Son of the Mask


Jamie Kennedy as Tim Avery
Alan Cumming as Loki
Ryan Falconer as Alvey Avery
Bob Hoskins as Odin
Traylor Howard as Tonya Avery
Ben Stein as Dr. Arthur Neuman

Crap. Generally this is not a word I like to use in reviews, but it just fits here. My largest fault with Son of the Mask is its use of that word. They are marketing the movie to a very young audience, and they use objectionable language for the shock value on a 10 year old. The language was used many times and is just not needed. In addition there is a “music video” scene at the front of the movie that was just sleazy, and served no real purpose.

Other than those two inappropriate aspects, the movie would be a passable family film if you have younger children. Yes there is the obligatory potty humor with a baby and some violent physical comedy, but it is cartoonish and somewhat acceptable.

This is a stand alone follow-up to the Jim Carrey movie Mask from 1994. This time around Loki (Alan Cumming), the Norse god of mischief, is tasked by Odin (Bob Hoskins) to retrieve his mask and protect humanity from it. The mask ends up in the paws of Otis, the dog of aspiring cartoonist Tim Avery (Jamie Kennedy). Avery then conceives a child while wearing the mask. All of this is leading up to a battle between Otis and the baby, followed by Loki versus everyone else.

While not as manic as Jim Carrey’s acting, the film is filled with over the top performances. However, that is very intentional and comes off ok. The effects group was able to give baby Avery (Ryan Falconer) some great expressions and mannerisms that convey a lot of character.

The special effects are one of the main attractions, with a lot of effort being put into them. In addition to Baby Avery, the graphics on Otis the dog and the transformation into the Mask character by Tim Avery are all done fairly well. There is a good combination of subtle and outlandish effects that makes for a multi-leveled world where you are always uncertain of what will come next.

Who should see this movie? Cartoon fans. There are references to many old cartoons and the action is done in that same vein. There is also a nice upbeat moral to the film but it comes across as a bit out of place given the rest of the material. The comedy is everywhere and some of it even works on a more mature level, and with a significant portion of that comedy being of a physical nature there is also plenty of action. If a stimulating intellectual outing is what you are looking for, you will need to go far away from a theater showing this movie. Overall, Son of the Mask is a film that is not exactly sure what it wants to be. Most of it is very kid friendly (if you accept gross-out humor), but the filmmakers also made some bad choices about what to keep. There is a good moral at the end, but it comes as a surprise given the build-up to that point. If all you are looking for is a live action cartoon, you will be happy; if you want something more then you need to go elsewhere.