Picks and Pans Review: The Jewel of the Nile

updated 01/13/1986 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 01/13/1986 AT 01:00 AM EST

Twentieth Century Fox had to sue Kathleen Turner for $25 million to get her to honor her contract to appear in this sequel to Romancing the Stone. From the looks of it, maybe she would have been better off just coughing up the money and sparing everyone a lot of tedium. Turner is so creative and communicative an actress that she can turn 90 minutes of making toast into an exciting event. But making toast is a profound experience in comparison with the plot of this movie. While Turner is reunited with Michael Douglas, their screen relationship seems to be wearing thin. In Stone, her romance novelist falling in love with his adventurer was one of the all-time cute meets. This time the couple is sailing around the world with the passion oozing away, when an East African potentate lures Turner away to write a history of his revolution. The potentate is played by Greek actor Spiros Focas as if he is competing in an Omar Sharif imitation contest and coming in third. At least semivillain Danny DeVito, who was saddled with idiotic slapstick routines in the first film, gets some lines this time. When he is introduced to the holy man who is called "Jewel of the Nile," DeVito snarls, "Yeah, and I'm the Kumquat of Queens." But most of the time everyone seems to be going through the motions of an adventure comedy—top of the train fight, torture scene, desert chase—with little verve. Director Lewis (Cujo) Teague got everybody to show up and say their lines and stay in focus. He didn't, however, get anybody to entertain. (PG)

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