starring Cole Hauser, Morris Chestnut, Lena Headey, Piper Perabo
screenplay by Michael Steinberg & Tegan West
directed by Bruce Hunt
by Walter Chaw The comparisons are inevitable, but that's mostly because The Cave is about 80% identical to Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid: the same throat-talking white hero (Jack (Cole Hauser this time)), complementary women (Lena Headey as the smart one and Piper Perabo as the bikini), black guy (Morris Chestnut in both films), Asian (Daniel Dae Kim), and egghead (Marcel Iures); the same fall from a giant waterfall; and the same various other good-looking male-model types who serve as chum for the same blurrily-shot CGI beast. There's even a cave in Anacondas, if you recall. But the 20% of The Cave that's different (no fraidy-cat Stepin Fetchit in this one), most notably the major plot twist (already spoiled in a doctored image in the film's trailers), make it the superior film. Not a good film, let's not go crazy, but not a terrible one, either--and if you can get into the idea that what the picture's really doing is rewriting the vampire mythos in biological/parasitical terms, you might even have a good time of the Reign of Fire variety.