The Jewel of the Nile (1985)

Genres - Adventure, Romance  |   Sub-Genres - Adventure Comedy, Romantic Adventure  |   Release Date - Dec 11, 1985 (USA)  |   Run Time - 104 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - PG
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Review by Derek Armstrong

As a sequel, The Jewel of the Nile achieves the kind of moderate success level that makes a viewer glad for its existence, but equally glad there was no third installment. There was something so raw and wonderful about watching an exhausted Kathleen Turner traverse a South American jungle in high heels, alongside a Michael Douglas divided between grungy self-interest and heroism, that made Romancing the Stone such an unexpected delight. The Jewel of the Nile can't quite duplicate the charm, but the chemistry between Douglas, Turner, and perhaps most importantly, Danny DeVito, does keep the second one going through some gangbuster set pieces and miles of North African desert. A holy power struggle is not up to the juicy narrative level of a map-driven quest for a glimmering jewel, but there's enough native whimsy in this movie to keep it lively and fun, especially in the performance of Avner Eisenberg as the kindhearted holy man. It's also nice to see the Arabs portrayed with varying levels of sympathy, not the evil caricatures too often seen in big-budget releases. DeVito's opportunistic Ralph again steals his scenes, spraying gallons of spittle as he tries to talk his way through the most foreign of lands. Undoubtedly confusing some folks who thought it was a third in the series, DeVito paired himself with Douglas and Turner again in The War of the Roses, the wicked black comedy he directed four years later.