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Review: Son of the Mask

Everyone seems slightly embarrassed to be in the film and rightfully so because, above all else, the film just isn’t funny.

Son of the Mask
Photo: New Line Cinema

Whatever might be compelling about a Hollywood film that proposes a son reeking revenge on the father who didn’t want him by driving him insane is quickly squashed in this dreadful sequel to The Mask. The first film was disappointing enough, lacking much of the maniacal and bloody lunacy of the original comic, about a mask that transforms its wearer into the indestructible and quite mad Loki, Norse god of mischief. Son of the Mask trades in on the same Looney Tunes antics—Jamie Kennedy’s put-upon father even has the last name Avery in obvious homage to legendary Tex—and then proceeds to make even less of the opportunity than its predecessor. Kennedy plays an immature goofball who longs for success as an animator and finds himself being harangued by his wife to have a baby. When his best friend, the family dog, brings him the mask, he ends up fathering a child while under its devilish influence: hence the birth of the titular star. Next to Kennedy, who is admittedly at times lovably stupid, and his overwhelmingly lackluster performance as the Mask, Jim Carrey’s previous portrayal looks like a work of genius. Everyone seems slightly embarrassed to be in the film and rightfully so because, above all else, the film just isn’t funny. The only thing that might raise a chuckle are, ironically enough, the clips from old cartoons included in the film. Besides a few set pieces with Alan Cumming’s Loki as he searches for the baby, the film is shockingly unimaginative, and even those sequences strain one’s patience. The tame “insanity” of a horrible looking CGI baby combined with a heroically bad script that, rather than trying harder to be funny, actually proposes that the franchise offer something meaningful in terms of parent-child relations, results in a film that is remarkably inept.

Cast: Jamie Kennedy, Alan Cumming, Bob Hoskins, Steven Wright, Ryan Falconer, Traylor Howard Director: Lawrence Gutterman Screenwriter: Lance Khazei Distributor: New Line Cinema Running Time: 86 min Rating: PG Year: 2005 Buy: Video, Soundtrack

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