Twitter Plot Summary: The mask resurfaces and is used mostly by a dog. Meanwhile God of Mischief Loki is trying to find it.
Director: Lawrence Guterman
Key Cast: Jamie Kennedy, Traylor Howard, Alan Cumming, Kal Penn, Ben Stein, Bob Hoskins.
Five Point Summary:
1. He doesn’t look blatantly evil in that black trench coat and hat…
2. Odin and Loki – Marvel do it way better.
3. The dog is jealous of the baby. This is going to be painful.
4. Cool, the baby watches Transformers Armada.
5. I’m glad that’s over. Never again.
Whomever decided a sequel to The Mask was a good idea deserves to be punched in the face. Not only for creating a sequel to a so-so movie (before I get hate mail – it was only good because Jim Carrey has a rubber face and Cameron Diaz wore that red dress – be honest), and not only for making a sequel over 10 years after the original, but for taking the decision to make it a kids film.
Sadly the film is linked directly with the original movie, so we can’t even pretend it’s an ill-advised reboot. The boring museum curator from the first film appears within the first few minutes, and the mask itself, having been washed away at the end of the first movie, washes ashore on the outskirts of Fringe City to cause more havoc and mayhem. And herein lies the first big problem with the film – the dog that finds the mask is a ringer for Milo, the dog from the original film. As the dog in this film is called Otis, it begs the question as to why they even bothered to use the same breed.
The Warner Brothers cartoon references are more overt this time round, to the point where characters are watching them on television. The lead character’s also called Tim Avery, an obvious reference to animation legend Tex Avery. He’s also a cartoonist, so it doesn’t get any more blatant than that. Then there’s all the hijinks that the characters get up to when wearing the mask, turning it into a live action cartoon. Say what you will about the Jim Carrey original but it at least had some form of internal logic to proceedings. This on the other hand splits the story right down the middle and feels like it will tear apart at any moment. On one side of the story we have Tim (Kennedy) who lives with girlfriend Tonya (Howard) and makes it abundantly clear to Tim that she wants to have kids. And I mean REALLY blatantly, as if we needed any subtlety to the script. Tim is averse to having children and/or responsibility, to the point where he has a daydream about having 15 kids – all of which have vampire teeth. Because we all know kids are drains on our health and finances, right? Instead Tim’s happy to act like a big kid and uses his dog as a surrogate little brother/child.
On that point it’s obvious from the get-go what the theme of the film will be – taking responsibility, becoming a grown-up, all that jazz. Then after his dog gives him the mask, he becomes a strange parody of Jim Carrey with a huge chin and spawns a child with his wife. A child born of the mask. His son, when born, is then embodied with the powers of the mask and makes a mad dash for uncanny valley, never to return. Seriously, that CGI baby is scary. We end up with a strange triangle of affection between Tim, his son Alvey and dog Otis. It’s really, really odd. The only positive thing I can think to say that it works really well as an homage to the old Chuck Jones/Warner Brothers cartoons (Alvey and Otis have a Wile E Coyote/Road Runner thing going on as well), but you’re better off watching them rather than this as those cartoons are genuinely funny.
The other half of the story sees God of Mischief Loki (Alan Cumming, sporting an awful American accent) trying to locate the mask because if he doesn’t, his dad Odin will imprison him. Loki spends most of his time looking at babies and trying to discover if they have any mask-like powers. Ultimately he finds Alvey and this leads to a final showdown for Alvey’s affections. Seriously, Loki was a needless presence in the film, he adds less than nothing. On that note, go and have a word with Tom Hiddleston, that’s how you portray a God of Mischief. Just saying.
Bob Hoskins is known for calling Super Mario Brothers the worst film he’s ever made, and yet he plays Odin in this nonsense. Come on Bob, seriously? The only reason I can think of for this not being worse for him than Super Mario Brothers is that he likely only did a single day of filming on this, whereas he was required to be on set almost all the way through SMB. In any case, this is a far worse film than that and Bob should really know better by now. For shame, Mr Hoskins.
If you like the original film in any way, for the love of all that is good in this world don’t make any attempt to watch Son of the Mask. It’s truly diabolical and should receive the same fate as the unsold copies of the E.T. video game released on the Atari 2600. Find a big hole, bury all copies, and then cover it with concrete. It’s the humane thing to do. And the moral I took from this film? Just because you CAN do something, doesn’t mean you SHOULD do something.
Favourite scene: Oh, there’s so many to choose from… Actually I lie – none at all.
Quote: “Now, find that mask, before I open up a can of lightning on you!”
Silly Moment: It’s all silly, but when the baby decides to copy Chuck Jones’ dancing frog cartoon, you know we’re in bad territory.