Sunday, February 20, 2005

ZMG's Review of Son of The Mask

Have you ever seen one of those trailers that is so obscenely stupid that you can't help but think that the movie must be terrible. This is one of those trailers.

I have not seen Son of The Mask nor do I have any intention of doing so.. in this life or any other. Not when it is so obvious from the trailer and the actions of New Line Cinema that this is one of the worst movies to ever hit the silver screen.

The comic book series "The Mask" was published by Dark Horse Comics. It was the story of this enchanted Mask of unknown origin that was fated to switch hands every so often and release all inhibitions of the one who wears it and gives that individual literally unlimited resources and the invincibility to do whatever they want. It acted as a "what if" as cartoon violence was brought into every day normal existence and what the repercussions of that violence would be to the people who wear the Mask and those that are victims of it. The only other constant in the series is Lt. Kellaway, an officer who knows what the Mask is and realizes that it should not be loose on the streets, per se. The tone of the comics are very dark and the humor is on the same level of that of The Joker from the Batman comics. It was never, in any way a kiddie comic.

Unfortunately, that's exactly the direction New Line Cinema took with this film. They threw away everything that made The Mask what is was and made it into a kiddie film with the same cutesy Jack Russell terrier from the first movie, a CGI dancing baby derivative of 2004's mega-flop Baby Geniuses 2, and an over-bloated effects budget ($100 million versus the original's $18 million). To latch onto the kiddie cartoon image even more, they named the main character after Tex Avery, the famous cartoonist. New Line Cinema even took the first Mask movie off the shelves at the video stores to keep people who hadn't seen it from finding out how horrible this movie is by comparison. A week before it was released, the New Line studio plants were already infiltrating IMDB and stuffing the ballot boxes with 10's and calling the film a "Masterpiece" and a "Fresh and original Piece".

Note to all studio plants: YOU'RE NOT FOOLING ANYONE!!!

The comic book industry is not a proud business. Writers and artists who work in comic books bend over backwards to please the whiniest fans who think just because they shell out $3 a month for a title, they should have an editorial say in what goes on in the comic book. The writers are rarely able to get away with any major plot shift because they are too scared of losing their audience. Superman is a prime example, in the past 15 years they have tried everything to revamp this character. They have married him to Lois Lane, they have killed him, they have turned him into a being of pure energy, they have split him into two separate beings. For good or bad, almost all of these plot lines were quickly removed within a year of their introduction. No real plot line behind any of the un-revamping, just *poof* and the storyline is back to the same old boring status quo. They even considered selectively wiping out everyone's memories so that Superman wouldn't be married to Lois Lane any more. Other examples include the death of Spider-man's first real love, Gwen Stacy. This happened back in the 70's, but if you go to the Spider-Man message boards on IMDB, many people still gripe and whine about it. Marvel is starting to grow up, however. They have eliminated the outdated comic's code (much to the ire of whiny parents who think the comics should remain as "good wholesome entertainment" with the horribly corny characters as they were back in the Adam West/Batman days) and have stopped printing fan mail. They still have a problem with keeping dead characters dead and Aunt May is still jokingly regarded as comic's most powerful character as she has survived nearly 50 strokes and fatal illnesses with no adverse side effects. The industry is not where it could be, but its getting better.

Comic book movies like Son of The Mask, Catwoman and Elektra don't help and neither do ill-informed movie reviewers who have no concept of background research and shrug movies like this as merely kiddie stuff. Its offensive to everyone who has ever worked in the comics industry, tried to create a quality product and get a little respect for their work and its offensive to those of us who already respect them.

So to the three morons who gave this movie a fresh review as listed on, I would suggest that you each do a little background research before any of you post another bad movie review and try to tell people what a movie like this should be about. Its quite obvious from your individual reviews * * * that none of you have ever seen a Mask comic let alone have ever read one.

Final Grade: None. Movies like Son of the Mask, Catwoman and Elektra are a disgrace and should never have been made as they were. I only hope the Fantastic Four movie coming out this summer was made with a little more intelligence and respect for the original material.

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