21 February 2005 | flashbeagle
p-a-r-t-y. Why? no seriously....why was this movie made?
Eleven years ago, Stanley Ipkiss released his true inner self and became the hero of Edge City by finding and wearing the Norse god of mischief, Loki's mask. The Mask helped bring Jim Carrey to the forefront of comedy and reached a very popular status for its originality and just pure fun. Everyone knew how to spell party. P-A-R-T-Y. Why? Cuz I gotta! Now, eleven years later, it seems to me that the same philosophy has been applied to the new movie "Son of the Mask." Someone asked director Lawrence Guterman why are you making this? And he responds "Cuz I gotta!" Unfortunately, that answer doesn't cover it because after seeing Son of the Mask I still left the theatre thinking, "Good Lord, Why?" Guterman and the rest of the people involved in the blasphemous film need to realize that the response given to why are you making this film should not be as simple as the answer to the debate on whether or not to party.
The Son of the Mask begins with Otis the dog finding the infamous mask and bringing it back to his owner Tim Avery, a clear homage to legendary Loony Toons creator Tex Avery. Tim, played by Jamie Kennedy, is a struggling animator who is stuck working as a turtle tour guide for the animation company he aspires to one-day draw for. On the night of the company Halloween party, Tim puts on the mask and transforms into the mischievous, insane character that we all expect. After the party Tim goes home, mask still on and conceives a child with his wife. Nine months later mayhem ensues as the baby born of the mask has remarkable cartoonish powers. Otis the dog, jealous of the baby's attention, puts on the mask and partakes in Tom and Jerry type mayhem to out the baby. Meanwhile, Loki, played by Alan Cumming, is in search for his mask at the orders of his father, Odin.
First off, ill admit that I do respect the fact that this film pays so much homage to the classic cartoons such as Tom and Jerry and Loony Toons, with its Wile E. Coyote type contraptions and the infamous dancing frog type plot. However, this reverence cannot save the film and makes it less respectful and more of a waste of time.
The premise of the movie becomes increasingly silly. Silly is not always a bad thing, but in this movie, the silliness gets to the point of just plain annoying. The characters are not fun to watch, and what's worse, they're not funny. The dullness of the characters can also be attributed to the fact that so much CGI was used. One of the greatest things about the original is that while, obviously computer animation was used, so much relied on Jim Carrey and his exuberant style of just being. Jim Carrey, we were convinced, was an actual cartoon. Jamie Kennedy just doesn't have that kind of ability, a fact that is clear when you watch him wear the mask and his facial features rarely shift. The baby and dog were mostly completely animated which became increasingly distracting throughout the movie. The side story of Loki searching for the mask just became more and more stupefying.
The son of the Mask is a sad sad state of affairs. What I suggest is you go rent or buy the original the Mask and thank the Norse gods, or whoever, for bringing it to us. And will consider seeing the sequel my sacrifice as I continue to ask the infamous question "WHY?" The son of the Mask gets one star, although that star should be divvied up between the classic creators of Loony Toons and Jim Carrey, who will always be, in my book, the mask.