Son of the Mask (2005) / Comedy-Action
MPAA Rated: PG for crude humor and violence (I'd definitely rate this PG-13)
Running Time: 86 min.
Cast: Jamie Kennedy, Alan Cumming, Ryan Falconer, Liam Falconer, Traylor Howard, Bob Hoskins, Steven Wright, Ben Stein, Kal Penn
Director: Lawrence Guterman
Screenplay: Lance Kazei
Review published February 14, 2005
The figure you see above is what New Line Cinema reportedly paid to make this horrendously inept piece of garbage posing as family entertainment. Some sources have that figure at about $75 million, but the fact remains, if they only spent a dollar to do research on the public's interest in this, they'd never spend another penny.
It's also downright insulting, not only to the audience that pays to see this, but also to every struggling screenwriter or director with a dream to make a movie that fails. To think that studio upon studio regularly turns down scripts that are a thousand times greater than this, and which would probably cost only a fraction of the cost to make, while this gets greenlighted -- well, it's enough to make you lose faith altogether.
Just to show you how stupefying it is for a movie company to throw this kind of coinage at such a superfluous sequel -- the original film, The Mask, only grossed $120 million domestically. That film had a red-hot Jim Carrey. This film has Jamie Kennedy. That film cost only $18 million to make. This film will be lucky to make even that.
Jamie Kennedy (Malibu's Most Wanted, Bug) stars as struggling cartoonist Tim Avery, whose dog finds the Mask of Loki and which Tim ends up sporting at a company function. The Mask makes the wearer become a live-action cartoon character, which is perfect for inspiring the cartoonist, who soon sees a promotion come his way for the spectacle he performs in front of his bosses. Meanwhile, Tim's doting wife (Traylor Howard, "Bram & Alice") pressures him into a baby, which just happens to have been conceived while the mask was in full swing, giving the young child all of the powers of the mask. All the while, Loki (Cumming, X2), the god of mischief himself, is in search of his long-lost mask, going from baby to baby, trying to find the owner so that he might recover it.
I came into Son of the Mask with about the lowest expectations one could have for a movie, and needless to say, I came out of it still flabbergasted at just how dismal an experience it truly is. Astonishing is perhaps the only way I can describe it, as I sat in amazement, mouth agape, witnessing one of the most grandiose wastes of time, money and energy to ever get a wide theatrical release.
There is almost no story to the movie at all. It seems that the only game plan behind any of it was to throw as many special effects at the audience as possible, hoping we will be dazzled enough to ignore the fact that there is no tangible plot or story cohesion. Wave after wave of special effects fill the screen, but even this move backfires, as they are some of the most repugnantly rendered, childishly conceived, and abominably executed visuals you may actually see this year. Yes, I do realize it is supposed to be an emulation of a cartoon, but watching talking and dancing babies borders on the grotesque, with a level of bad taste that will have you retching.
In one final insult, the MPAA has blessed this travesty with a PG rating, almost ensuring that families looking to take their children to a film for everyone will flock to it. How much of the $100 million went to pay off the ratings board? This movie's only attempts at humor are of the bodily function variety. Watch a young boy piss in his father's face. Watch the same young boy spew vomit all over the inside windshield. Listen to the sounds of Jamie Kennedy overwhelm Alan Cumming with kung fu flatulence. More sweet sounds are heard when baby makes poop in his diapers -- quite loudly. A woman's head is converted into a large nose, and she sneezes mucus out on someone. Watch the people in the audience around you vomit all over the theater floor simultaneously.
Son of the Mask is a tedious and utterly revolting way to spend 86 minutes, and even if they paid you $7.50 to see it, instead of the other way around, it wouldn't be worth it. Using your money as toilet paper would be putting it to better use (well, maybe not the 50 cent part, but you know what I mean), and would save you from wasting quite a bit of cumulative time for you and your family. Take them to the park -- it's free, and will leave you in far better spirits -- and use what you save to buy or rent the original film instead. This film doesn't deserve a penny of your money, it deserves a vasectomy, if only to be sure no chances of having any more offspring to pollute theaters with again.
©2005 Vince Leo