Reviewed by: Douglas Downs
|Featuring:||Alan Cumming, Jamie Kennedy, Traylor Howard, Bob Hoskins, Ben Stein|
|Producer:||Chuck Russell, Scott Kroopf, Erica Huggins, Sean Gorman|
|Distributor:||New Line Cinema|
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