Jewel of the Nile | Chicago Reader

Jewel of the Nile

It's a rare sequel that fritters away the appeal of the original so completely: within minutes, this continuation of Romancing the Stone has reduced the Kathleen Turner-Michael Douglas couple to a nightmare pairing of the gushingly idiotic and the sourly venal. As the rule has become in sub-Spielberg chase pictures, the action depends solely on dumb luck and coincidence; the characters are never allowed to exercise their intelligence or skill, but simply bob along passively (much like the audience) on the waves of arbitrary events. Typical of the film's systematic neglect of its own resources is the casting of the Flying Karamazov Brothers as a band of wandering Muslim tribesmen; every once in a while (usually in the background and out of focus) they get to juggle a little, but the script neither accounts for this amazing proclivity nor utilizes it for any entertaining ends. About the only element that has been amplified from the original is the egregious xenophobia—as the charming couple carom through North Africa, the furriners they encounter are invariably stupid, dirty, and expendable. With Danny DeVito; Lewis Teague directed (1985).

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