Editor’s Note: This review is an entry in the Nostalgiathon. To enter, click here for details.
When I was eight, I used to watch The Mask all the time, about once a week I believe. It was one of those movies I used to watch almost religiously and obsessively. But after the fifteenth view, I began to grow tired of the movie and haven’t seen it since.
After watching it again now, however, I enjoyed it almost as I did as a child. While The Mask is far from being a comic masterpiece like Dr. Stangelove or Groundhog Day, it’s certainly very funny and helped launch the career of Jim Carrey.
The movie is about Stanley Ipkiss (Carrey), a bank teller who is constantly bullied by everyone. His only friends are his dog Milo and coworker Charlie Schumake (Richard Jeni). After being thrown out of a nightclub, Stanley contemplates suicide until he discovers a wooden mask in the water that he mistakes as a person. Afterwards, he brings the mask home and puts it on, he turns into a wild, mechanical trickster, who has the look of the Joker but the comic energy of Bugs Bunny.
The rest of the movie involves Stanley getting involved in a gang robbery where he meets Tina Carlye (Cameron Diaz in her debut), whom he immediately falls in love with.
The Mask also has some pretty good special effects that were top-notch back in 1994. While they might seem a little dated today, I think audiences can still appreciate them. It manages to combine the humor of an animated movie into a live action one successfully.
The Mask is really the perfect movie for Jim Carrey. It really gives him a chance to execute his comic characters without it seeming awkward like Ace Ventura. I grew up watching many of Jim Carrey’s comedies from the 90s and this was one of my favorites. His character never grows too irritating, even though sometimes the humor is a little too over-the-top.
I wouldn’t call The Mask a great film, but it’s a good one nonetheless plus has plenty of laughs and I still appreciate it very much.
Oh yeah, and avoid the sequel. Jim Carrey’s not in it and it is one of the worst films I’ve ever seen. Please, if you have any ounce of humanity, pretend that it never existed and watch this one instead.