Unlike ‘Romancing the Stone’, I had literally no recollection of this movie whatsoever… which, having now re-watched it, I understand to be a probable result of my brain needing to rid itself of the sheer amount of unapologetic racism involved. In the great words of Jawbreaker [the band, not the movie], get ready to shield your eyes from all this misery...
1. Oh good. This thing has a soundtrack song with the same name as the movie. (Pretty sure that trend started and ended in the 1980s.) My favorite part of “The Jewel of the Nile” [song] is the line “And the greatest gem of all is the love within us all.”
Oh dear God.
2. Jack is complaining because Joan didn’t go and get him “more Buds” while he was water-skiing. “Tough day?” he asks. “Yeah, it’s been tough,” Joan says. “But you know what they say – when the going gets tough, the tough...” OH GOD!
(A) I remember something about this movie now! BILLY OCEAN!!
(B) The soundtrack directly references the title AND the script? Oh, ‘Jewel of the Nile’, you are really spoiling us!
3. Joan has writer’s block, is three months behind finishing her latest book, but is – regardless of no new work! - holding some sort of book reception on the Riviera. THIS IS NOT WHAT AUTHORS DO.
4. A mysterious racial stereotype in a turban named Omar Khalifa shows up, asks Joan to go to Africa to write his life story and she says yes on the spot without even vaguely figuring out who this dude is. Because going to countries you don’t know, with men you’ve never met before is AWESOME. Joan is a fucking idiot.
5. “You got your heart set on it, huh?” Jack asks of this ridiculous trip.
“Well, mine is set on Greece,” he says.
BITCH, YOU DON’T HAVE A JOB. SUPPORT YOUR WOMAN, FFS.
“It’s going to be four, maybe five weeks of research,” Joan says.
“Yeah, maybe we need a break,” Jack replies. (Jack is a selfish asshat.)
“It’s been kind of tough lately,” Joan says.
“When the going gets tough, the tough go to Greece,” says Jack.
Sweet JESUS, are we going to have to listen to Billy Ocean references every five minutes for the rest of this goddamn movie?
6. As he and Joan get down to his car (I presume she’s leaving for Africa immediately, in her cocktail dress?), Khalifa gets stabbed in the chest by a long-haired brown man wearing espadrilles who runs off and jumps in the sea. But the stabbing doesn’t take because Khalifa is wearing some sort of silver tank top under his shirt. (Is that supposed to be armor? Isn’t it too hot for this?!)
7. “Goddamnit, she was the best time I ever had,” Jack says after Joan leaves. I really love it when dudes sabotage their own relationships, then act like THEY'RE the victims. Ladies just LOVE that shit.
8. Danny DeVito pops out of a conveniently-placed dumpster at the marina. I hope he does more in this movie than he did in the last one… OR DO I?
9. Several hours later, the espadrille-wearing longhair pops out of the water (has he been in there this whole time?!), saves Jack from DeVito (who is waving a gun around for no fathomable reason) and says that Khalifa stole “my people’s jewel”. Wait… is this gonna be the exact same plot as “Temple of Doom”? Brilliant.
10. “I’m going on the boat,” Jack says to DeVito and Espadrilles. “You can do what you want.”
Then his boat blows up right on cue because PLOT DEVICE.
11. “Your woman is in danger,” Espadrilles tells Jack.
12. Joan and Khalifa get to his compound to the sound of a man screaming in agony.
“What was that?” asks Joan.
“Cats,” says Khalifa.
“Oh,” Joan replies. “I have a cat.”
No, you fucking don’t. You left it to starve to death in New York when you rode off into the sunset with Jack SIX MONTHS AGO. And, on the off-chance that you DID somehow bring it on the boat with you, that boat blew up 10 minutes ago. Either way, your cat is dead and it is 100% your own fault, Joan.
13. When Jack, DeVito and Espadrilles arrive at the airport in the desert, Espadrilles makes a whooping noise and, on cue, scores of men on horses just come galloping onto the runway. Because North African airports have no rules about that sort of thing. The men on horses have boomboxes playing "Freaks Come Out at Night" by Whodini, which is HILARIOUS because brown people aren’t supposed to know what either of those things are.
14. Espadrilles’ crew are all on horses, but, for some reason, they’ve stuck Jack and DeVito on a camel. Together. At the same time. This is supposed to be funny. It’s actually just kind of racist.
15. Everyone in Espadrilles’ crew juggles. (Yes, I said juggles.) Cups, oranges, knives… it doesn’t matter, as long as they’re juggling gratuitously, while wearing Walkmans. Also they do cartwheels.
(‘The Jewel of the Nile’ is ten times more racist than ‘Romancing The Stone’. And the first one was pretty fucking racist. I feel like my eyes might start bleeding at any moment.)
16. Michael Douglas is very obviously wearing eyeliner.
17. A small British “special effects wizard” has arrived to trick Khalifa’s people into believing Khalifa is a god.
This is definitely a bad movie.
18. Everyone in this movie says “Yalla” a lot, because it’s pretty much the only Arabic word white people know.
19. Joan falls through a roof, while spying on Khalifa, and lands in the room of “The Jewel of the Nile”, who’s been kidnapped so Khalifa can become Emperor. Hear that? THE JEWEL’S NOT JEWELRY! THE FILMMAKERS HAVE BEEN FOOLING US ALL ALONG! *snore*
20. “Jack is dead,” Khalifa tells Joan.
“Jack would never die without telling me,” Joan replies.
Why is Joan stupid in this movie? Joan was not stupid in the last movie.
21. The Jewel refers to Joan as “Just Joan” for this entire film. Because brown people just don’t understand white people names! Those simple heathens!
22. Oh look. Everyone’s shooting at each other with machine guns and nobody is getting hit. Again.
23. Jack, Joan and Jewel (alliteration!) find an open military jet and get into it. (Like Marion does in ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’ – how many Indiana Jones plot points is this movie going to steal?) Then they blow up all of the barrels of oil that are just lying around in the vicinity. Because: ARABS, amiright?
24. Gratuitous sandstorm. Because ARABS.
(I feel much unfiltered rage.)
25. Jack, Joan and Jewel [Triple J!] run a pointedly slack-jawed black man off the road in their plane even though they are surrounded by flat desert on all sides and could have just overtaken his little car.
(This movie is even more racist than ‘Sex and the City 2’ and that thing was basically a hate crime.)
26. Joan and Jack are having a fight in the desert. “Remember that time in Costa del Sol,” Joan says, “when I was having dinner at the Governor’s mansion and YOU showed up with the entire national basketball team!” The Costa del Sol is a small Spanish enclave full of British people getting drunk. It has neither a governor, nor a basketball team. Research, people. Research.
27. Danny DeVito is contributing nothing to this plot again. SURPRISE!
28. The Jewel turns a stone into a butterfly because ARABS ARE MAGIC.
(I am so embarrassed to be white right now...)
29. Triple J climb a mountain and encounter a group of men in leather loincloths, bone necklaces and warpaint. They are carrying spears. Jack greets them by saying “Yo, man. My man,” because these Africans are more black than the others they’ve been dealing with so far. (So… extraordinary racism AND horrifying geographical inaccuracies - this movie doesn’t just have offensive shit, it has EVERY kind of offensive shit. Special.)
30. Jack is forced to fight “the Chief’s son” – one of the most heinous depictions of black-man-as-savage I’ve ever seen on film – for Joan’s hand in marriage. In order to stop the fight, the Jewel starts juggling to amuse the simple tribal folks they are surrounded by.
(I know I'm really laboring the point now, but this is truly one of the most offensive movies I’ve ever seen in my life.)
31. Gratuitous tribal dancing.
32. Jack is wearing a pristine dashiki even though most of the Africans at the camp weren't even wearing clothes. GOD GIVE ME STRENGTH.
33. Kathleen Turner’s body double has a wig that is 4 shades darker than Turner's actual hair color.
34. Even more “yalla”s and an “inshallah”. You know… for good measure.
(This movie should be filed next to ‘Birth of a Nation’ under the Movies That Prove White People are The Actual Worst category.)
35. Now, everyone is at a massive concert where Khalifa is going to do magic, just as soon as he’s done stringing up Jack and Joan over a giant rat-filled pit, while the Jewel is chained to a wall.
“Goddamn beanie convention. I’m gonna end up going home with a rug,” DeVito (who is wearing a turban now) says. I have no idea what that means but I’m sure it’s extraordinarily offensive.
36. I really wanna know where DeVito’s getting all these cigarettes while roaming around the desert.
37. DeVito finds Jack and Joan strung up.
“I am the Jewel of the Nile,” the Jewel announces.
“And I’m a kumquat from Queens, towelhead,” DeVito says.
(I am going to kill myself.)
38. There’s a life and death situation, so the villagers are juggling again.
FUCK OFF. Just FUCK. OFF.
39. The Jewel emerges on stage and walks through and on top of fire. In the immortal words of Beavis and Butthead: these effects are not special.
40. Jack kills Khalifa while dangling from a giant crane hook driven by DeVito. “I knew we’d hook up again, Colton!” DeVito shouts.
(I am officially dead inside.)
41. The Jewel marries Jack and Joan (in front of the villagers and the tribe and – for some fucking reason - Joan’s publisher… where the fuck did SHE come from?!) and the pair sail away on what looks like a rudimentary raft. Good luck with that, you insufferable shitweasels.