, although the box states that it's simply widescreen. (The DVD is oddly flagged, as my player read that it was anamorphic, but set my TV to wide zoom. I did try another player to confirm that it's 16 x 9.) The image is sharp, but shows some grain throughout the film. The movie contains many dark scenes, and some of them, most notably the finale, are a little too dark. However, the daytime scenes look fine and the colors are good. Artifacting is light, but there is some video noise at times. The DVD does feature a rockinā Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track which provides nice surround sound and subwoofer effects during the snaky scenes. The dialogue is audible, and helps one to spot those odd accents. The only real extra on the DVD is a trailer for BOA VS. PYTHON, which is letterboxed at 1.85:1 and is 16 x 9. There are also bonus trailers.
This Film Features:
Review by Mike Long. All Right Reserved. 2004. ©