- Movie Rating -

The Jewel of the Nile (1985)

| December 11, 1985

Word has it that neither Kathleen Turner nor Michael Douglas particularly wanted to make a sequel to Romancing the Stone.  I get that, I really do.  That earlier film was so special because of the love story that blossomed between the two leads even while running around the Colombian jungle, pursued by banditos, policía, milicia, asesinos, corte las gargantas, traficantes and Danny DeVito.  I know that the box office stakes are high since the first movie made money, so here we are.

The second movie doesn’t really do much to improve on their situation, except that they are this time pursued around the Arabian desert and Danny DeVito is still there.  The movie picks up six months after their first adventure with Jack and Joan on their boat named Angelina and starting to have relationship problems.  While moored in port in the South of France, Joan gets the itch to go back to New York while Jack would prefer to keep up with this dream of sailing around the world and back again.

At a book signing engagement, Joan accepts the offer of a charming Arab man named Omar who would like her to write his biography.  Naturally Jack is uncomfortable with this arrangement.  She doesn’t care and goes off with Omar anyway.  Meanwhile, Jack meets up with Ralph (DeVito) who bears a grudge since he and Joan got him thrown in prison.  Jack learns, through a Arab merchant named Tarak that Omar’s intentions are to kidnap Joan in an attempt to usurp a holy man known as “The Jewel of the Nile.”

Frankly, I wasn’t interested in the slightest.  One of the pleasures of Romancing the Stone was the budding romance between Joan and Jack and her budding self-confidence in the midst of death-defying chases.  Here the relationship is on the skids so there’s really nothing to develop.  They argue a lot, but their spats aren’t funny or charming.  In fact, they’re kind of painful and embarrassing.  I was somewhat caught up in their adventure although I must admit that I had a little trouble following it.  Despite this, I was intrigued that “The Jewel” turned out not to be another golden treasure but a person, a very charming holy man played in a goofy performance by Avner Eisenberg.

So, what do we have here?  Basically, a movie no one really wanted to make, a plot that I had trouble following and a relationship that wasn’t going anywhere.  I found this movie a little hard to care about.  Douglas and Turner are two wonderful actors, but I couldn’t care about them here.  I could hope that if they team up again, maybe they’ll find a different script than this.  I don’t need a third one.  Let’s move on, shall we?

About the Author:

Jerry Roberts is a film critic and operator of two websites, Armchair Cinema and Armchair Oscars.
(1985) View IMDB Filed in: Action, Comedy