**½/**** Image B- Sound B-
starring Jennifer Lopez, Ice Cube, Jon Voight, Eric Stoltz
screenplay by Hans Bauer and Jim Cash & Jack Epps, Jr.
directed by Luis Llosa
by Walter Chaw Almost worth it just for Jon Voight's post-regurgitation wink, Luis Llosa's B-movie creature-feature Anaconda is a deadpan riff on the nature-amuck flicks of the mid-Seventies in general and Steven Spielberg's Jaws in particular. (Cinematographer Bill Butler shot both films.) It borrows the Moby Dick conceit of a mad hunter forcing a hapless crew to take a personal vision quest against an aquatic foe and post-modernizes it with a passel of genre in-references, an unusually dry script, and a supporting cast of accomplished character actors. The only real failure of the film in respect to its modest aspirations, in fact, is the snake itself, a frankly awful CGI phantom that destroys the tension with its every appearance. It's hard to be afraid of a glorified screen-saver.