2/21/11

SON OF THE MASK - REVIEW


Back in the mid 90's, Jim Carrey redefined slapstick comedy with his own brand of cartoonish goofiness. Then in the mid 00's, we were given Carrey-free outings such as Dumb and Dumberer, Ace Ventura Jr (shudder) and Son of the Mask, mainly rubbish sequels aimed at the poor nostalgic fools suffering withdrawal symptoms from the old JC days.

Jamie Kennedy (star of Dr Dolittle 2 and Malibu's Most Wanted) takes on the Jim Carrey everyman role and Alan Cumming is thrown in because...one annoying dude making faces at the camera is never really enough. Hence why the Ernest movies were always so underwhelming (sarcasm).

Oh and there's Bob Hoskins voicing Odin in an extended, pointless cameo, a CGI baby, a CGI dog and a CGI everything else.

Comparing Son of the Mask with the original The Mask would probably take all day and the conclusion would be pretty anti-climactic. Lets just look at what this sequel does wrong, for starters. After a promising opening sequence in which Ben Stein's face is torn off and exhibited as a mask in a glass case ("where's my body?" lol), it soon becomes clear why it took so long for a Mask sequel to materialise.

With a script and a story this dire, it's no surprise it took 10 years to find someone crazy enough to attempt directing this mess. Basically this cartoonist HILARIOUSLY called Tim Avery (as in Tex Avery, you see?) puts on the mask, has a "mask baby" who inexplicably tries to drive him insane, meanwhile god of mischief Loki comes to Earth and tries to hunt down the mask (for some reason), MEANWHILE the dog gets jealous and tries to take on the baby... And this made sense to someone how?

There's special effects aplenty and, for the most part, they are effective in that they are genuinely cartoony and add some form of wackiness to the proceedings. But when you have a frightening looking CGI baby bouncing off the walls, a maniacal CGI dog barking away in the corner and everything filmed in close-up until you start actually taking steps back from the TV set as a precaution, it just makes for a stressful and generally unpleasant experience.

The biggest kick in the pants though has to be the fact that Kennedy barely even wears the mask at all. When he does, things start ressembling a Mask film but there's way too many nonsensical subplots and side characters trying to steal the show for that to even work. Then again, the one musical number Kennedy's Mask alter-ego has is probably one of the single most GODAWFUL things ever put to celluloid. A horrible remix of a karaoke classic sung really loudly by an obnoxious green guy with plastic hair, it will pierce through your ears and inject your brain with stupid.

Good points? Well, as said previously, some special effects work quite well, there are a few fun bits here and there and the whole thing should keep most young kids entertained. Actually, think of it this way: the original Mask is for you: the older, nostalgic, grumpy 90's kid and this one is for your kid (or little brother): the young, naive, easily distracted, smelly noughties kid. Like Ace Ventura Jr, it's pointless to see these last-minute Carreyless retreads as sequels but rather as spin offs aimed at a much younger audience. It's just a shame they have to look at good films and choose to ruin original concepts rather than create new ones. Damn you Hollywood!

Never mind. If you're a fan of The Mask, I don't really recommend this but if your kid keeps throwing carrot paste at you, this should keep them occupied for a couple of hours. 


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