Follow the money. The sage advice given to Woodward and Bernstein by Deep Throat during the Watergate investigation is applicable to the tracking of any despicable act committed by those in unchecked seats of power.
That’s why I say ‘follow the money’ to find the studio executives responsible for hoisting, not one, but two almost certainly awful sequels on the unsuspecting American public this week. The honchos who green-lighted Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid and (No this is not a typo or a lucid nightmare) SuperBabies: Baby Geniuses 2 should be found and held accountable for their actions.
One could make an argument that the original Anaconda had enough b-movie flair to warrant a follow-up. One could also argue that Grover Cleveland’s second non-consecutive term as president was an unmitigated disaster, so you see the inherent difficulty in finding common ground on sequels. Anaconda: The One Without the Subtitle, did have a few things going for it. The cast alone is surprisingly stacked. On board is the always enjoyable Ice Cube, a pre-diva Jennifer Lopez, a pre-famous Owen Wilson, Remote Control eye-candy Kari Wuhrer, Eric Stoltz at the top of his game, and Jon Voight in the ‘I’m an Oscar winner but I really need to make my mortgage payment’ part of his career.
None of these actors are back for the follow-up, but having never seen this movie I don’t know if any of them survived the titular snake to make it to a sequel anyway. Let’s say J-Lo’s character did. Wouldn’t you rather see her in this type of movie than her upcoming movie opposite Richard Gere, Shall We Dance? If Maid in Manhattan is any indication, Ms. Lopez’s new flick will again be missing both romance and comedy, both somewhat vital ingredients in the Romantic Comedy genre. (Or maybe not so vital if you’re a fan of Runaway Bride.)
While you can mount a tangible, yet flawed, case for Big Snakes Part II, there is no defense for Super Babies. I challenge anyone to a Baby Geniuses litmus test. Let’s say it took the miniscule amount of 5 million dollars to produce this movie. Try to think of one thing you could spend 5 million dollars on that could possibly be worse than this movie. A stockpile of mustard gas? Not likely. 23,000 Furbies? Close, but no cigar. If there is one redeemable aspect of this entertainment product, it is that once again shines the fame spotlight on Happy Days heart-throb Scott Baio. One can only hope Scott can reclaim the cinematic heights he achieved with the likes of 1982’s Zapped! Can a sitcom re-pairing with Charles in Charge compatriot, Willie Aames be too far off?
Incredibly, the connection bewtween the Anaconda franchise and Super Babies doesn’t end with their crappy late-summer dumping ground release dates. Jon Voight is also cashing a paycheck for Super Babies! You really have to consider firing your agent when less than two years removed from your last Oscar nomination (Ali), you’re sharing the marquee with highly-intelligent super-infants and Chachi Arcola.