Hollywood is back, Jack!… oh and the mannequin or whatever. When a supposedly cursed mannequin turns out to be an actually cursed princess (and she’s hot stuff to boot) Jason’s got to figure out what to do in the name of love. Can he defeat the wicked sorcerer who’s come looking for the girl before it’s too late? Find out in… Mannequin: On the Move.
How?! Back in Middle Earth or some shit a Prince is totally into a peasant woman, Jessie. But before they can run off together they are caught by the Queen, whose sorcerer curses the woman for a thousand years. As long as she wears the cursed necklace (that can only be removed by her true love) then she’ll be a statue. Anywho, flash forward 999 years later and under the guise of a worldwide tour, the evil sorcerer’s descendant plans to take the mannequin away (specifically to Philadelphia) just in time for her to become human again so he can steal away to Bermuda with her. Enter Jason (who looks startlingly like the Prince) a man about town just trying to do his best at his new job at the department store of the first film. He’s placed under the guidance of Hollywood (finally! Some connecting fibers to the first entry) in order to plan the big presentation about the cursed mannequin. When the mannequin is almost destroyed in transit, Jason saves her and is shocked to find that she appears to be momentarily alive. Intrigued, he hangs around the mannequin and finds he can remove the necklace no prob and proceeds to teach this totally hot former mannequin all about the modern world. They are totally in love and Jason is dancing and making breakfast and all that jazz when Jessie decides to try on her necklace and becomes a statue again. Uh oh! Jason is confused and real sad and so he brings the mannequin back to the store. But Hollywood also inadvertently takes off the necklace (guess the rules changed all of a sudden) and Jessie is on the move once again. The sorcerer is suspicious and have the police help get Jessie back and have Jason arrested. But that just won’t do. Hollywood stages a jailbreak and soon they are in the midst of the big presentation where Jason and Jessie confront the sorcerer. In a panic he attempts to escape with Jessie in a hot air balloon (obviously), but Jason plays hero, put the necklace on the sorcerer’s neck and pushes the statue out of the balloon. Hooray! THE END.
Why?! Love. It’s all about true love. The confounding part is the sorcerer. Really in the beginning of the film it’s not like the sorcerer is all “in 1000 years if you don’t find true love you will become human and have to love my descendant” so I’m not really sure what his plan is. Steal treasure and take Jessie to Bermuda where… what? She’ll look at how gross you are and be like no thanks? Just steal the jewels and leave… why do you even need the mannequin lady? You can probably find plenty of women who will love you for your jewels and treasure.
Who?! Lots of dual roles here. Jason, the sorcerer, and Jason’s mom are also part of the set up of the film. A lot of recaps and synopses get a little confused whether they are meant to be reincarnations of the same people (which is understandable since that’s more in line with the original film’s story). Even Hollywood gets to play a random bouncer at one point. They were just loving the multiple roles.
What?! Some nice MacGuffins in here. While Jessie herself is a MacGuffin of sort, I don’t love when people are MacGuffins. Doesn’t seem right. But the necklace she’s wearing definitely is one. No one really cares how it works and in fact it seems to bend its own established rules throughout the film. Jason is the only one that can take it off Jessie? Not so fast, we need Hollywood to take it off for a gag. So after a thousand years it just wears off? Well apparently the main bad guy thinks it’ll force her to fall in love with him. Why? I don’t know and I don’t care. MacGuffin. Should note that there is a bunch of product placement here since it’s set in a department store and all, but the MacGuffin is more important.
Where?! Philly of course. Probably the most pleasant surprises of these films is how hard they lean into the Philadelphia setting. You have to admire it (I know we do). I wish more films did this, just lean heavy on being all about the Dallas-Fort Worth scene. Really play up the Salt Lake City sights and sounds. You got a movie about a guy who finds out he can telepathically communicate with dogs? How about a guy who finds out he can telepathically communicate with dogs… in Nashville? B+
When?! I do not know. All I know is that probably the opening scene takes place in the year 992 A.D. Let’s see what we got going on then… hmmm, according to Wikipedia not too much. I’m sure there was, just not a lot is recorded in detail being several centuries before the printing press. So it seems like it’s not out of the question that a peasant girl was turned into a mannequin around then. Mannequin: On the Move. “Plausible” – Jamie from BadMovieTwins.com. C+ just fo funsies.
I’d like to think there is a perfect trilogy out there of films where the first entry is already off the rails and then it gets a sequel that is even more off the rails and makes you wistfully remember the first entry as if it’s some lost masterpiece. Certainly the Weekend at Bernie’s series fits the bill with its voodoo magic twist in the second film. This similarly enters the twilight zone with its cursed necklace and hot air balloon finale. It’s not even like the films are all that unpleasant really, they are just really really really dumb and have two of the worst set ups I can recall for major motion pictures. Anyway, I’ll leave it at that: harmless for the most part (well maybe the stereotypical nature of Hollywood’s character is a little harmful) and not really so much worse than the original I think… but they are both stupid so not sure that says a lot. The real conclusion is that we are now in pursuit of the third film of this ilk. We better get thinking. Patrick?
‘Ello everyone! Now this is a Mannequin on the Move! Let’s go!
P’s View on the Preview – The explicit setting in a fictional country? Hollywood Montrose in a triumphant return? Cursed necklaces? Bad German-esque accents? Did I mention that Hollywood Montrose makes a triumphant return?!?! Having watched the first film, and then the trailer for the second I was pretty excited for this guy. What were my expectations? A bananas film about mannequins on the move, and a healthy dose of Hollywood Montrose!! Sock it to me.
The Good – I know that the characterization of Hollywood Montrose is a problem, but I can’t help but like him in his own insane 80s way. He is a living breathing “Jordan Peele from the Gremlins 2 sketch” … like, Jordan Peele explicitly based on the character off of Hollywood Montrose right? Also in its own weird way the acting between the two leads works for me. It isn’t good acting, it just feels genuine. Probably because the film was shot without an actual script or something. Really good Philadelphia film as well. Best Bit: Hollywood Montrose.
The Bad – The Germans and the Count are just exasperating. I can’t handle any of the junk they are doing throughout the film. The plot is also hard to deal with since, for whatever reason, the main character Jason never seems to realize that all he has to do is pull off the magic necklace and then everyone would be able to see that Jessie is a human being. The set up (and all the stuff with the fictional Germanic country) is also just the worst, I don’t really get why they couldn’t just run back the Pygmalion idea in the end. Fatal Flaw: Horrid caricatures all over the place (and somehow I’m not talking about Hollywood Montrose).
The BMT – Jamie nails it on the head, this is Weekend at Bernie’s 2. I don’t even remember the plot of that film, the only thing I remember is being horrified and that there was a voodoo magic dancing scene with a corpse. Rest assured the entire Mannequin saga is going to boil down to the first one seeming kind of okay, and the second one having a ridiculous hot air balloon ending involving german people. I’ll forget everything else. Did it meet my expectations? Yeah, I mean, Hollywood Montrose was Hollywood Montrose and the whole thing was absurd. What more could I ask for really?
Roast-radamus – Yet again a very solid Setting as a Character (Where?) for Philadelphia. They even roll down the main road in Midtown in order to get some genuine Philly Cheesesteak. There is definite potential for MacGuffin (Why?) for the Mannequin aka Jessie herself. Everyone wants her, only Jason can have her because of love (awwwwww). Very much closest to BMT in the end.
Sequel, Prequel, Remake – Obviously since Emmy is a former mannequin she couldn’t possibly have half-mannequin children, right? WRONG. They have a son Paul who has been given the task by his architecture firm to build the Connecticut suburban town New Paphos. Going to the half-built New Paphos, everything is falling apart! The eeeeeevil Richards is back as the planning commissioner for Southern Connecticut, and he wants nothing more than to see Paul fail. But with the help of the new school teacher who has arrived early, Paul and her whip the town in shape just before Richard’s contrived deadline. And guess what else? They fall in love! The film is Son of the Mannequin, and it does feature a cameo by Andrew McCarthy, but they couldn’t get Kim Cattral.
You Just Got Schooled – As should be obvious Mannequin is, of course, an adaptation of George Bernard Shaw’s play Pygmalion which itself was based on the mythological figure of Pygmalion who fashioned a beauty from stone and fell in love with her. I read both, although the myth was just a short section of Ovid’s Metamorphoses I think. The play is pretty short and readily available for free from Project Gutenberg and the like. It is very good, although obviously it has nothing to do with Mannequin. It is actually very much like the myth in that a man “creates” a woman, falls in love with her, the end. Mannequin is about a man who creates a woman which is then inhabited by an Egyptian soul and then he saves his department store from a hostile takeover … slightly different. I would recommend the play though for anyone with a few hours to spare, it is, at the very least, interesting for its Victorian setting. A.