film & game reviews, the retro way.
SON OF THE MASK
Over 10 years after the release of The Mask, which was a significant hit and helped make its star Jim Carrey a household name, a sequel was finally put together and... to say that it didn't enjoy quite as much success as the original would be putting it lightly.
Son Of The Mask, which didn't star any of the original cast save for Ben Stein who appears in an early cameo, was a flop at the box-office and was critically panned by pretty much everyone who saw it. Set in a town called Fringe City, we follow wannabe animator Tim Avery (Jamie Kennedy) who comes into contact with the mask that was discarded at the end of the first film when his dog fishes it out of the water. Despite initially being reluctant to start a family with his wife Tonya (Traylor Howard), he conceives a child while wearing the mask and soon discovers that his baby may have inherited its powers.
Meanwhile, god of Mischief Loki himself (Alan Cumming) is forced by his father Odin (Bob Hoskins) to recover the mask and an unlikely Tom & Jerry-style battle breaks out between Tim's baby and his dog in the house. Not quite what you'd expect from a sequel to the 1994 film, then, but not without potential when you consider the cast and the budget involved.
There's certainly no shortage of things going on in this movie and yet Son Of The Mask still manages to feel completely bare and full of filler. This is due to a severe lack of character development, consistency or coherent storytelling throughout. Individually, the plot and its subplots sound like fun but together, they are smashed one against the other without any idea of how they might gel or work together to tell a proper story.
The film aims to be a Tex Avery cartoon but, where The Mask would only go all out whenever Stanley Ipkiss would wear the mask, Son Of The Mask is entirely shot through an obnoxious wide-angle lens. Everything is always over-the-top, loud and silly so Tim Avery never feels like a real person, his story never feels like one we should care about and the cartoonish stuff is about as cartoonish as the real life stuff so it irritates about as much as it falls completely flat. I should point out that the CGI, while ambitious, is a complete catastrophe and makes the film look very ugly, plus the surprisingly dark and unpleasant imagery peppered all over the movie does not help improve things.
A sequel to The Mask, perhaps one closer to the Dark Horse comics, could have been worthwhile and yet, without the charm of the 1994 cast and the overall competence of the original filmmakers, we are left with a thoroughly unappealing mess that's far too annoying to please anyone.
...is probably healthier for you than this movie.