Son of the Mask (2005)

Genres - Comedy, Fantasy  |   Sub-Genres - Fantasy Comedy  |   Release Date - Feb 18, 2005 (USA)  |   Run Time - 94 min.  |   Countries - Germany , United States   |   MPAA Rating - PG
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Review by Derek Armstrong

There was a reason The Mask went 11 years without a sequel. It's one of Jim Carrey's lesser efforts, more fondly remembered for introducing Cameron Diaz than for Carrey's zany acrobatics. The zany acrobatics are what remain in Son of the Mask, and they're divided between a dog, a baby, a Carrey stand-in (Jamie Kennedy), and Alan Cumming, in the welcome if not unfamiliar role of a mischievous villain. It would be easy to write this movie off as something that should have gone straight to video, but that would ignore how much genuine creative effort they pumped into it. The obvious place to start is the funhouse look of the film, a memorable collaboration of seasoned art directors (Michelle McGahey worked on The Matrix), production designers, and CG artists, which often recalls a Spy Kids movie. Even more captivating is the camerawork, virtual or otherwise; cinematographer Greg Gardiner and his CG backers have put their camera on a veritable roller-coaster track, charting the sibling-rivalry skirmishes between the baby and the dog with tracking and dolly shots that should only be possible in Bugs Bunny cartoons. When the dog and Cumming's Loki compete in an elastic game of Twister -- left ear red, right pinky blue -- it's the winning realization of a concept that even the original never fully nailed. Kennedy and Traylor Howard are certainly only a poor man's version of Carrey and Diaz, but they bring the right cuteness and gusto to blend into this manic world. Son of the Mask can't shake its hammy silliness and almost total lack of relevance, but it's enjoyable enough to make a viewer glad some New Line bigwig was desperate enough to greenlight it.