Crimes

  • Resuscitating a dormant Jim Carrey franchise without Jim Carrey, even after Dumb And Dumberer turned out the way it did
  • Confusing cartoonish fun with a loud, frantic, retina-searing assault on the senses
  • Turning an innocent baby into the most freakish CGI puppet since Scooby-Doo

Defender
Director Lawrence Guterman, writer Lance Khazei, and star Jamie Kennedy

Tone Of Commentary
Cheerfully confrontational. Whenever Guterman veers into pretentious or overly technical monologues about his vision for the film, Kennedy complains that "nobody cares about all those things," and steers the discussion to more pertinent bits of trivia, like the use of body doubles in insert shots. ("Those are not my thumbs!" he screams.)

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What Went Wrong
Australia shoulders much of the blame: Guterman complains about the difficulty of finding cute babies and recreating "turn-of-the-century New York and L.A. architecture" on the backlot, while Kennedy rages against Australian actors who feebly attempt American accents. Kennedy winces whenever things get too sappy and "Hallmark-y" ("Emotionally, this scene really tracked," counters Guterman) and he's especially pained that his funniest improvisation wound up on the cutting-room floor. Rarely has there been so much pleading for viewers to watch the deleted scenes.

Comments On The Cast
W.C. Fields once warned against working with children or animals, and Son Of The Mask has both. In order to get the youngsters' energy up, the crew supplied them with chocolate-chip cookies, a ploy that backfired when one "psychotic kid" ran so hard at Kennedy's groin that he "hurt his head on the crotch protector." And note to future directors who work with Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle star Kal Penn: Don't tell him to "do it more Indian."

Inevitable Dash Of Pretension
For a movie in which a baby urinates like the Buckingham Fountain and a giant nose sneezes out 60 gallons of fake snot, there's an awful lot of highfalutin' talk about "motifs" and "image systems," and Kennedy isn't totally exempt from these discussions. At one point, he even likens his character to Jack Nicholson in The Shining.

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Commentary In A Nutshell
Bristling at the notion that Son Of The Mask could be compared to swill like Baby Geniuses, Kennedy notes, "This is not a movie about a talking baby! This is a movie about dichotomies!"