Bad movies are almost a form of art for some people. From Plan 9 From Outer Space to The Room, the search for the “Worst Movie Ever Made” is a quest that gets progressively tougher each year. That said, most of us could agree that there’s one movie so bad that it essentially ruined the whole franchise it belongs to. A sequel that absolutely no one asked for — a film so horrid, even its actors distanced themselves from the project as soon as it was released. We’re talking, of course, of the legendary infamous Son of the Mask — which is now available on Netflix.
That’s right, one of the most infamously horrid “comedies” ever conceived, Son of the Mask, has now arrived on Netflix in some territories. What makes this movie so terrible, you might ask? Well, it’s a combination of poor choices, an awful grasp on the Mask’s mythos, and simply being painfully unfunny.
The Mask? What’s That?
Son of the Mask is the 2005 “sequel” to one of the most beloved comedies of the 90s, The Mask, starring Jim Carrey. Not only was The Mask one of the most commercially successful films of 1994, but critics also loved Carrey’s zany energy and the film’s spicy comedy. Such a hit film was sure to get a sequel at some point, but having a continuation to Stanley Ipkiss’ story meant that Carrey would have to reprise the starring role, and the comedian wasn’t so thrilled by the idea.
After Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls, Carrey decided that he no longer enjoyed playing the same character twice. That’s why the actor avoided sequels until 2014’s Dumb and Dumber To, and why his character doesn’t appear in Son of the Mask.
The sequel goes in a radically different direction from the original The Mask. While the first movie was based on the comics created by Doug Mahnke and John Arcudi, Son of the Mask feels more like a cartoon version of the franchise — ironic, since The Mask: The Animated Series makes a much better job at being a sequel to the first movie than Son of the Mask ever could.
Starring Jamie Kennedy as aspiring cartoonist Tim Avery, Son of the Mask twists the Mask’s mythos beyond recognition, introducing tons of inconsistencies to how the Mask works and setting the story in an obnoxiously cartoonish hellscape riddled with unfunny jokes and gross-out humour.
Any Redeeming Qualities?
Son of the Mask might be one of the toughest movies to salvage. While many terrible films are so bad they’re at least entertaining to watch, this comedy falls flat in almost every way possible.
Sure, being the sequel to one of the most iconic comedies of the 90s is a tough act to follow, but there’s no excuse for how abysmally boring Son of the Mask is. Even some other infamously bad movies, like the aforementioned Dumb and Dumber To, manage to retain their prequel’s essence relatively intact. Son of the Mask is what happens if The Mask was made for kids — and we’re not sure if even kids would be entertained enough by Tim Avery’s wacky shenanigans, not to mention some oddly inappropriate scenes that defy all explanation.
Alan Cumming is, without a doubt, a highlight in this film, and some of the props and costume design don’t look half bad either. However, since we live in a reality where 1994’s The Mask still exists, there’s no reason to recommend watching this sequel over the much superior Jim Carrey comedy. If you’re in the mood to watch one of the most bafflingly terrible movies ever made, definitely give Son of the Mask a watch — if you dare.