Prayer Focus
Movie Review

Son of the Mask

MPAA Rating: PG for action, crude and suggestive humor and language

Reviewed by: Douglas Downs

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Moviemaking Quality:

Action/Adventure, Comedy
Year of Release:
Featuring: Alan Cumming, Jamie Kennedy, Traylor Howard, Bob Hoskins, Ben Stein
Director: Lawrence Guterman
Producer: Chuck Russell, Scott Kroopf, Erica Huggins, Sean Gorman
Distributor: New Line Cinema
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Relevant Issues
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Who’s next?

The Year was 1994. Jim Carrey’s career was just taking off. He had already established his adolescent appeal with the film “Ace Ventura: Pet Detective. “The Mask” was an attempt to bring the Dark Horse Comic character onto the big screen. It was filled with mind-bending, face altering, computer generated, Oscar nominated special effects. The use of all this techno wizardry turned this story about an ancient mask into a carnival of wacky characters. Mr. Carey, I’m sure, is still thankful for how this movie furthered his career. This movie was also the first major opportunity for actress Cameron Diaz. Eleven years later TV sketch comic Jamie Kennedy picks up where Carey left off. This time the story and its characters get lost in a massive overdose of special effects. I don’t think that this flic will help Jamie at all. He may well be the star, in what many critics are predicting, in the Turkey of the Year. Direct to video would have been a much, much better use of all this cinematic energy.

Here’s the story. Kennedy plays a low-man-on-the-totem-pole animator Tim Avery. That’s right film fans; morticians never get any cool roles. Tim only wears the mask of the ancient Norse god of mischief Loki once. He turns his company Halloween party into a wild romp. Taking center stage at this dull party, of course, he displays everything from a manic Elvis to a country-western yodeler at lightening speed. Yes, our green-faced wacko with red plastic hair is SO magnetic that even sets the cars in the parking lot to dancing. This becomes for the viewers a pleasant break from his whinny wife, who constantly pressures him to father a child, and his indifferent boss. I will pause for a moment and you can reach for your box of tissues. The good news is that his boss decides to give Tim a shot at creating a new cartoon character based on his lively performance.

Where is the “son” do you ask? It’s baby Alvey, born nine months after the wild night that launched Tim’s career. The “son” finds the mask and now he can blow his head up like a balloon to mimic his mother who is blowing up an actual balloon. This information catches the attention of the mischievous Norse god Loki (Alan Cumming). He still would like to find his missing mask. That’s right mystery fans.find the baby and you find the mask. The added bonus is that he also hopes this will finally heal a breach that Loki has with his father, Odin (Bob Hoskins). This will not be an easy task. Tim’s Jack Russell terrier Otis has hidden the mask over jealousy issues with the new baby. Yes, there are some brief funny moments as the dog wears the mask. I find it pretty sad when the best part of a movie is when a canine upstages all the actors. In Wile E. Coyote fashion, the dog begins to pursue Alvey (played by twins Liam and Ryan Falconer) who takes on the role of Roadrunner. Yes, parents the studios are after all the kiddie-dollars that they can collect.

My strong suggestion is to skip this one. I am surprised that the sequel is rated PG. There is crude language, Rugrat attitudes, sexual dialogue and suggestive clothing. The music is also full of innuendoes. Personally, I think that “Because of Winn Dixie” is a much better use of a dog and your money.

Violence: Mild / Profanity: Moderate / Sex/Nudity: Moderate

Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Negative—I just wanted to tell of our catastrophe today. We saw the silly reviews on TV for this movie and my daughter was so excited that it came out on her 8th birthday. I told her she could invite four friends and that we’d go see the movie, today, 2-18-05, when it premiers. I should’ve come here first to read the critics’ reviews. After we’d gotten seven kids, total, their tickets, popcorn, pop, gotten them situated and settled into their seats, the movie started. The beginning was so completely scary, with a man’s face turning green, his teeth going from normal-looking to all gnarly and yellow, and loud, scary music and talking. One of our group (a boy who is usually pretty tough) started screaming (I’m not exaggerating) with his hands over his eyes. Two other boys were very uneasy as well. My friend took the very scared boy out of the theater as the next scene came on: a very creepy, old man talking from the sky. The skin of his left eye was fused shut. It was like the sky opened up and this man was speaking to his son on Earth from the sky. I didn’t like this at all, because it certainly wasn’t God, and He is the only One who could do that.

It was so overwhelming and awful, we all left and went to the next theater to see “Racing Stripes.” I’m sure glad we did because the kids really enjoyed that one; and besides a few slightly-crude comments, mostly by the flies, it was a GREAT, sweet family movie!!

So, I can’t claim to have seen this whole movie, but I know that I would never take kids under 10 or so to see it based on the beginning 10 minutes! The couple talks about having a baby, and I didn’t notice if they were married… I noticed she wasn’t wearing a wedding ring in the beginning anyway. Also, they show a dream sequence the man has, and in it, it shows a side-view of a woman in the labor position kind of “shooting” out baby after baby. When they show the babies to their father, the babies have fangs. Just not the kind of fun family movie I’d have chosen at all. The previews on tv were very misleading. I thought it looked like a silly, slap-stick movie kids would love (the baby bouncing off the walls, etc.). WRONG!
My Ratings: Average/2
—Debby, age 32
Positive—I took my dad to see “Son of the Mask.” It was good, but we would’ve liked it if Jim Carrey was still the mask, but we still like Jamie Kennedy. Me and my dad liked it. (Levi, age 7)

We had a good time watching “Son of the Mask.” Parts I didn’t like were references to other gods like Loki and some foul language . (Dad, age 39)
My Ratings: Good/4
—Levi and Dad, age 7 and 39
Negative—I took my two daughters, who are 5 and 8 years old to see this movie because there wasn’t anything else even remotely acceptable on. I was shocked when the opening scene showed several paintings of naked women. I kept hoping it would be fleeting, but the camera continued to linger on them, even including them in the background of several shots. My daughters were very scared when “Loki” appeared because he was very evil looking and loud. I worried that maybe I should leave the theater, but I kept hoping it would be OK. There were numerous innuendos throughout the movie. There was even a painting of the dog with his privates covered by a fig leaf. I did enjoy the baby, he was the cutest little thing! However, I would not recommend this movie to anyone, especially young children. It was not that funny and the “plastic” hair on the Mask character was silly. Bring back Jim Carrey and get a better plot!
My Ratings: Very Offensive/2½
—Leslie Brent, age 32

Comments from young people
Negative—I am 10 years old. I think that this was the worst movie ever created in the history of the world and I HIGHLY recommend you skip it. I think that this waste of time and money was very offensive and extremely disgusting. There was too much gross humor involving a giant nose sneezing all over the lawn and leaving nasty yellow slime everywhere, and the baby throwing up and making lots of nasty sounds. There was too much of that gross type of humor (that wasn’t funny) to list. They focused so much on the cartoon gags that they didn’t even try to write a good story to go along with it. This movie was unentertaining, vulgar, and boring, and I have nothing good to say about it.
My Ratings: Very Offensive/1
—Sierra Jade Adams, age 10
Positive—I recently had a slumber party and I took my friends with me. We all cracked up. There is nothing offensive to Christians. There were about 3 Oh my G**’s and thank goodness no G*D*. There is one brief scene that shows Jamie Kennedy roll over on top of the mom. (He did not want a child, but he had the mask on so he had barely any control over his body)…
My Ratings: Better than Average/5
—Alex Durden, age 11
Movie Critics
…not many adults will enjoy the blast of urine and splatters of snot and vomit…
—The Boston Phoenix
…There’s nothin’ sssssmokin’ about this numbingly excessive sequel…
—Michael Rechtshaffen, The Hollywood Reporter
…Projectile vomiting. Gallons of urine. Flatulence. Crotch jokes. A childish debate over whether a wife should get pregnant. The conception. The consequences. It’s what’s passing for family entertainment, imbecilic variety, in “Son of the Mask”…
—Ed Blank, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
…Jamie Kennedy is no Jim Carrey. That said, “Son of the Mask” is not without some hilarious moments…
—Linda Hoy Socha, Sun Newspapers of Cleveland
…a lot of the movie left me feeling weird and unsettled… It’s repetitious, overpowering and ultimately rather tiring…
—Randy Cordova, The Arizona Republic
…The bouncing (literally) baby boy Alvey (Ryan Falconer, aided by an army of CGI animators) is downright creepy… a harried, screechy film that goes nowhere at a breakneck pace…
—Sean Axmaker, Seattle Post-Intelligencer
…You’ll want to shield yourself from this “Mask”…
—Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer