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Son of the Mask

If you want comedy, originality, or entertainment of any kind, really, then stay away from the dreadful Son of the Mask.


The sequel centers around an aspiring cartoonist named Tim Avery (Jamie Kennedy), who happens upon that magical, mischievous mask from the original. After a whirlwind romantic night wearing the mask, he gets his wife pregnant and nine months later, boom! Little Alvey is born. But this is no ordinary baby. Seems he has inherited all the mask's powers and causes unimaginable amounts of mayhem for Tim. At the same time, the Norse God of Mischief, Loki (Alan Cumming), has come looking for his mask, and will do whatever it takes to get it back. But wait, there's more. The family's jealous dog also gets his paws on the mask and uses it for his own personal toy--as well as a ploy to get back at Alvey. Oh, the insanity! The plot is stretched at best, and lacks any of the charm of the Jim Carrey original.


Along with an abysmal story, the performances are equally banal. Jamie Kennedy (Malibu's Most Wanted), who is best known for his off-the-wall characters, is ill-suited as Tim, never quite pulling off the new father thing, much less a husband with a steady job. The usually stellar Alan Cumming (X2: X-Men United) takes Loki way over the top, with the heavy eye-makeup and wild hair, while his relationship with his father, Odin--played loudly by Bob Hoskins--is sorely out of place. Alvey is a pretty cute kid, however, played by twins, Liam and Ryan Falconer. And as his mom, Traylor Howard (Me, Myself and Irene) is sweet and awfully patient as Tim's wife--and who is also blissfully unaware her son can be a mischievous devil. You'd think she'd pick up on it when the baby blows his head up like a giant balloon, but hey, who knows?


While Son of the Mask does attempt to create Looney Tunes-ish eye candy, director Lawrence Guterman (Cats & Dogs) seems to have forgotten how to effectively mix computer animation with live action, especially with the digital Alvey. In the old days, it would be equivalent to seeing all the strings and levers. Maybe we are used to perfection when it comes to CGI. We expect it all to look real. But in Son of the Mask, the baby's face is so weirdly distorted, it's scary. Also what made the original so fun was the mask itself. When Carrey cavorted around wearing it, there were big musical numbers and wild antics. In Son, it's the dog who wears the mask the most. Doesn't really have the same effect.

Bottom Line

Even with all of the so-called cartoonish special effects, Son of the Mask is a bust. It'll be hard enough to keep the attention of the children and harder still to keep adults from wishing they could get back the hour and half they just lost.