Saturday, December 31, 2016

The Jewel of the Nile (1985)

Synopsis: It’s the eagerly-anticipated, albeit extremely contrived, unfunny, uninspired, confused, poorly-written, and slapped-together sequel to Romancing the Stone

Blurb From the VHS Jacket: “A far bigger production than ROMANCING THE STONE, this vast operation organized by producer/co-star MICHAEL DOUGLAS put together an impressive team of filmmakers representing 16 different nationalities. Even the scope of locations was extraordinary – shooting took place across three continents – North America, Africa and Europe.” 

What Did I Learn?: Apparently “al Jewelhara” is Arabic for “the Jewel.” (Funny, I thought Jewel was derived from old Anglo-French). Oh, I also learned that nearly everyone in North Africa (south of Egypt) speaks English.

You Might Like This Movie If: You’re a huge Billy Ocean fan. 

Really?: 1) See: “What Did I Learn?” 2) So, Joan (Kathleen Turner) admits she read an extremely unflattering Time magazine story about Omar, yet she agrees to get on his private jet and visit his country, knowing he’s a ruthless dictator? And wait – he wants a flattering biography, so he enlists a romance novelist with no background in biographical writing under false pretenses? Wouldn’t it make a lot more sense for him to actually hire a hack writer, and pay the guy to write the story Omar wants? 3) Wait – Ralph (Danny DeVito) is about ready to shoot Jack (Michael Douglas), yet he’s prevented from doing so, and then he somehow manages to tag along for the adventure? How did that happen? 4) So, does Omar need Al Jewelhara alive, or does he want to kill him? This isn’t exactly made clear. 5) Hold on – Joan and Jewelhara manage to escape from Omar’s heavily-guarded palace, and somehow Jack and Ralph are standing directly below the duo when they’re ready to descend to street level? That’s quite a coincidence. 6) Ok, I’m giving up, now. 

Rating: I hadn’t seen The Jewel of the Nile since it was first released in 1985, so I had forgotten just how incredibly awful it really is (See: “Synopsis,” “What Did I Learn?,” and “Really?). The movie has a lot of problems, but the biggest is that unlike Romancing, it takes itself far too seriously, and is nearly devoid of charm or genuine humour. I’ll give Jewel a few stars because I liked the interactions between Turner, Douglas and DeVito, and it has some impressive pyrotechnics, but I cannot recommend this movie. 4/10 stars.  

Would it Work For a Bad Movie Night?: Absolutely! Take a drink any time Danny DeVito wildly overacts.

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