The Jewel of the Nile (1985) starring Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner, Danny DeVito, Spiros Focs, Avner Eisenberg, Paul David Magid directed by Lewis Teague Movie Review

The Jewel of the Nile (1985)   3/53/53/53/53/5


Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner in The Jewel of the Nile (1985)

The Stone is more of a Jewel

Whilst I never thought that "Romancing the Stone" was a great movie it did capture that whole swashbuckling adventure of those classic adventure movies and at the same time giving us plenty of comedy through the pairing of Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner. Sadly much of what I enjoyed about "Romancing the Stone" has been lost in the inevitable sequel "The Jewel of the Nile". Yes Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner return and give us more comedy as does Danny DeVito, but the actual storyline is lacking and that sense of adventure just doesn't transpire this time around.

After the excitement in Colombia Jack (Michael Douglas - Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps) and Joan (Kathleen Turner - Prizzi's Honor) have been living a relatively happy life aboard their yacht sailing from port to port. But 6 months at sea has lead to boredom and arguments, so when Joan gets the offer to head to the Middle East to write a biography of a Sheik she jumps at the chance. But not is all as it seems as the Sheik is up to no good and has kidnapped "The Jewel" which leads Jack and his old foe Ralph (Danny DeVito - Terms of Endearment) to join forces and head over to the middle east and not only find "The Jewel" but also rescue Joan.

Michael Douglas in The Jewel of the Nile (1985)

"The Jewel of the Nile" starts of in very much the same way as "Romancing the Stone" with a fictional scene from the imagination of Joan Wilder before filling in the gaps as to what has happened since we watched Joan and Jack heading off together at the end of "Romancing the Stone". All well and good and it dishes up a nice amount of light hearted comedy as we are made aware that their relationship is turbulent after spending months upon their boat sailing from one port to another.

But once the gaps are filled in we get to the main storyline with first Joan and then Jack heading off to the Middle East and into trouble over "The Jewel" of the Nile. The strange thing is that this time around there seems to be more story and it's not wanted as we have Joan being asked to write a biography whilst Jack and Ralph forced to try and find her. It has the knock on effect that the whole adventure side of "The Jewel of the Nile" is lacking and those few moments of action and adventure fail to really capture your attention. Yes there is nice action packed ending but what happens before that, the chase across the desert, the close encounter with danger on the rock face aren't very exciting.

And sadly with more storyline the amount of comedy seems to come up short as well. Once again the turbulent relationship between Joan and Jack gives us some and Ralph once more finds himself falling amusingly foul a few times but there is little else. Those set piece jokes have gone walk abouts and the couple which remain end up feeling too forced. The effect of this is that whilst "The Jewel of the Nile" started to make me laugh it soon became a movie which only made me smile as it struggled to keep my attention.

The saving grace of "The Jewel of the Nile" is the trio of Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner and Danny DeVito. Each does their best with what for me is weaker material and bring to life their characters once more. I hate to sound like a broken record but the turbulent relationship in the opening scenes is where Douglas and Turner are at their best and the chemistry is spot on but for the rest of the movie they seem lost as to how to deliver the weaker material. The same with DeVito there are moments where he shines but plenty where he doesn't. But despite appearing to struggle with weaker material the fact that the trio are back and spark off of each other is what makes "The Jewel of the Nile" work.

Aside from the trio well to be frank I didn't really remember anything special from the other performances as even Spiros Focás as Omar and Avner Eisenberg as Jewel ended up as background noise.

What this all boils down to is that "The Jewel of the Nile" is a fun movie but is inferior to "Romancing the Stone". Whilst the trio of Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner and Danny DeVito make it fun the actual storyline and lack of adventure end up making it feel average.


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