In another attempt to tread on Indiana Jones territory, Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner reprise their roles as Jack Colton and Joan Wilder in this sequel to "Romancing the Stone." The movie begins with Jack and Joan cruising on a yacht, Joan trying to find "what happens next" in her story, and Jack enjoying the "blue skies and nice warm water." An argument immediately follows: Jack wants to go to Greece, Joan wants New York. They decide to go their separate ways, but as fate would have it, they both end up travelling to Africa where adventure is abound amidst a plot involving a kidnapped holy man and a usurper who wants Joan to write book about his quest to become the emperor of the Nile-but as with this type of adventure films, it is the action scenes that matter, not the storyline.
And that is not necessary a bad thing. I enjoy adventure films; a lot of people do. "Raiders of the Lost Arc" still holds an important place in movie history, but there have been other memorable attempts in recent year ("Pirates of the Caribbean") and not-so-memorable attempts ("The Mummy"). "Jewel of the Nile" owes a lot to the early years of the dashing swashbuckler films (names like Douglas Fairbanks and Errol Flynn will always instantly come to mind). The film also owes something to the spirit of the silent serial cliff-hangers, such as "The Perils of Pauline," where a young heroine seeks adventures in order to write romance novels. Viewers may also be reminded of adventure comic such as the incomparable adventures of Tintin (didn't some of Tintin's adventure also involve its hero wandering deserts, preventing usurpations of thrones, and dealing with "Jewels" of this type?).
Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turning make a charming couple, and Avner Eisernberg as the Jewel steals every scene he's in. Danny DeVito is stuck with an underwritten role that seems to be in the movie for the sole purpose of providing comic relief, but he ends up with little to do and little to say that in the overall supplies very little comedy. Besides, one comic relief is enough, and Eisernberg's character has that role covered.
So never mind the paper-thin plot; if plot is what you seek, search elsewhere. If you're not too picky, enjoy this one, as long as you restrain from comparing it to "Raiders of the Lost Arc". But then again, how many adventure films are worthy of such a comparison?
-Romancing the Nile: A Winning Sequel
-Adventures of a Romance Novalist