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The Mask (1994)

October 24, 2009

VERDICT:
4/10 Tainted Memories

Stands as an omen of things to come for our man Jim Carrey.

The Mask is about Stanley Ipkiss, a timid bank teller with zero confidence that gets shit on left and right by the entire human race (except for Cameron Diaz). Then one day he puts on this voodoo mask he finds and it transforms him into the exact opposite of everything that sucks about being Stanley Ipkiss (ie: a human cartoon that robs banks).

Back when this first came out, I regarded it as nothing less than a gift from the movie gods. I think I dragged my parents to the movie theater on three different occasions to see it, dressed up as The Mask for Halloween that year, had The Mask board game (which I actually played), and probably considered legally changing my name to “The Mask” or “Jim Mask Carrey”. It was a big deal.

That was back in 1994.

Flashfoward to 2005. I’m sitting in my bedroom, a come across The Mask while channel surfing. Haven’t seen it in 11 years, time to relive the glory. It’s the scene where he’s dancing this huge musical number with the entire police force, overacting abound.

Five minutes go by, I change the channel. I shake my head in disbelief that I put my poor parents through three separate viewings of this catastrophe, it occurs to me that I owe them big time.

Either time has not been kind to this movie or my sense of humor has evolved by leaps and bounds. Actually, nevermind, it’s probably both.

And therein lies the primary strength and weakness of The Mask. The story, the script, the direction – it’s all about Jim Carrey and Jim Carrey gives it his all whether we want it or not. He’s wacky, he’s over-the-top like no one else, you can’t take your eyes off him, but in one sense it’s fresh and amazing and in another it’s annoying to the point of torture. It’s new alright, but it is way too in your face. Different strokes for different folks, I guess.

Outside of it being the launching pad for Camerona Diaz’s career and all the scenes where Stanley Ipkiss turns into The Mask, there’s not much else here to bother with. Not a very funny movie otherwise.

This review is actually making me kinda sad, the same kid of sad I felt when I had no choice but to change the channel four years ago. Today, I can’t handle The Mask, but at one point I was all about it. Wish I could give it a higher score, but that’s just the way it goes sometimes. If you want to see Jim Carrey at his most beserk, this is the end of the road, folks. Not the best thing he’s ever done, but if anything, he sure stands out.

Anyone else care to share their two cents on this? Genuinely interested to hear if I should give it another shot.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. October 24, 2009 10:36 am

    I never found The Mask great, but IO always enjoyed and when I watched it again a couple of years ago I still enjoyed it.

    I don’t like Jim Carrey’s brand of comedy, but for some reason it worked for me in The Mask, maybe it’s because there was an actual reason for his over the top zaniness, unlike in the rest of his comedies.

    This is also the one and only time Cameron Diaz was ever hot, after this movie Hollywood got their hooks into her and she dropped like 20 pounds to become a stick figure that isn’t worth looking at.

    I can understand people falling out of love with this film, but while I never loved The Mask it has remained consistently funny for me throughout the years.

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