Tim Avery, an aspiring cartoonist, finds himself in a predicament when his dog stumbles upon the mask of Loki. Then after conceiving an infant son "born of the mask", he discovers just how looney child raising can be.
|Release Date||:||February 18, 2005|
|Genres||:||Fantasy, Comedy, Family, Adventure|
|Production Company||:||New Line Cinema, Pathé Distribution|
|Production Countries||:||Germany, United States of America|
|Casts||:||Jamie Kennedy, Alan Cumming, Traylor Howard, Kal Penn, Steven Wright, Bob Hoskins, Ben Stein|
|Plot Keywords||:||baby, mask, viking|
This is a fine movie, for the right demographic, namely the same kids who liked the "Spy Kids" movies and for exactly the same reasons: outstanding production values, lots of cartoon-like action, lots of imagination in all of that, and good work from the actors. Jamie Kennedy has got what it takes for natural, charming, comedic acting. Natalie Traylor was more vivacious and cute in this movie than she has been since she took over the sidekick role in the "Monk" TV series. The dialogue has some pretty zippy stuff in it, and the plotting is competent and a good springboard for the hot visual effects.
The only negative thing I can say about the production itself was that the voice of the masked Tim was surprisingly subdued. It needed to be much more out there, distinctive and penetrating, even annoying, but definitely more audible and spooky that what we got.
Still, this is a great movie for kids from 5 to 15. Surprisingly, it totally tanked at the box office (in Hollywood terms -- it lost big money, though it grossed $17 million). This must have been because it was not marketed for kids. In fact, I don't remember much marketing at all on this movie, which is strange for a flick that cost almost a hundred million dollars to make.
But it's too good a movie not to have legs with the nippers in the years to come, if someone will just tell them about it. As we move steadily into the era of DVD importance in viewing habits, greater revenues for initially neglected movies like this one will start to materialize. Sort of like the mask in this movie, they will hang there for a while and then, when the right person touches them, will come to life.