Friday, July 15, 2016

The Jewel of the Nile (1985)

Director: Lewis Teague

Writers: Mark Rosenthal, Lawrence Konner

Composer: Jack Nitzsche

Starring: Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner, Danny DeVito, Spiros Focas, Avner Eisenberg, Paul David Magid, Howard Jay Patterson, Randall Edwin Nelson, Samuel Ross Williams, Timothy Daniel Furst, Hamid Fillali, Holland Taylor

More info: IMDb

Tagline: When the going gets tough, the tough get going.

Plot: In the blockbuster Romancing The Stone, novelist Joan Wilder (Turner) and wanderer Jack Colton (Douglas) went sailing off into the sunset together. In this thrill-packed sequel, Ralph (DeVito) is back on their trail and they're back in the fast lane on a perilous trek through the fierce North African Desert. Not even treacherous tribes, deadly dungeons and semingly endless villains can stop this trio from finding, once and for all, that mysterious "jewel."

My rating: 4/10

Will I watch it again?  Hell, no.

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE ROMANCING THE STONE (1984).  I've seen it many times and it's just one of those magical, lightning-in-a-bottle movies that doesn't come around often enough. NILE, however, is everything STONE wasn't.  Who's to blame?  Dougles, who produced it and rushed it into production (this was released the year after STONE!!!), and the screenwriters.  The direction is fine and it seems like all of the other departments did their job well but the story is pretty bad and the action scenes are weak (the fighter jet sequence is embarrassing considering the film's predecessor).  Except for three actors and their character's names, there's nothing to suggest that this is a true sequel as far as the story goes.  It felt like (I first (and last) saw this in the theater in '85) this screenplay was written prior to the first film and they wanted something quick and changed the character names and did some retro-fitting.  It's just bad.  The scuttlebutt is that Turner didn't want to do it because she didn't like the script but Douglas and his production company threatened to sue her for millions if she didn't (must've been something in her contract from the previous film or something).  Also, Diane Thomas, who wrote STONE, didn't want to be involved.  Sadly she died in a car crash two months before this film was released.  What a loss.  STONE was her first and only work in film and it could have been the start of an amazing career.  The 20th Century Fox Blu-ray has some extras (like I give a shit for the movie) with a commentary from Teague, the trailer and two featurettes which I'm not going to bother to watch. 

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