Monday, October 5, 2009

Python 2

Watching a load of cheesy movies and having a wife who enjoys rampaging giant critter movies has given me the equivalent of a PhD in giant snake movies. True, it’s not the future Mom dreamed for me, but any idiot can grow up to be an astronaut, how many can say they have the depth of knowledge to compare and contrast Python, Boa and Boa vs. Python? You are reading the wisdom of one such.

Somehow, we had missed the 2002 sequel to Python, imaginatively named Python 2. It was obvious that it was, like many remakes, going to have a hard time living up to the original. After all, the characters played by Robert Englund, Wil Wheaton, and Casper van Dien didn’t return, due to a severe amount of squishing they endured (or didn’t, really) in the first one.

In Russia, there is a giant snake loose which is a military experiment or something. The Russian army, led by an American colonel/sergeant, traps the 85 foot 12 ton beast, and then has it flown out of the country. Here’s a rule for you: never transport a giant snake by air. The first movie involved a plane crashing with a giant python, and here the filmmakers figured why mess around with success? The plane is shot down by Chechen insurgents, after flying around slowly at a low altitude so they could get a good shot at it. Everyone is killed. Then the Chechens are ambushed by Russians, who execute everyone, even the women, even though there weren’t any women until they needed some to make execution seem bad. The container that holds the snake was undamaged in the crash, and it is taken to a Russian military base, where it gets out of control. The giant python also spits acid, which seems illogical since real pythons aren't venomous, they are constrictors. the giant snake also roars like a bear, which seems uncommon behavior for our slithering friends, too.

A brief digression: absolutely the most ridiculous thing about this ridiculous movie was the carrying case for the snake. It’s the size of a large suitcase, considerably smaller than the head of the snake inside. When the case is opened, it takes forever to flow out of the little thing.

Meanwhile, a former professional baseball pitcher who hit a batter in the head in a game and had to flee the United States is working in Russia as an independent truck driver. He is approached by a blonde American guy who offers him $100,000 to drive something to Germany. Now, if you are offered that much money to transport something a short distance, here are a couple of assumptions:

1. It is illegal, because you wouldn’t get paid that much if it wasn’t. If you accept, don’t bitch later on when you find out about it.
2. You shouldn’t ask any questions, or indulge in any other curiosity. The less you know, the less likely your employers will kill you to keep you quiet, and the more likelihood you have of getting a reduced sentence if it all goes south.

Naturally, our pitcher ignores both these things.

The trucker and Blondie’s crew travel to the military base, where the snake has gone on a rampage and killed everyone. After many more deaths, as you might guess, the pitcher’s ability to throw something at someone/thing’s head comes into play.

Even by the low standards of giant snake movies, this is pretty bad. The main character is annoying as hell, and it’s difficult to watch knowing the guy you want to be eaten by the snake won’t be. The CGI is mediocre, but about on a par with others of its ilk.

In conclusion, if you are going to see only one giant snake movie, don’t let it be Python 2.
I'm embarrassed on behalf of my species.

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