Son of the Mask
|Son of the Mask|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Lawrence Guterman|
|Produced by||Erica Huggins
|Written by||Lance Khazei|
|Based on||The Mask
by Dark Horse Comics
|Music by||Randy Edelman|
|Edited by||Malcolm Campbell
Debra Neil Fisher
|Distributed by||New Line Cinema|
|Box office||$57.6 million|
Son of the Mask is a 2005 American fantasy comedy film directed by Lawrence Guterman and starring Jamie Kennedy as Tim Avery, an aspiring cartoonist from Fringe City who has just had his first child born with the powers of the Mask. It is the stand-alone sequel to the successful 1994 film The Mask, an adaptation of Dark Horse Comics which starred Jim Carrey and Cameron Diaz.
It also stars Alan Cumming as the god of mischief, Loki, whom Odin has ordered to find the Mask. It co-stars Traylor Howard, Kal Penn, Steven Wright, and Bob Hoskins as Odin. Ben Stein makes a brief reappearance within the first few minutes of the film as Dr. Arthur Neuman from The Mask to reestablish the relationship with the mask and Loki.
Unlike the previous film which was more adult oriented, this film is family-friendly as the tone is much lighter and more comical than the first one.
A decade after the events of the first film, Dr. Arthur Neuman is giving a tour of the hall of Norse mythology in Edge City Museum. When Dr. Neuman reaches the part concerning Loki's mask, a man in black becomes increasingly anxious. Dr. Neuman mentions that Loki created the mask and unleashed it on Earth, and that those who wear the mask would have the powers of Loki. When Dr. Neuman mentions that Odin punished Loki with imprisonment, the stranger becomes very angry and transforms, revealing himself to be Loki. The tourists panic and flee, but Dr. Neuman stays to argue with the angry god. Loki takes the mask, but realizes it is a fake. In anger, he removes Dr. Neuman's still talking face from his body and puts it on the mask stand, before getting rid of the guards and storming out of the museum in a whirlwind of rage.
Meanwhile, the real mask, which was thrown in the river by Stanley Ipkiss and Tina Carlyle at the end of the previous film, makes its way to a town called Fringe City, not far from Edge City, and is found by a dog named Otis - who belongs to Tim Avery, an aspiring cartoonist at an animation company, is feeling reluctant to become a father. He has a beautiful wife, Tonya, and a best friend, Jorge. On a tropical island, Loki is relaxing until Odin confronts him and orders his son to find the mask. Loki asks Odin to help him, but Odin tells Loki that this is his mess and he has to clean it up. Later that night, Tim puts on the mask for a Halloween party, transforming into a party animal similar to the mask character from the first film. When the company party turns out to be a bore, Tim uses his mask powers to perform a remix of "Can't Take My Eyes Off You", making the party a success, and giving Tim's boss the idea for a new cartoon, resulting in his promotion the next day.
Tim returns to his house and, while still wearing the mask, conceives a baby. The baby, when he is born, has the same powers as Loki. Meanwhile, Loki is trying to find the child born from the mask, as his father Odin, possessing a store clerk, tells him if he finds the child, he will find the mask. Later, Tonya goes on a business trip, leaving Tim with the baby. Tim, who has been promoted at work, desperately tries to work on his cartoon at home, but is continuously disrupted by baby Alvey. In order to get some peace and quiet, Tim lets Alvey watch TV, which shows Michigan J. Frog. Alvey devilishly obtains the idea to mess with his father's head by using his mask powers. Meanwhile, Otis the dog, who has been feeling neglected by Tim because of Alvey, dons the mask by accident and becomes a crazed animal version of himself, who wishes to get rid of the baby, but all his attempts are overturned by Alvey. Tim starts to notice his son and dog's wild cartoonish behavior when Alvey starts harassing him.
Eventually, Loki finds the mask-born baby, and confronts Tim for the mask back, but is thwarted again and again by Alvey who uses his powers to protect his father. Eventually, Odin becomes fed up with Loki's destructive approach and strips his son of his powers. A seemingly-deranged Tim is later fired after failing to impress his boss during a pitch, but is able to reconcile and bond with Alvey. Loki, still determined to please his father, manages to complete a summoning ritual and appeal to Odin to restore his powers. Odin agrees, but only for a limited time, stating this as his last chance. Loki then kidnaps Alvey to exchange for the mask, but decides to keep him despite the exchange, forcing Tim to don the mask again to fight Loki. The subsequent confrontation is relatively evenly matched due to Loki and Tim-in-the-Mask possessing equal powers, prompting Loki to halt the fight, and suggest that they let Alvey decide who he wants to live with. Although Loki tries to lure Alvey to him with toys and promises of fun, Tim wins when he removes the mask and asks Alvey to come back to him using the human connection he has forged with his son. Saddened and enraged, Loki tries to kill Tim, but his time runs out and Odin appears in person. Odin disowns Loki, calling him a failure, and begins to banish Loki, but Tim confronts the powerful Norse god and tells him that "the most important thing in life is a relationship with your family", and Odin accepts Loki as a son, accepting the mask from Tim as well. Tim's cartoon, based on his own experiences of a boy and a dog competing for the father's attention (with Jorge playing the father via motion capture performance), is a hit, and Tonya reveals that she is pregnant again before the film closes.
- Jamie Kennedy as Timothy "Tim" Avery/The Mask
- Alan Cumming as Loki, god of Mischief
- Traylor Howard as Tonya Avery
- Kal Penn as Jorge
- Steven Wright as Daniel Moss
- Bob Hoskins as Odin, All-Father of the gods
- Ben Stein as Dr. Arthur Neuman
- Magda Szubanski as Betty
- Sandy Winton as Chris
- Rebecca Massey as Clare
- Ryan Johnson as Chad
- Victoria Thaine as Sylvia
- Duncan Young as Mansion Doorman
- Peter Flett as Mr. Kemperbee
- Amanda Smyth as Mrs. Babcock
- Ryan and Liam Falconer as Alvey Avery
- Bear as Otis
- Masked Otis voiced by Bill Farmer and Richard Steven Horvitz
- Alvey voiced by Joyce Kurtz, Mona Marshall and Mary Matilyn Mouser
- Alvey's deep voice provided by Neil Ross
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Not long after the release of The Mask, it was announced in Nintendo Power that Jim Carrey would be returning in a sequel called The Mask II. The magazine held a contest where the first prize would be awarded a walk-on role in the film. Director Chuck Russell, who helmed the original film, expressed his interest in a Mask sequel in his 1996 Laserdisc commentary. He was hoping Carrey would come back as the title character, along with Amy Yasbeck, who played reporter Peggy Brandt in the original. Russell decided to cut scenes when Peggy dies and leave the character open for the sequel, which became this film. In a 1995 Barbara Walters Special, Carrey revealed that he was offered $10 million to star in The Mask II, but turned it down, because his experiences on Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls convinced him that reprising a character he'd previously played offered him no challenges as an actor. Due to Carrey declining to reprise his role, the project never came to fruition, and the concept for the sequel was completely changed. As a result, in the final issue of Nintendo Power, an apology was issued to the winner of the contest.
Ben Stein reprises his role of Dr. Arthur Neuman from the original film. He is involved in the movie to re-establish the relationship between the mask and its creator, Loki. He is the only actor to appear in both films as well as in The Mask cartoon series. The dog's name, Otis, connects with the dog from the original film and comic book, Milo, as a reference to the movie The Adventures of Milo and Otis. The naming of "Tim Avery" pays homage to famous cartoonist Tex Avery. Tim Avery wants to be a cartoonist throughout the film. The film was shot in Fox Studios Sydney.
Upon its release, the film was a critically panned by various movie critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds a rating of 6%, based on 104 reviews, with the site's consensus reading: "Overly frantic, painfully unfunny, and sorely missing the presence of Jim Carrey." The site ranked the film 75th in the 100 worst reviewed films of the 2000s. On Metacritic, the film has a score of 20 out of 100, based on 26 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews".
In his review Richard Roeper stated "In the five years I've been co-hosting this show, this is the closest I've ever come to walking out halfway through the film, and now that I look back on the experience, I wish I had." Roger Ebert gave the film 1.5 stars and stated "What we basically have here is a license for the filmmakers to do whatever they want to do with the special effects, while the plot, like Wile E. Coyote, keeps running into the wall.". He later named it the fifth worst film of 2005. On their television show Ebert & Roeper gave the film "Two Thumbs Down". Lou Lumerick of the New York Post said "Parents who let their kids see this stinker should be brought up on abuse charges; so should the movie ratings board that let this suggestive mess slip by with a PG rating." When placing blame for the film's critical failure, critic Willie Waffle of WaffleMovies.com asserted, "How far down the Hollywood food chain do you have to go before you get stuck with Jamie Kennedy as the star of your movie? Was Carrot Top busy? Did Pauly Shore refuse to return your calls?"
It was the most nominated film at the 2005 Golden Raspberry Awards with eight, winning for Worst Remake or Sequel, and won several 2005 Stinkers Bad Movie Awards, including Worst Actor (Jamie Kennedy), Worst Sequel, and Worst Couple. The film earned back $57.6 million of its $84 million budget, making it a box office bomb.
When asked in an interview about whether the film's negative critical reaction had damaged Kennedy's morale in wanting do another project like this, Kennedy replied to the interviewer, "Yes. You got me right after a batch of bad interviews so I'm going to be honest with you about this. It does because I'm just being killed, absolutely killed... But honestly, doing this movie is an interesting experience because I just came off my show and Malibu's Most Wanted where I had a good amount of control. And then in this movie I didn't have any control. I just can't do that. I have to have my voice in there. If I can't, I'm just going to be like I'm doing someone else's thing. I have to have some of my voice because I have my own experiences that I lived through. All I can do is just try to make things independently. That's the only way you can do it. The only way you can do that is if you're a huge, huge, huge star. I'm not there yet. I'm just like a working actor." The largely negative reviews of Son of the Mask, some of which attacked Kennedy personally, inspired Kennedy to co-create the documentary film Heckler, an examination of both hecklers and professional critics.
A video game based on the film was released on Wireless Phone on February 10, 2005. The game was published and developed by Indiagames.
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- "Son of the Mask (2005)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved March 27, 2013.
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- Ebert, Roger (February 18, 2005). "Son of the Mask". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved January 15, 2010.
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