Never has Jim Carrey's penchant for physical humor been demonstrated more clearly than in 1994's The Mask, when he played Stanley Ipkiss' bedeviled character with unparalleled aplomb. Alas, to ignore Carrey's absence in the sequel, Son of the Mask, would be an unforgivable oversight.

The film never even stands a chance. Sure, the script is worse and the concept is stale, but without the verve that makes Carrey who he is, it's doubtful that the original would have been entertaining enough to justify $10 admission prices. (And in 1994, it was more like $6).

In Son, Jamie Kennedy plays an aspiring cartoonist, toiling away at a menial job in a large firm, looking for a break while trying to avoid the responsibilities of impending fatherhood. In a complicated chain of events he impregnates his wife (Traylor Howard) who begets Alvey Avory (Ryan Falconer), a son imbued with the mask's powers. Meanwhile, the Norse god Loki (Alan Cumming), creator of the mask, is on a quest to find both the child and his creation in order to regain favor in the eyes of his furious father. Confusion, hysterics, and, ultimately, redemption ensue.

There is no question that Kennedy is a funny guy, and Cumming is frequently spectacular. Still, neither is able to carry this film as well as Carrey did with its forefather. The resulting picture isn't worth $6, let alone $10.


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