The Jewel of the Nile (1985)
Directed by: Lewis Teague
Written by: Diane Thomas, Lawrence Konner, Mark Rosenthal
Starring: Avner Eisenberg, Danny DeVito, Holland Taylor, Kathleen Turner, Michael Douglas, Spyros Fokas
THE JEWEL OF THE NILE (1985)
Directed by Lewis Teague
Six months after the ending of Romancing The Stone, THE JEWEL OF THE NILE sees celebrated romance fiction author Joan Wilder frustrated by her inability to finish her latest book. Already three months past her deadline, she needs some inspiration fast! Growing tired of their jaunts around tropical locations on Jack’s yacht, she jumps at the chance to write the biography for an Egyptian sheikh named Omar (Spyros Fokas) who invites her to his homeland to document his political leadership campaign that will unite the people. A disappointed Jack has his sights set on enjoying the Greek sunshine instead, but is hot on the tail of his lover when he discovers her life is in danger. Accompanied by Ralph, who’d been hiding out in a dumpster at the marina, the duo are enlisted by an Egyptian rebel who informs them Omar isn’t who he says he is and that the lives of Joan and his people are at risk if they do not retrieve the jewel that Omar stole.
Action adventure sequel THE JEWEL OF THE NILE continues in the same vein as its predecessor with plenty of simmering sexual tension, wild action pieces and a barrel of laughs, often at the expense of Danny DeVito’s character, Ralph. In the first film, Ralph is involved in the kidnapping of Joan (Kathleen Turner) and then on the hunt to track her down in order to find the location of a precious stone. Here, his presence is of a disgruntled man who wants what’s owed to him, mainly coin that he missed out on, and the opportunity to get his hands on a jewel or a reward is too good to pass up, even if it is with Jack (Michael Douglas), the man who cashed in on the prized loot first time round. Though in a partnership, it’s clear neither trust the other, and when it all kicks off in Egypt, the two end up going their separate ways… after Ralph is retried from under the ass of a… well…. ass (donkey).
There’s plenty of moments that will tickle your funny bone and stunts that will make you gasp in excitement, especially when Jack, Joan and ‘Joe’ (Avner Eisenberg) commandeer a jet. There’s gun fire, explosions, and many thrilling acts that try to maintain the energy and pace set up by the first movie. Perhaps it’s not quite as fun as that film was, but it gives it a bloody good go with lots of enjoyable scenes along the way as the characters duck and dive out of harm’s way.
The political plot that drives THE JEWEL OF THE NILE provides a great storyline too as this time our heroes are fighting for something more, that will affect the lives of many, against an oppressive regime. The fact that an author and her beau are stuck in the middle and could play a vital part in putting a stop to it is what creates the excitement and ups the risk factor. Once again, they inadvertently land themselves into something bigger than they could have imagined, resulting in some great fun as we watch them take on a wicked dictator and his military.
Despite the plot injecting friction into their relationship, the chemistry between Douglas and Turner is still smoking, with the pair realising just how much one means to the other. Their romance takes a little bit of a backseat in this movie compared to the first though, with the quest for survival against a tyrant taking centre stage. However, this just further fuels the duo as a partnership as well as a romantic one, with the scenes with them together some of the best in the film.
For fans of Romancing The Stone, THE JEWEL OF THE NILE is an entertaining sequel that delivers more of what worked so well in the first film. Providing the thrills in a new exotic location continues the fantasy adventure element that is sorely missing from films today and remains an enjoyable watch over 35 years later. Like most sequels, it doesn’t quite match the overall quality of the original but fans will surely be delighted by what this chapter has to offer.