Son of the Mask (2005)

Tim Avery (Jamie Kennedy) is an aspiring cartoonist. Except for the moment, he just gets to give tours of the animation studio dressed as Torpedo Turtle – which, considering the studio owns the Siamese Popes, is slightly disappointing. He’s married to a high-flying executive (Traylor Howard) and owns the coolest dog in the world, ever, but life is about to change forever: his wife, Tonya, wants a baby.

Okay, this is the sequel to 1994's Jim Carrey gurn-fest The Mask. It has a CGI baby. And a CGI dog. And CGI people. Traylor Howard and Jamie Kennedy aren't big names to anyone except me. Son of the Mask would appear to be a contender for Worst Movie Ever.

So it's to my eternal shame that I didn't actually think it was that bad. The movie opens on a tour group being shown around a museum exhibit on Norse gods and their assorted accessories: the beautifully monotone guide delivers all his lines in a perfectly deadpan manner whilst Loki (Alan Cumming) lurks menacingly at the back before attempting to steal back his mark. The trademark green mask, you see, was created by Loki and imbues the wearer with his powers. But the time of the Norse gods is past and Odin (Bob Hoskins, beyond all imaginable awesomeness) wants Loki to get the mask back, to stop it wrecking havoc on earth: otherwise, the black sheep of the gods will be cast out forever.

Meanwhile, Tim needs to find something to wear to his Halloween party, and since Otis ate his original mask, he's lured into wearing the green mask. To be honest, the mask scenes are the downfall of this movie more than anything else. Tim's fairly neutral accent is replaced by a sub-par Jim Carrey impression; Mask Tim is obnoxious, annoying, and ultimately pointless. Someone somewhere along the line seems to have realised this, though, because thankfully he's actually kept to a minimum. Anyway, his green dance-a-thon (to various rearrangements of Can't Take My Eyes Off You, bizarrely) wins the attention of the head of the company and the next morning Tim is commissioned to write a new cartoon.

The same morning, however, he's also informed that after last night's green passion, Tonya is pregnant. (I imagine this actually wasn't supposed to be the next morning, and her entire pregnancy lasts less than two minutes before she's given birth, but I blame the movie for this mess.) Whilst overwhelmed, Tim is surprisingly happy about being a father. Awww. Until the lack of sleep kicks in. Then Tonya is rather ridiculously sent away on business, and Tim must take care of Alvey all by himself. Being the son of the mask, Alvey is no normal child, and watching cartoons leads him to decide to drive Tim insane.

The tricks he pulls on Tim are also rather painful, since I hate slapstick and all such cringe humour, so we'll skip those. The upshot is that Otis the dog decides he needs to get in on the action and dons the mask himself to fight back against the toddling menace. Meanwhile, Loki has found out that a baby has been born of the mask, and is hot on their trail. Alvey makes himself known by mimicking The Exorcist's trademark head-twist and projectile vomit and Loki promptly whisks him away.

The scenes of Loki and Alvey bonding are actually embarrassingly touching, so we'll leave that alone. After several mini-confrontations between Tim and Loki, Odin intervenes and Loki's god-powers are now working to a deadline. Tonya returns and, rather uselessly, it must be said, accompanies Tim to a final confrontation with Loki, in which Mask Tim makes an unwelcome reappearance, and everyone learns the value of fatherhood.

Which is good, because Tim and Tonya are expecting another baby. Argh.

Ultimately, despite some painful scenes, this really isn't as bad as it should be. I have no self-respect left now I've said that.

IMDB link

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