Published Feb 01, 2005New Line continues its pursuit of needless sequels to Jim Carrey vehicles with this all-out assault on audience sensibilities. The charisma-free Jamie Kennedy plays a timid animator who dreams of his own TV show when he dons the notorious mask and becomes so popular that he not only achieves his goal but conceives a child as well. This proves problematic as a) the god Loki (Alan Cumming) would really like his mask back, and b) the baby proves to have superhuman powers that best the beleaguered scribbler. Hilarity theoretically ensues, and did I mention that the dog gets his day in the mask?
No mere synopsis can truly capture the baroque awfulness of this film. On the one hand, it's like watching Genie from Aladdin have a psychotic episode, twisting itself into cut-rate CGI mutations while spitting out the pop cultural references we've come to expect from lackadaisical pop films; on the other, it's sentimental in that insincere knee-jerk Hollywood way, with wet platitudes about family and believing in yourself lobbed at you like serves from some homicidal tennis pro. Throw in some shatteringly immature sexual innuendo (which the preteens at the screening really appreciated) and you have a recipe for a film unfit for adult consumption.
I'll give the production team full marks for guts: their "throw it against the wall and see if it sticks" approach makes the film interestingly bad, and you can sort of entertain yourself by trying to guess what stunningly ill-advised thing they'll do next. But what they have in cojones they lack in any sort of artistic competence, meaning all of their daring lands on your skull like Tony Jaa's elbow, and you emerge from the theatre dazed and grateful that some films last less than 90 minutes. (Alliance Atlantis)