Son of Mask

When The Mask came out in 1994, people liked it because they got to watch Jim Carrey mug for the camera. It wasn't much of a movie, but for people who like Carrey's antics, this was enjoyable. Plus, there was some unknown lady by the name of Cameron Diaz in it. Fast forward eleven years and here comes Son of the Mask, a completely worthless sequel that is nothing more than a crass corporate exercise in how to get cheap profits. Why do a sequel if Carrey is not going to participate? As mediocre as The Mask was, a Mask movie without Carrey is pointless. And to replace him with Jamie Kennedy (Malibu's Most Wanted, Harold & Kumar Go to While Castle), a less gifted actor in probably every respect, is not a good choice. Nevertheless, here is it, and what a piece of crap.

Son of Mask takes place some time after the original. Odin (Bob Hoskins, Beyond the Sea, Vanity Fair, and probably thankful he is unrecognizable) charges Loki (Alan Cumming, Garfield, Spy Kids 3D) with finding his mask and returning it to Asgard, as it is causing far too much mischief on Earth. The mask is currently in the possession of Tim Avery (Kennedy), a wannabe cartoonist deathly afraid of fatherhood. One night with the mask changes him into what looks a gay Hulk, and he manages to score a promotion and impregnate his wife Tonya (Traylor Howard, Me, Myself, & Irene, Dirty Work). Flash forward nine months and their newborn baby, Alvey (Ryan and Liam Falconer) has is imbued with the mask's powers. Loki confronts Tim, who lost it after the night with Tonya. Their dog Otis buried it, and now, jealous of all the attention Tim is lavishing up on his newborn, takes up the mask and sets out to do something to the baby (the assumption is kill, but nobody ever says so and hey, this is a family film).

Screenwriter Lance Khazei most likely named the main character "Tim Avery" out of homage to cartoonist Tex Avery. Wow, what a horrible thing to say about the cartoonist. Much of the film is cartoonish humor, with Alvey trying to drive his father insane and Otis creating massively complex machines to get rid of Alvey. Kids will laugh only because everything is bright and colorful, there is Looney Tunes-like violence without anybody getting hurt, and because they don't know any better. There is a lot of baby animation along the lines of Superbabies. It wasn't funny there, and it is not funny here. It's downright stupid. Alvey and Otis climb up walls, run through doors, and the Avery house gets trashed along the way. The entire time, Tonya is conveniently out of town leaving a scared Tim to fend for himself. This way, nobody believes him when he says his baby is acting strangely.

Everything about Son of Mask screams direct-to-video. Director Lawrence Guterman (Cats & Dogs, Headless!) upped the bright colors, giving everything an especially fake, backlot studio look to the film. Kennedy is pretty moronic for the duration of the film, and Howard has no personality. The special effects are decent, but the filmmakers need to realize that it was Carrey that made the first film so popular. And when one wishes Carrey would come back and mug for the camera so more, than that's a really bad sign.

Haro Rates It: Really Bad.
1 hour, 26 minutes, Rated PG for action, crude and suggestive humor and language.

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